Academy Sports will open in early-2018 off Welch Farms Road.
Academy Sports will open in early-2018 off Welch Farms Road.
MADISON — Construction continues on a number of major commercial projects here ranging from a new hotel off Mississippi 463 to the Academy Sports/Hobby Lobby development on Welch Farms Road.

Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler said 2017 has been an incredible year for commercial development and all signs point to an even bigger 2018.

“With the growth we’re having, it’s at such a fast pace,” she said. “I think the foundation has been raised. We are getting more and more calls about future retailers so it’s coming and I think we need to hold on tight.”

This year saw the beginning of construction on several new commercial projects.

At the Baptist Medical site off Mississippi 463, construction continues on new buildings for Primos and Georgia Blue restaurants. In addition, a new hotel is being built. A new C Spire and Starbucks have also been approved on the site.

At The Fountains of Madison, Key Dental Group, Madison OB/GYN Clinic and Trend Consultants will join a new medical clinic approved this summer.

Other developments coming off Mississippi 463 include the Welch Farms Development which currently consists of Hobby Lobby and Academy Sports. Both are planned to open in 2018. Half Shell Oyster House will be built at the corner of 463, the Madison Parkway, and Main Street in a vacant lot on the southeast corner.

Approval was granted to build a new two-story building on Main Street at the site of the old blacksmith shop next to Persnickety. At Reunion, a new $15 million clubhouse is currently under construction. And at Grandview, work is underway on a new Raising Cane’s, Zaxby’s and Ichiban.

Hawkins-Butler said the key to continued successful growth comes with planning. That planning comes in the form of infrastructure, city codes, and public safety.

She said many invest in Madison the City because of its low crime rate and high visibility of law enforcement.

“In this time of what’s going on throughout the country and in our own metro area, focusing on a safe city is a huge part of our success,” she said. “We want businesses to feel their investment is a good one and people can feel safe while shopping here.”

Hawkins-Butler said people continue to invest in the city because of the quality developments they demand.

“They know that Madison has oversight on developments that will protect their investment because we want all businesses to comply with qualities and standards we’ve had in place for over 20 years,” she said. “I think that people look to the future of where their investment will be and see that investment increase in value.”

Alan Hoops, director of environment and design for the city, is on the front line of that department as he helps oversee what developments will look like when built.

He said they continue to receive a lot of calls and interest in developing and he believes that 2018 will continue to be another great year.

Hoops said the Welch Farms development will continue to expand, as well as parts of Grandview Boulevard and The Fountains.

“We’ve had a lot of growth,” he said.

As far as the Welch Farms development, Hoops said, “In the next year it’s going to look completely different.”

He said The Fountains could be completely built out in the next couple of years and people should continue to see growth at the Baptist campus.

Hawkins-Butler hopes to get started on the much-anticipated downtown square next year and continues in discussions with a developer.

“We’ve been in discussions about that,” she said. “That’s what we want to see — at least the beginning.”

She added that buildings in the Depot District off Main Street (that currently include Strawberry Cafe) will all be “brought up to Madison’s standards” in 2018.

“That will be on top of our list of getting that done,” she said.