Monday’s news of Houston County’s future entertainment development shocked many Wiregrass residents. Some were confused because originally, Country Crossing was supposed to be located in Coffee County.
Several reasons played a factor in the relocation of this project, and it wasn't because Coffee County is a primarily dry county.
The biggest reason was a joint land use study with Fort Rucker.
President & CEO of Ronnie Gilley Properties, Ronnie Gilley is the master mind behind Houston County’s future entertainment development- Country Crossings.
Originally, the plans were for Coffee County to house the project.
Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell says he's surprised to hear the project is going to Houston County. "It’s going to have a positive effect no matter where it’s settled, but selfishly, I would have liked to seen it here, but it was the developers decision."
There are several reasons why the site was moved.
"Our property in Coffee County that we acquired potentially for Country Crossing is contiguous with Fort Rucker, [they use it] for helicopter training,” Gilley said. “That could have presented some safety hazards for our pilots and that's the last thing we want to do."
When developers were talking about putting Country Crossings in Coffee County, it was going to be located on 167 near Hwy 51, but Gilley adds, “We had to have a hwy system that can accommodate that traffic flow. Hwy 167 [is] two lanes and is unsolvable for that to happen."
Both Gilley and Mayor Boswell predict that residents of Coffee County will still benefit from the move.
"Enterprise probably will be the largest recipient of that spin-off, being the sister city that it is and [it’s a] strong urban hub itself," Gilley concluded.
Mayor Boswell added, “We're a very mobile society and people are used to driving 30-40 minutes for work. So, it depends on the location."
There is no word on where the complex will be built, but it’s down to four pieces of land.
The size needed to accommodate this project is 500 acres.
Gilley says we can see the first piece of the development up and running in about a year.