All eyes on possible new development near East Chase - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

All eyes on possible new development near East Chase

This sign stands across from the Taylor Road entrance to East Chase. This sign stands across from the Taylor Road entrance to East Chase.
Larry Cornwell points to the land being considered for development.  It backs up to his Halcyon Forest home. Larry Cornwell points to the land being considered for development. It backs up to his Halcyon Forest home.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A new development could soon be built across from the East Chase shopping center in Montgomery.

It has been in the works for years, but often meets resistance from nearby homeowners who say they have a right to help decide what is built in their neighborhood.

"We have about a dozen or so homes...16 that actually back onto the property," says homeowner Larry Cornwell.

Cornwell's house is one of those homes--adjacent to the 14 acres of available space Aronov Realty hopes to turn into retail or office buildings.

For years different developers attempted to transform the property.

But residents like Cornwell put their foot down.

"We're not against the development. We're against the types of developments that have been proposed in the past."

The Alabama Baptist State Convention currently owns the land.

A warranty deed drafted when the organization purchased it states the Halcyon Architectural Review Board has the authority to approve or veto any developer's plans.

They have done it before.

"Drive-thru fast food in there, that would be objectionable. A high rise hotel, that had been proposed in the past, that would be objectionable," adds Cornwell.

Mr. Cornwell's property line stops at the fence behind his backyard. If the land next to his home is developed it's expected to begin 50 feet away from that line.

"We would welcome development if it were the right kind."

Aronov plans to purchase the land. Realtors say they're currently working to recruit appropriate businesses, all the while continuing communications with the neighborhood association.

One thing is for sure, "most of us have settled here with the idea this is our final home," no matter what new development moves in next door.

Aronov realtors say they are simply marketing the land to businesses right now. They hope to announce what businesses may locate there by the end of the year.

Copyright 2013  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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