Repost from the Montgomery Advertiser: Paul Sullivan, Special to the Progress 5:02 p.m. CST February 2, 2016
“It takes time, but we are encouraged by the inquiries we are seeing,” Stone said, adding that the town’s economic development team urges entrepreneurs to sit down with town officials before gathering all the facts they will need to make investment decisions.
A ribbon-cutting in late January opened of the $150 million stretch of highway linking Vaughn Road to Interstate 85.
Stone said there are definite areas that are drawing the most interest.
“Early indications are that Vaughn Road would be a popular area near the end of the connector,” Stone said. Restaurants, grocery stores and retail establishments are some possibilities, the longtime mayor said.
The establishment of the office of Community and Economic Development, led by Director Liz Craig, is one of the steps the town has taken in preparation for growth, Stone said. The other major moves are the gathering of traffic counts, residential figures and other information into a package that can be presented to developers.
The town also emphasizes to possible business owners the commitment Pike Road has to planning, and maintaining the quality of life and community character which make Pike Road so appealing, Stone said.
Planning years and even decades in advance is vital for one of the fastest-growing towns in Alabama to prepare for growth as rooftops and businesses are attracted to the community, Stone said. And undergirding that preparation is the day-to-day work the town and its citizens carry out to improve life in Pike Road.
“The investments in education, quality of life programs, and infrastructure, and the hospitable nature of people are enticing to retailers,” Stone said. “But we all have to be patient.”
The connector runs from I-85 to Vaughn at a point east of the Town Hall complex. When funds are available, plans call for the Loop to extend to Highway 231, and eventually to Interstate 65 south of the Capital City.