It is now possible that the store will be constructed on the First Bank of Jasper property at the end of Main Street and the $1.4 million grant the city will be receiving from the state will be used to build an adjoining bank branch and pharmacy as well as a grocery store.
The site originally chosen for the store was a vacant lot at the corner of Mill Street and First Street where an old fire department and a hardware store once stood.
Last year, city officials had to acquire several parcels of land and rezoned the area from residential to downtown business district in order for the project to move forward.
Long-term recovery manager Steve Ostaseski said challenges with the site became apparent once discussions began with the architect and engineering firms approved by the Cordova City Council in February.
Ostaseski said the topography of the area would require a $150,000 retaining wall to be included in the project. There were also concerns about the danger to truck drivers who would have to back into the site while making deliveries.
A search for an alternate site led Ostaseski to the First Bank of Jasper property.
“We’ve got 16,000 square feet there that will accommodate the 8,500 square foot grocery store, a small pharmacy and accommodate the footprint for the bank on that site. Parking can go at the curb, and there is still about 2,500 square feet left for parking on-site for both the bank and the grocery store,” Ostaseski said.
The proposed structure would also include drive-thru windows for the bank and the pharmacy.
The city would receive the property currently owned by First Bank of Jasper as part of the deal, and each of the respective business owners would lease their facilities from the city of Cordova.
Ostaseski said conversations about the changes are ongoing with bank president Jack Allen and Piggly Wiggly owner Mark Bozeman, who signed the letter of intent that the city needed in order to apply for funding.