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An aerial photograph of Decatur with a graphic overlay of The Crossings shopping development at U.S. 31 and Alabama 67. The blue Phase II overlay encompasses land belonging to the Morgan County Board of Education.
Courtesy illustration
An aerial photograph of Decatur with a graphic overlay of The Crossings shopping development at U.S. 31 and Alabama 67. The blue Phase II overlay encompasses land belonging to the Morgan County Board of Education.

3 more tenants for The Crossings
Developer wants more land for department store

By Eric Fleischauer
eric@decaturdaily.com 340-2435

Welcome to Decatur, Lifeway Christian Store, Panera's Bread, and Nail's First!

Developers of The Crossings, to be anchored by Target and opening its doors in October, announced Thursday the addition of the three stores to its list of tenants. The shopping center is under construction at the southeast corner of U.S. 31 and Beltline Road Southwest.

George Tomlin, an owner of developer GBT Realty, is also pitching an unnamed, 69,000-square-foot "upscale-oriented department store, not a discount store" that he wants to locate on adjacent property owned by the Morgan County School Board. He's offering $2.4 million for the 12 acres of school land, which would be Phase 2 of The Crossings.

The additional land would permit GBT to expand the 260,000-square-foot shopping center by 117,724 square feet, he said in an interview Thursday.

"We don't have to develop it, and they don't have to sell it, but we think it would be a win-win situation," Tomlin said.

Already announced as tenants in Phase 1: Ross Dress for Less, PetSmart, Old Navy, Rack Room Shoes and Rue21.

Bank Independent indicated in a filing with the Federal Reserve Bank that it intends to open a branch at the shopping center.

Tomlin said he has letters of intent from several other tenants but declined to name them until leases are signed.

He gave some hints, though.

He's negotiating a lease with "a very unique national pizza chain that would be new to the area, not one of the standard names you're used to hearing." Another prospect is a national Mexican restaurant chain.

Among the sit-down restaurants he hopes to snag is an "Italian restaurant that I think everybody would be pretty excited about."

He said he also is negotiating with several clothing and general merchandise stores.

Panera's Bread Co. will occupy 4,200 square feet in one of the L-shaped buildings set apart from Target.

It will have wide sidewalks and a patio area for outside seating and a gated area.

The company operates 1,027 bakery cafes in 38 states. It specializes in gourmet breads, sandwiches, soups and fresh-baked sweets.

Lifeway Christian Stores will have a 5,400 square foot presence at the crossings. The store offers Christian products including books, videos, music and church supplies.

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