A project that has been more than ten years in the making is finally underway off U.S. 411 across from Tractor Supply.
Kevin Evans plans to move as much as 150,000 cubic yards of dirt to level approximately 10 acres even with the highway for future development.
Evans said the property owned by Donald Evans was one of three tracts that had been put together by a developer out of Montgomery, Alabama, for a shopping center more than 15 years ago. The recession of 2008 put a screeching halt to those plans.
Even before the plug got pulled on that project, he said that a major national retailer had contacted him about property available for development in Rome. He took them to the site adjacent to State Mutual Stadium but the company thought that was lukewarm on the prospects — but they did ask if there was anything on US 411 coming into Rome.
At the time there was, he said, but it wasn’t build-able.
And while it’s still not build-able today, Evans is hoping it will be by the end of the summer.
Ted Edwards in the Rome Floyd GIS office said the closest traffic count spot near the Evans site is the intersection of 411 and Chateau Drive, just west of the site, which averages 28,000 vehicles a day.
For comparison, the traffic count closest to Turner McCall Boulevard and Hicks Drive, where R.H. Ledbetter Properties is planning a major development, is 35,000 vehicles a day.
Before much else could be done to the site, Evans said he had to get approval for a 300-foot long box culvert to serve as a major drainage ditch. The culvert features 16-inch-thick concrete walls to be able to withstand tons of earth and future construction on top if it.
“We’ve got 20 acres total and we’re going to have eight to ten acres flat and ready to sell when we get done with this,” Kevin Evans said. “What attracted us to it is the hotels that are down the street, and Tractor Supply and Walmart. We just feel like people are looking for this corridor and there’s just nothing to build on.”
Once the box culvert is completed, Evans, who owns a construction company, says he expects to be able to move about 2,000 to 2,500 cubic yards of earth a day.
He can foresee spinning the property off into a couple of two-acre lots and one larger four-to-five acre parcel.
The undisclosed company that Evans said came to Rome in 2005 still has not added Rome to its list of locations across the country. Once this project is done he’s hoping they give Rome a second look.