DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - With the turn of shovels, work on Cottonwood Corners is officially underway.
Thursday morning was the groundbreaking for the shopping center which is over 63,000 square feet, and is anchored by Dothan's first Publix.
"It's a warm, warm city and we're looking forward to being here and serving the people here," said Dwaine Stevens, Publix Media and Community Relations Manager, Jacksonville Division.
The shopping center is located at the intersection of Cottonwood Road and the Ross Clark Circle.
Site preparation work is moving quickly and developers say the land should be ready for full-fledged construction early next year.
"About mid January we'll be going vertical and it does take about ten months, start to finish to build a Publix store and get it open," said John Argo, project developer with Aronov Realty Management.
City leaders say this project was years in the making.
District three Commissioner Paul Lee says lots of hard work has gone into developing the southeast side of the city.
"It's just a good feeling to see new growth and something that will bring convenience to this area," added Lee.
And when the entire development is complete, it's estimated to bring in a number of new jobs.
"This is a $16 million investment for the city of Dothan," said Lee. "As well as between 200 and 250 jobs and that is an incredible amount in the times that we are in."
Cottonwood Corners is expected to open in the fall of 2010.
Aronov Realty who is building the development is also constructing another shopping in Dothan. It's will also be anchored by Publix.
As well another group is planning on opening a third Publix sometime next year as well.