Chamber of Commerce to Move Downtown, Sell Current Building
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama will sell the building it currently occupies on Jack Warner Parkway and move into the Regions Bank facility on 9th Street in downtown Tuscaloosa, the organization announced Tuesday afternoon.
In a message to supporters, Chamber President and CEO Jim Page said Chamber leadership unanimously voted on the purchase at its November 21st meeting. Their long-term goal is to create a collaborative facility where the organization and area businesses can exist under one roof and work seamlessly together.
Page said the leadership at Regions offered to sell the building to the Chamber well below market value because they share the vision of creating a "center for workforce and community development, utilizing the significant capacity this building has to bring like-minded partners together for unprecedented collaboration and synergy under one roof."
Page said the bank will not leave downtown Tuscaloosa, but instead will lease space in the 9th Street building from the Chamber until they build an adjacent, modern branch facility on the east side of the property.
"This decision by the Chamber to move forward with acquiring the 9th Street property is the result of several months of serious due diligence by many people and that same approach will be taken over the coming weeks as we go through the customary due diligence that is necessary to successfully close on a real estate transaction," Page said.
Page said the foundation of this plan came from the example set by Commerce Lexington, Inc. in Kentucky, where the West Alabama Chamber took its annual benchmarking last year. There, several community partners share one facility and eliminate many of the barriers that frequently prevent collaborative projects.
"This is a special moment for our 119 year-old organization and, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank you for your continued support," Page said in closing.