Prattville's empty High Point shopping center shows signs of lif - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Prattville's empty High Point shopping center shows signs of life

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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) -

When the economy hit a brick wall 5 years ago, the High Point shopping center became virtually a ghost town, leaving the city in debt after it invested $18 million in the deal.

Wednesday, the managers of the new businesses that have moved in since March show no regrets. They say business is good and there is a sense this was the right move.

"We're not concerned at all. The traffic has been really good in here. We were really shocked to see people come out of J.C. Penney's so it's not bad at all," said Brittiany Holladay of Republic Finance.

Kyle Byron says even though at times it looks slow which it did today New York Diamond Buyers is doing well.

"I see highs and lows and some days I'll see very few people come through the shopping center but other days I'll see quite a few coming through," said Byron.

New York Diamond Buyers and Republic Finance were among the original merchants announced by Jim Wilson & Associates in early February. Chappy's opens in June.

Since the announcement there hasn't exactly been a rush of businesses to High Point but it feels as though the district is making a steady climb up. For example, a medical/surgical clinic is taking over the entire first floor of one building.

5 years ago developers spent around $80 million building High Point. That figure includes Prattville's share as part of the incentives deal. The shopping center was eventually sold at auction for $33 million on the Elmore County Courthouse steps.

Look around and you'll easily see more than a few empty storefronts but clearly a repair job is underway to bring more life to High Point.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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