Saturday, February 7, 2015

Updated: New Big Box Store Rumors Substantiated

Fairhope, Alabama.


[Update: Someone identifying himself as Jerome O'brien contacted the Times today to dispute the "accuracy" of aspects of this article. He said he had talked with Mayor Kant and that he (O'brien) did not own the property himself: he is just the principal registered agent, the Klump family are still owners. He also said there were no current plans to construct a Home Depot (site not suitable?) or anything else there -- and Home Depot had suspended new store construction during the recession. When asked what was planned for the site he said he "would not tell us if he knew." The Times pointed out this article does not say a Home Depot is going to be built there, only that O'brien's company has represented them (and other big box stores) in the past for new construction. County property records posted below clearly indicate ownership, FAV 181 Llc,  C/0 Jerome L. O'brien; Gilbert F. Dismukes is the organizer, per incorporation records.  He did not say why only $9.52 were paid for property taxes the past several years. (]

Fairhope Ave. at Hwy 181
The Times' business reporter has learned that a company formed by the Mobile-area agent for new construction of several "big box" retailers now owns the 7 acre corner lot directly across Fairhope Ave. from the Walmart supercenter.

(The property is not currently owned by Home Depot itself.)

According to county land records, Mobile realtor Jerome L. O'brien is the registered principal agent for Fav 181, Llc. ; and the Klump Family Limited Partnership the only member of the corporation.

The property is within the city's planning jurisdiction but outside of  city limits so the city currently has no control over what may be built there, unless a request is made to sub-divide the property.

When asked about it by the Times (via e mail), a representative for Home Depot replied:  "I am really sorry but due to proprietary and confidentiality reasons, we cannot comment on any future store openings. Please continue checking the location for grand opening signs."

County residents have repeatedly rejected attempts to enact county-administered zoning east and south of the city (Planning District 14).

In 2007, O'brien also was instrumental in bringing the Walmart across the street to town -- and recently their new store in Roberstdale as well.


At town hall meetings last Fall concerning the city's Comprehensive Growth Plan update now underway, some prominent small business owners worried about the effect more national chain retailers would have on their stores.  (Other citizens spoke in favor of the new stores.)

Some of them joined together in an unsuccessful effort to derail Walmart's construction in 2009 -- click.

(Interestingly, county tax records show the total assessed parcel value as $537,700; but only $9.52 was the required property tax last year.)

Property taxes

Fav 181 incorporation data:


Anonymous said...

I do not know about another hardware store but what we do need is a COSTCO and Whole Foods.

Anonymous said...

O'brien's Mike Ford;s buddy isn't he?

Anonymous said...

Bring on the big boxes. He was the agent for Walmart. A buddy of Ford and Kant.

Anonymous said...

I wish we would get a Fresh Market

Anonymous said...

You know, making statements, with no proof, for the purpose of justifying your personal dislike of someone is your right, under free speech. Suppose that someone who dislikes you begins posting false statements about you on a public forum for the purpose of causing others to dislike you, would you consider that cyber bullying? It was established at the time of the Walmart brouhaha that not only could the city do nothing to stop big boxes outside of the city limits, as reported in this article, no one in city government benefited in any way from any real estate deal. If the citizens want to control what can be built in the country, they need to vote for zoning.

Anonymous said...

The people complaining would probably be OK with it if they owned the property.

Anonymous said...

Living on the Eastern Shore one really help being "friends" with so many other people. The Eastern Shore is finally moving into the 21st century and progress is bound to happen one way or the other. Revenue creates jobs which are so badly needed in this area. Infrastructure has to build and needs to stay within one's community. I agree that if one disagrees with something, vote to change it

Anonymous said...

We need a Home Depot and a Lowes.

Anonymous said...

Klump is spelled Klumpp. The $9.52 tax bill is based on the property being granted "current use" valuation as a working "farm". This is the most abused tax law in Alabama that benefits speculative idle property owners who may have once farmed or timbered property. Someone in fruit and nut section will vote for a tax increase upon themselves for around $300.00 "for the children" this Spring while being ignorant that the subject parcel will increase by roughly $1.00.

Anonymous said...

Well looks like the Klumps Paid $960 bucks for several years, until they sold it, and that New owner had to pay upon its current value, taxes of $2,400.00 After that some how it got reduced to $9.60 per year . Ask the County Tax office.e

Anonymous said...

The question ought to be why is it that the lot is being assesed at only half a million dollars by the county tax assesor? It is worth at least twice that ..... ?

Anonymous said...

Your right.....

Anonymous said...

Please don't turn this area into another Highway 59 or Eastern Shore Mall. The traffic on 181 in Spanish Fort is terrible at certain times. Is that what we want?