City pays $1.861 million for road with likely Walmart location

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Rebecca Rakowitz

The city of Tuscaloosa has purchased a portion of Patriot Parkway from developer Stan Pate for $1.861 million, according to The Tuscaloosa News. The purchase follows discussion of developing a Walmart Neighborhood Market in the area.

“[The purchase] is an important step to continue growth down there,” Pate told The Tuscaloosa News. “It is a big deal for the city, and the benefits to the city are phenomenal.”

The city council was still split on whether or not the purchase was positive for the city.

Council members had 3-3 tie on March 14 when Councilwoman Cynthia Almond was absent. It took a vote from Mayor Walt Maddox to break the tie and secure the purchase.

Maddox noted that the plan is not just about landing a Walmart storefront, but also to “ensure that future development in and along that corridor would be in the city of Tuscaloosa, itself,” the mayor said to Tuscaloosa News.

Some council members felt the purchase was a smart economic move, and councilwoman Sonya McKinstry told The Tuscaloosa News she felt the purchase would lead to more city sales tax dollars and generate revenue.

Opponents to the purchase felt that the road cost more than it was worth. 

“We don’t need to subsidize a grocery store coming into an area that’s going to hurt the three grocery stores that already are in the area,” Councilman Eddie Pugh told the Tuscaloosa News. “Why help with another grocery store that, in my opinion, isn’t needed down there?”