New convenience store, food court, a sign of Alberta’s rebirth

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Thursday’s opening ceremony for a new convenience store in Alberta lasted 24 years for Tuscaloosa City Council Chairman Kip Tyner.

Tyner, who represents Alberta as part of District 5, said welcoming new businesses to that region prompted him to run for a first elected position.

And now, with a new gas station and $ 2.6 million food court under construction on University Boulevard in Alberta Drive, his vision of a reborn Alberta is taking shape.

“The only reason I ran for city council in 1997 was for days like this,” Tyner told the hundred people who had gathered for the earth-turning ceremony that took place. officially launched the construction of the store.

Ric Mayers, president of Midstates Petroleum Co. of Vernon, said the 6,000 square foot facility will not only include the basic amenities of a convenience store, but also a frozen yogurt store, barbecue platters, chicken. fried and pizzas from Hunt Brothers Pizza.

It will also house Alberta’s first Dunkin ‘donut store.

“When you come to Alberta, you have to come with your A-game. Come with less, it will be a tough road for you, ”Mayers said.

Mayers and Midstates Petroleum has already made a significant investment in the Tuscaloosa and western Alabama areas.

Last year, the company bought Powell Petroleum and its Buddy’s Food Mart stores, a staple on Tuscaloosa’s roads since the 1970s.

RELATED:Longtime Tuscaloosa Company Sells to Vernon Oil Company

A few weeks later, it also purchased Northport-based Trademart Inc., taking control of the five stores that company operated in Tuscaloosa and Northport.

Now, it brings Alabama state’s first ExtraMile convenience store brand, which now has approximately 1,500 Chevron stations nationwide, to Alberta, and will feature Tuscaloosa’s first electric vehicle charging stations in convenience store.

“I think every time a businessman is looking to bring something to an area, he is looking to provide a service that is lacking,” Mayers said. “I wanted to go beyond the basics, and the difference between good and excellent is the attention to detail.”

And it was this attention to detail that led Tyner to support Midstates Petroleum’s request for economic aid to make the project a reality.

When the city council adopted the policies of Invest Tuscaloosa to guide how it would encourage new development, it did so with an emphasis on eliminating the scourge, stimulating private investment and improving the quality of life. the quality of life of an area by attracting the services that are currently lacking.

With that, last month the board used the recommendations from Invest Tuscaloosa to approve up to $ 275,000 in sales tax rebates – 100% of sales tax rebates the first two years; 50% the next four – over a six-year period.

“This is what Invest Tuscaloosa was intended for, because we knew the money for disaster recovery (tornado) would run out one day,” Tyner said. “It is a plague caused by nature. It is not a curse caused by someone who owns the property.

So, with Alberta “held hostage,” the city councilor said, by landowners asking exorbitant sums for their plots, Tyner said he fully supports economic aid to Alberta and the First Alabama’s ExtraMile station.

And that’s because, in part, Tyner sees it as the start of a new trend of private investment in Alberta.

Tyner recounted growing up in Alberta alongside operating two theaters, the city’s second indoor mall and the first locations of several branded restaurants, including IHOP, Arby’s and Hardee’s.

But the decades that followed saw these companies move to new parts of the city, with their return looking increasingly unlikely until April 27, 2011, when the tornado swept through the region.

Now wasteland is ready to be rebuilt, and Tyner has said he anticipates a return to the heyday of Alberta.

“If someone came to Tuscaloosa to do business, they started in Alberta,” Tyner said. “And it’s my dream – it’s been my dream for so long – to see this comeback, and I think we can come back even better.”

Contact Jason Morton at [email protected].

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