It may be just an empty plot of land now, but the field south of Lowe’s Home Improvement store will soon be getting an artsy touch to it.
“The closest Hobby Lobby to us right now is in Daphne. And so this location here will be a great addition, not only for the Foley residents, but the surround residents of our cities as well,” Jeff Rouzie, director of economic development for Foley, said.
Rouzie came to work for the city four years ago with a background in building shopping centers. He said a store like Hobby Lobby is a strong investment.
“Hobby Lobby is what you’d call a ‘credit tenant,’” Rouzie said. “(It’s) a very good company with hundreds of locations around the country with arts and crafts and a lot of different things.”
Rouzie said the store will bring in roughly $240,000 in sales tax for the city. And, as with any new retailer: jobs.
“The return for the city obviously is we get a 55,000 square foot store, we get about 50-60 jobs, and we get sales tax,” Rouzie explains. “Which more than covers our investment on the front end.”
That front end is a $1.2 million investment into infrastructure including adding a sidewalk and turning lanes for the site.
Rouzie said more stores are expected to come in as well.
“We think Foley is poised for additional retail in the future. We’re growing,” Rouzie said. “Obviously with Tanger here, that node and other things. So we’re continuing to recruit retail and look forward to the future. We think it’s real bright.”
The city expects ground to be broken on the site within the next couple of months.