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Mike Smith loads a dump truck with dirt at the site of the new Target shopping center off Alabama 67 this week.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Mike Smith loads a dump truck with dirt at the site of the new Target shopping center off Alabama 67 this week.

Smooth work on Target
Shopping center on schedule; dirt removal almost done

By Eric Fleischauer
eric@decaturdaily.com 340-2435

The rumbling of trucks piled high with dirt bound to and from the site of the coming Target store should end soon, with buildings taking shape in mid-January.

Project Engineer Jay Mogge of Birmingham's Brasfied & Gorrie LLC, the contractor supervising the project, said the dirt removal portion of the project is almost complete.

"We try to minimize the impact on the community," Mogge said, "but in a project this large some impact
is inevitable."

He said most of the dirt leaving the site is being replaced with dirt better suited for construction. The site is fairly level, he said, so balancing the land has not required significant dirt movement.

Typically dump trucks removing dirt will pick up a load of replacement dirt from a "borrow pit" west of Decatur before returning to the site.

"At some point, you wonder how much more dirt there can be," said Jo Ann Cummings, who lives off Indian Hills Road Southeast, near one of several dumping sites for dirt excavated from the construction site at Alabama 67 and U.S. 31.

Cummings and other neighbors begin their wondering about 7 a.m., when trucks begin rumbling through the Burningtree area six days a week.

Mogge said there have been some weather delays, but no more than he had planned.

"We are on schedule or ahead of schedule," Mogge said.

The developer, GBT Realty Corp. of Brentwood, Tenn., has said it hopes to open the $50 million shopping center in October 2007.

Mogge said he expected buildings to start going up at the site in mid- January, after Brasfield, GBT and the lessees agree on pricing of the individual shops. The Target construction, being handled by a different contractor, should begin about the same time.

In addition to a 127,000-square-foot Target, the shopping center will have space for up to 37 smaller retail stores and restaurants. Among those who have signed leases are Ross Dress For Less, PetSmart, Old Navy, Rack Room Shoes and rue21.

Repeated calls to the developer to determine if more businesses have been signed have not been returned.

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