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TMCNet:  2008 year of growth, development for Opelika

[January 05, 2009]

2008 year of growth, development for Opelika

(Opelika-Auburn News Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 3--Last year proved to be one of growth and development for the city of Opelika, with new businesses opening and existing industries expanding throughout the year.

In the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park, two industries -- Mando America and Hanwha, formerly Maxforma Plastics -- announced expansion plans and another company -- Daewon -- opened its doors and began production.

New businesses were also added at TigerTown, including Kohl's, Zaxby's, Bed Bath & Beyond and Fairfield Hotel & Suites.

Although it ultimately will depend on the nation's overall economy, Mayor Gary Fuller said he expects the new year to hold more of the same.

"It will depend on things we have very little control over," Fuller said, adding, "We're not going to use the economy as an excuse for the things we ought to be doing."

Also in 2008, Gambro Renal Products began production and former Auburn company APR opened its new facility on U.S. Highway 280.

Two major developments in Opelika began site preparation or construction in 2008 -- the 535-acre Celebrate Alabama project and the $32 million Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatic Center, slated to open by late July.

The road-widening project on Frederick Road was delayed in 2008 but is expected to move forward in 2009. In addition, the city will begin phase two of its streetscape renovations along South Railroad Avenue in downtown.

Fuller says he expects more residential living spaces to be added downtown this year.

"There's more activity and more construction in downtown Opelika than I've ever seen," he said.

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Copyright (c) 2009, Opelika-Auburn News, Ala.
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