TUSCUMBIA — Mayor Kerry Underwood's request to allow a retail recruitment firm to market property owned by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame received a warm reception from the attraction's board of directors.

Underwood told board members the city has retained the services of Retail Strategies, which will help market the city to retailers. The mayor said Tuscumbia's stretch of U.S. 72 will be one of the areas the company will be promoting for development.

"We're a little anemic on the sales tax side," Underwood said. 

In addition to gathering demographic information, Underwood said the company also searches for available property it can market to various businesses.

"The best properties are around here, are around this facility," Underwood said. "We believe this is the best location for retail recruitment."

Underwood wanted to get the board's blessings to allow Retail Strategies to promote hall of fame property along U.S. 72 and involve the attraction as the city moves forward.

"There is so much potential here on the grounds of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and this land has sort of sat dormant for decades," board Chairwoman Sara Hamlin said. "And you're right, this is a major thoroughfare and the opportunities it could lend to to the hall of fame would be tremendous."

Board members agreed to allow site visits by businesses that might be interested in locating on hall of fame property.

"I think it's time for us to provide a platform to perhaps work with you," board member and State Tourism Director Lee Sentell said.

Sentell made a motion that the board invite proposals from the city through Retail Strategies or anybody else that might be interested in the property around the facility.

Board members unanimously approved Underwood's request and will receive proposals though Dec. 31. The board will set a meeting in January to discuss any proposals that are submitted.

Sentell said the attorney general and governor's office said the board had the power to determine the best use of hall of fame property.

Tuscumbia Councilwoman Katie Logan said the company has used a variety of methods, including cellphone data, to determine who is shopping where, median income, what type of businesses the city has a sufficient number of and those it lacks.

"The next step is to actually recruit for us," Logan said. "We are trying desperately to get businesses."


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