Russell Marine plans huge boat retail shop along Highway 280

Russell Marine plans huge boat retail shop along Highway 280

ALEX CITY, AL (WSFA) -The building behind River Bank and Trust on Highway 280 used to be the number one sewing plant for Russell textile back in the day. It’s only a shell of its former self; dark, rusty and hanging on by a thread for something better. That something better is only a few months away.

“On the top floor is what we’re excited about," said Dave Commander, president of Russell Marine, who confirmed a new boat retail business is in the works.

“It’s going to have a lake lifestyle shop, pro shop and a design center for boats. A little bit of everything for everybody," said Commander.

Russell Marine has studied the idea for a couple of years and in recent months decided it was time to take the plunge. After all, Lake Martin, all 44,000 acres of it, was valued as having a nearly $5 billion impact on the area just last year.

Russell Marine is planning to turn the old sewing plant for Russell textile into a multi-million dollar boat retail shop.
Russell Marine is planning to turn the old sewing plant for Russell textile into a multi-million dollar boat retail shop. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“Lake Martin is growing tremendously and a lot of people come to the lake, and we feel like it’s a great opportunity for us," Commander explained.

“It will be nice to see along 280," said Alex City Mayor Jim Nabors, who added the city and the county will split the cost on an access road to the new business. The incentives are part of doing business these days, and that’s not all.

“The abatement on the sales for the first 10 to 15 years, or $1.5 million, whichever comes first,″ said Nabors.

An artist rendering of what the Russell boat retail shop would look like.
An artist rendering of what the Russell boat retail shop would look like. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Starting out, there will be 20 jobs up for grabs. “As we expand we could double that," said Commander. The minimum starting pay for employees will be $10 an hour but much of that depends on the jobs they’re hired for.

Russell Marine is investing around $10 million in the property. Company leaders say it’ll be up and running in a year.

From sewing to boating, Russell is weaving another chapter in its long history in Tallapoosa County just in time for boating season in the spring of 2020.

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