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John Mitchell admires the workmanship of an old brick kiln at Brickyard Landing Marina that was once part of the Alabama Brick and Tile Co.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
John Mitchell admires the workmanship of an old brick kiln at Brickyard Landing Marina that was once part of the Alabama Brick and Tile Co.

Condos, not race cars, at this Brickyard
Living with history
Hartselle developer plans condominiums at historic river site

By Evan Belanger
evanb@decaturdaily.com · 340-2442

A Hartselle developer said he will invest $10 million to $14 million in a development at Decatur’s Brickyard Landing Marina.

Lighthouse Landing is to have 44 upscale, riverfront and riverview condominiums, ranging in price from $250,000 to $500,000.

Other planned amenities include a swimming pool, covered parking, garage space for some residents and top-floor penthouse suites.

Developer John Mitchell said he hopes to start construction by February. He is negotiating to purchase the 5-acre marina site, but preliminary earth-moving preparations are under way.

Construction is expected to take 14 to 16 months.

“This is a great project. I think it will bring a very positive aspect to this side of town,” said Mitchell, who plans to keep one of the units for himself.

Mitchell plans an aggressive marketing campaign for the condos to start Sept. 21 in conjunction with Decatur Jaycees’ Riverfest at Ingalls Harbor.

Deposits for condos will be taken that day.

“We already have about 25 people who are very interested,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he was interested in developing the Brickyard property before the city spent $3.5 million creating the adjacent Ingalls Harbor. With another $6.5 million in spending already approved for the park, he said the harbor only sweetens the pot.

“This is going to be a $10 million park that wraps right around our development,” he said. “It’s probably the nicest public harbor in North Alabama.”

Other changes for the property include refurbishing the last remaining kiln on the property from when the site was used to manufacture bricks. Mitchell said he will register the old kiln with the National Register of Historic Places.

“We want to restore it, so people can come and see a piece of history,” he said. “To my knowledge, it’s the only one in North Alabama.”

Mitchell said he will also convert the existing marina office into a deli and pub, which will be open to the public. He envisions a family-oriented establishment, “not just another bar.”

The changes will not close the marina, which Mitchell said he plans to keep in operation for everyone.

“We’re not about changing the overall lushness and appearance of the property. We’re about improving it,” he said.

Mitchell hired Birmingham-based Williams Blackstock Architects to design the four-story structure. Mitchell said he built one of the first houses in the Point Mallard area in the early 1970s.

While the Brickyard is in what was once a heavy industrial district, it has been a valuable investment for developers. An artificial island off the Brickyard hosts millions of dollars worth of real estate development.

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