Rome real estate agent Morgan Ayers is hoping the third time is the charm for his effort to sell the American Legion Post 5 property on Shorter Avenue.

The new contract he’s got is actually the fourth contract for the Legion, but Ayers’ third since he took over the marketing.

“We have a contract on both the Legion property and the Shorter University property right next to it,” Ayers said. “I hope this will give us a better chance for developing a larger retail space.”

The Shorter property includes space at the end of the Coosa River levee that currently houses a practice field and track beside the historic Thornwood home. Together, the two parcels are close to 4.5 acres.

The initial contract was taken by Butler Properties but that was about the same time R.H. Ledbetter Properties was revealing plans for their East Bend shopping center.

The Butler project also fell apart after the German grocery chain Lidl put on hold some of their plans for new development across the Southeast.

“Ledbetter got the cream of the crop at that time,” Ayers said. “But West Rome seems to be picking up right now and I feel we have a much better shot with these people.”

An Atlanta firm took the first option with Ayers, followed by a Birmingham-based group.

This time around, “these people” are an as-yet unnamed developer out of Nashville, according to Ayers. He said the last group had just the Legion site under contract and couldn’t get the commitments from retailers they needed to make the project work.

Ayers said the Nashville group is in the process of doing due diligence on the property.

One of the factors complicating efforts to develop the property is its proximity to Second Avenue. The road is slated to be realigned at its intersection with Turner McCall Boulevard/Shorter Avenue, just a couple of blocks east of the Legion parcel.

Ayers said that just about any development on that site would require another traffic light to control access.

He said there has been some preliminary talk about access in conjunction with Carter Avenue, which runs into Shorter beside Moe’s Southwest Grill. But that would be extremely close to the signal at the Horseleg Creek Road intersection.

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