Mayor shoots down Montgomery Mall rumors

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's wishful thinking on Mayor Todd Strange's part that the VA Medical Center would turn a run-down Montgomery Mall into an outpatient clinic.

For now that's all it is..  hope and a dream.

"There's been no commitment whatsoever," said Mayor Strange.

Bonnie Nelson runs the Pizza Hut across the street and she quite frankly is tired of the mall just sitting there.

"I am tired of not seeing anything over there. I know business would improve over here," said Nelson.

It is true the VA wants to build a 112,000 square foot outpatient clinic to treat the growing population of war veterans 10 miles from its Perry Hill Road facility. It is also true the mayor told the chamber leadership conference Wednesday morning the idea of the VA turning the mall into a medical clinic is 'gaining traction' at least with the city.

"There is no question if that happens that would really transform that area almost overnight. We've had discussions with them and we'll see," said Mayor Strange.

The VA, meantime, tells WSFA 12 News it continues to look at all options and nothing's been signed yet.

The VA plans to start offering treatments to veterans by late 2012, and according to the mayor, a decision could come in about 60 to 90 days.

The VA says one of the requirements it's looking for is a location with at least 650 parking spaces.

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