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Crossings developer wants country club land

By Eric Fleischauer 340-2435

The developer of The Crossings of Decatur said Tuesday he has offered to buy 50 acres of Decatur Country Club for a 450,000-square-foot shopping center.

George Tomlin, owner of GBT Realty of Brentwood, Tenn., said he has retailers who would like to locate in a "power center," a mall-sized development that is not enclosed, on a portion of the country club property.

"It's a complex transaction," Tomlin said. "They're still looking at my proposal."

Decatur Country Club officials were not immediately available Tuesday evening. Tomlin would not give details on his offer.

The country club is located across Alabama 67 from The Crossings. The Crossings, with 250,000 square feet, sits on 26 acres at Alabama 67 and U.S. 31.

Tomlin said if Decatur Country Club accepts his offer, it could keep the main building, the tennis courts, a driving range and the swimming pool at the current location.

The golf course would have to be moved to a different location.

Tomlin said his offer for the country club property is in addition to his previously extended offer for the 12 acres that hold the Morgan County Board of Education. The board's property is immediately east of The Crossings.

In April, Tomlin offered the school board $200,000 an acre for its land. He said at the time that he wanted to use it for a 117,224-square-foot Phase 2 of The Crossings.

On Tuesday, Tomlin said a national retailer wants to locate on the board's property. He said he is still waiting for a response from the school board.

Superintendent Bob Balch said in April that the price Tomlin offered was too low, and that the appraised value of the property was more than $750,000 per acre.

Crossings 80% leased

Tomlin said 80 percent of the space at The Crossings is either under lease or subject to a letter of intent. He declined to name any tenants who had not signed a lease.

The stores Tomlin has named, some of which already have opened, are Target, Old Navy, Hibbett Sports, Ross Dress for Less, PetSmart, Lifeway, Panera Bread, Nails First, rue21, Rack Room Shoes and Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries.

Tomlin said Tuesday that he has letters of intent with other restaurants.

"I like Decatur. The only problem is there is not enough space here where I want it," Tomlin said Tuesday while at The Crossings. "We've made this (intersection) a retail hub. That was the idea."

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