More residential lofts coming to downtown Cullman

W.C. Mann

CULLMAN – The City of Cullman Planning Commission met Monday evening, and with an abbreviated agenda, approved two conditional use requests for property rezoning, the first of which was for loft apartments on Second Avenue Southeast.

The first request was made specifically for 302 and 304 Second Ave. SE to be rezoned for loft apartments.

Garlan Gudger, Jr., owner of Gudger Properties, and president of the Cullman City Council, is seeking  zoning that will allow the three-story building at that site, next to Southern Accents Architectural Antiques, to be used as follows:

   *First floor–100 percent commercial

   *Second floor–50 percent commercial, 50 percent residential lofts

   *Third floor–100 percent residential lofts

Modification of the property should take nine months.  It was noted that the building use fell within zoning allowances, that interior construction would not need to go through the building department as it retained the original building footprint, and that a planned addition of upper-floor balconies would have to come back for review.  Those matters being recognized, the conditional use request was approved without discussion.

The second request was for a piece of property located on Broadway Drive Southwest near Second Avenue Northwest (in the vicinity of Southern Hickory Barbecue and Tractor Supply), to be rezoned for a dialysis clinic.  Nashville-based Randall Dover Architect, a firm with experience in the design of dialysis clinics, seeks to develop a 7,000-square-foot facility on a currently vacant lot.  It was noted that current sketches of the facility are preliminary and do not comply with all city codes, but that the final design will be compliant and will be submitted for pre-approval.  With that condition recognized, the conditional use request was approved without discussion.

The commission then adjourned.

The Tribune spoke briefly with Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs after the meeting, to ask about other upcoming development plans, particularly the rumored Academy Sports + Outdoors store

Jacobs did not confirm or deny. He responded, "From the City's standpoint, we're working several retail and several industrial.  All of them are off the record at this time; we have to sign non-disclosures until such time as the project becomes a reality.  One thing I know for sure is that we do not have, currently, any agreement with Academy.  There's folks kicking around town.  There's good things coming down the pike.  There's folks looking at existing buildings, there's going to be something coming out of the K-Mart building; some other things like that, and some long-range things.  We feel good about what's going on."

The City of Cullman Planning Commission meets the first Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at Cullman City Hall.  The public is invited to attend.


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