Large Retail Expansion Planned for Opelika, to Bring 5,000 Jobs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A massive retail resort and entertainment complex is being planned for Opelika and organizers say it will bring at least 5,000 jobs.

The city and Silver Companies of Virginia say the development is a $1 billion capital investment and will stretch more than two miles along Interstate 85.

The 535-acre site will be called Celebrate Alabama and Silver Companies CEO Larry Silver said it's expected to have an outlet mall and several hotels, including one with an indoor water park.

Silver Companies plans to break ground on Celebrate Alabama in the first half of next year.

The first store should then open within 24 months.

The company says Opelika was chosen because of its location between Montgomery, Atlanta and Fort Benning and because it's away from large metro areas.