FOLEY – A major grocery store will anchor a new retail development that will provide shopping opportunities in east Foley and additional sales tax revenue and new jobs in the area.

The Foley City Council voted Monday, Aug. 7 to approve an economic development agreement for the project and road improvements leading to the 10-acre site.

The project will be located at the southwest corner of the Foley Beach Express and Miflin Road, which is also known as Baldwin County 20.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said city officials have been working with developers on the project for about two years.

“It will be very important for the east side of town,” Hellmich said. “It will open opportunities for our citizens to cut down on the travel coming over to (Alabama) 59 so that folks that live on the east side will not have to come up there.”

He said the project will also generate more sales tax revenue for Foley.

“Property taxes in Alabama are very low,” Hellmich said. “We live off the sales taxes, and it’s necessary for us to address growth and this will be tax growth that will help us as a council and mayor to continue to meet the needs of our citizens, so it’s a very important project.”

City Administrator Mike Thompson said the location will provide shopping opportunities for visitors and well as Foley residents.

“It’s going to create a grocer on the east side of the city that I think will be very beneficial to people who live on that side of town,” Thompson said. “But also and most important to me is that it’s going to give us the opportunity to secure some of the sales of groceries for tourists that are going down to the Orange Beach market. Obviously today on Foley Beach Express there really isn’t an alternative for shopping as you go down for your vacation but this will provide that.”

He said the project will also provide additional jobs for the area.

“So it’s very good for the city,” Thompson said. “It will create a nice revenue stream for the city on an ongoing basis.”

The council also voted to approve the construction of a left turn lane for traffic going north on the Beach Express as well as acceleration and deceleration lanes.Thompson said the agreements under which the Beach Express was constructed requires that the city, Baldwin County Commission and Baldwin County Bridge Company all approve changes in the highway. He said the bridge company approved the project and the proposal is on the Baldwin County Commission agenda for Aug. 15.

The city will also build a road leading to the site. The council voted Monday to approve the engineering work to design the road located near the Foley Beach Express and Miflin Road.