ATHENS-On Friday, July 21, Noon Real Estate, LLC, and the City of Athens joined the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce for a ground-breaking ceremony at the new retail site on U.S. 72 East near I-65, behind Wendy’s. The project includes TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Ulta, Five Below and Rack Room Shoes.
Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said the additional shopping options meet a need expressed by residents and help grow the City’s sales tax base.
For the Athens 2040 comprehensive plan, community and stakeholder meetings and retail research indicated Athens leaks considerably in clothing sales compared to other markets. While Downtown Athens specialty shops offer highly customized merchandizing to meet consumer needs, there is a lack of discount department clothing stores. The research specifically mentioned TJ Maxx and Ross.
“Sales tax makes up about 40 percent of our revenue to fund police, fire, sanitation, parks, paving and other services,” Marks said. “The more options we can provide in Athens from small business to major chains, the less sales tax dollars leave our City.”
Chamber President Pammie Jimmar said the groundbreaking “marks the beginning of a transformation for this area.”
“This brings several additions of new retail stores in our community that the citizens have been requesting for years,” Jimmar said. “This project will also provide job opportunities for residents in our community and boost the City’s economy. We are so thrilled Noon Real Estate, LLC, is making a huge investment in our community.”
Jamey Flegal with Noon Real Estate said Noon is “proud to bring an exciting line-up of Best in Class retailers that are all new to the Athens community.”
“The Athens Marketplace is a wonderful example of City leaders working together with private business to bring shopping opportunities to their community and keeping sales tax dollars at home,” Flegal said.
He commended Stewart Perry, the general contractor, and Grayson Carter & Son, the site work contractor, for doing “a fantastic job” on the project.
The project will create 125 new jobs and expects to generate annual taxable sales of about $20 million.