Curt’s Closet makes 1st step toward new, larger facility; McAlister’s Deli site plan approved

Ashley Wilson addresses the Cullman City Planning Commission about plans for the relocation and expansion of Curt’s Closet at Monday evening’s meeting. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Curt’s Closet, a popular Cullman-based charity that provides free clothing and accessories to children and teens of families in need, came a step closer to finding a new home Monday evening when the Cullman City Planning Commission approved the organization’s conditional use request for the former Link of Cullman office at 1103 Third Ave. SE. Curt’s Closet has operated in a small church building on St. Joseph Street since March 2018, but founder Ashley Wilson talked to The Tribune earlier this year about hopes to relocate to a larger space. 

Said Wilson at the time, “We have definitely outgrown where we’re at. We’re all in agreement that we love the location. I love that it used to be a church. It’s in a great location, but we’ve outgrown it, because it’s so amazing.

“So we do have some plans in the works, hopefully, for a bigger building. We hope to announce our vision in that by the end of the year; there’s a lot of planning that goes into that step. I personally, you know, I would love to see it grow maybe in different locations, different counties. Now, that’s a five- or 10-year plan. We’ve got to work out all the kinks here in Cullman first, but, so far, God has seen everything fall into place.

“I would love to start, if we do get a bigger place, I would love to be able to do sporting equipment, because that was a passion of Curt’s, and I know the expense of putting your child into a sport, and the expense of the equipment and even the clothing, the treats. So I would love to be able to extend from just the clothing and shoes into sporting equipment.”

Curt’s Closet board chair Helen Lewis told The Tribune this week, “Due to the overwhelming support from the community, we have outgrown our little white church. When Curt’s Closet began, we clothed 662 children in 2018. In 2019 we clothed 1,650 children! Although 2020 has been a very different year for us, we have still served over 1,200 children and every appointment is filled through the end of the year.

“We are thrilled to announce that we have found our forever home at 1101 Third Ave. SE! This new facility will eliminate our need for storage and allow us to give more children in our community the love and confidence they need to accomplish anything in life.”

The change of facilities will double the organization’s building and storage space, allow long-term storage onsite and increase parking for the boutique. Wilson hopes to open in the new location in the spring of 2021.

After Monday’s vote, Wilson- who attended the commission meeting- told The Tribune, “I’m thrilled that we were approved, and on to getting it all finished and closed, and start the moving process, which will take a few months. But we’re so excited!

“I have been praying for this for quite some time, and I knew that God would provide a place when the timing was right. And it’s now! And we’re so excited that we’ll be able to provide for more families, and eliminate all of the labor of moving stuff to storage units, so we can all do everything in one location. It’s exciting!”

Other commission business

The planning commission also approved a site plan for a proposed new McAlister’s Deli to be located on Alabama Highway 157 adjacent to the north Wal-Mart, along with multiple subdivision requests.

The Cullman City Planning Commission meets on the first Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Cullman City Hall auditorium. The public is invited to attend, subject to COVID occupancy restrictions.

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W.C. Mann