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Gardendale community rallies at Publix development groundbreaking party (photos)

More than 1,000 Gardendale residents joined together to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Publix development with a block party Tuesday night.

Alabama – More than 1,000 Gardendale residents joined together to celebrate the
groundbreaking of the Publix development with a block party Tuesday night.

After years
of delays, the city of Gardendale announced in June that the Publix project
in the Northgate Village shopping center on Odum Road and Fieldstown Road was
moving forward with new developers on board. Century Retail, which owned the
property known as the Century Shoppes at Gardendale, sold the shopping center
to Preferred Growth Properties. The new group plans to develop the property
with Publix as an anchor store, and a T.J.Maxx will open next to Hobby Lobby. The
retail center will also include other businesses yet to be announced.

project has been a journey,” Mayor Othell Phillips said Tuesday. “It’s coming
now. And that’s what we’re here to celebrate.”

block party event featured live entertainment, free food donated from local
vendors, and inflatables and games for children. There was cotton candy and
popcorn, face painting, clowns, balloon animals and other activities for
families. Free plastic construction hats were handed out to kids and residents
were encouraged to pick up a shovel and take part in the groundbreaking.

said the event was a true community effort. Jack Fields, president of the
Gardendale Chamber of Commerce, thanked Gardendale band students and
cheerleaders for kicking off the night’s festivities, the Gardendale Rotary
Club for cooking hotdogs and other community volunteers who helped.

“This is
what it takes for a community–everybody together, pulling together.” Fields
said. “And that’s what we have here in Gardendale. We really have a great

leaders said it was also a team effort that brought the Publix project to

“It took
us all working hard to make this happen,” said Council President Stan Hogeland.
He and other city leaders thanked the previous and current administration as
well as Fields, who was hired earlier this year to help with the project, and Jay
Turner of Preferred Growth Properties.

“A lot
of people were involved,” Mayor Phillips said. “The whole entire city has been
behind this project from day one.”