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Developer: Cohesive effort needed

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
It will take an impressive marketing kit, a willingness to move quickly and a cohesive effort on all parts to attract development to Hartselle.
Those were the words from an area developer who spoke to representatives of the Hartselle Development Board, Hartselle Chamber of Commerce, Hartselle Utilities and city government on Tuesday. And while some hoped developer Bob Ludwig's visit to town might include the announcement of a new development here, he instead shared his thoughts on what it will take for the city to attract new businesses.
"We know this market is good and we know this is a great location," Ludwig said. "It's going to be about getting more specific as to what you want out there."
The "there" is Hartselle's two interstate exchanges – one at Highway 36 and the other at Thompson Road. Both interchanges are largely undeveloped, something HDB would like to see changed.
"We'd like to maintain Hartselle as a bedroom community but we're becoming unbalanced on the residential side," HDB Chairman Bob Francis said.
HDB is currently working on marketing materials to lure development to the area.
Ludwig, who along with a partner is working to build an arena and mall in Decatur, said the city must have a professional, cohesive presentation.
"How do you get noticed by a developer? You have to have the right marketing materials," Ludwig said. He said the materials should include an interactive CD-Rom and web site.
Ludwig also recommended having a list of incentives and city services available for developers. Both, he said would allow the city to move quickly if a developer is interested in a location.
This wasn't Ludwig's first visit to the Hartselle area. He made a development offer in Hartselle two years ago, but the plans fell through. Now, he said, Hartselle can learn from his experiences.
"Now is the most critical time in your development," he said.

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