SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Sunday was a special day in the city of Sylacauga according to Mayor Jim Heigl as Sylacauga’s newest retail store, T.J. Maxx, opened its doors to the public.

“Everyone should be thrilled to have a store of this magnitude opening in our city,” Heigl said. “The store is beautiful and it will mean so much to our community.”

Heigl believes bringing a retail giant into the market like T.J. Maxx along with other stores and restaurants such as Petsense and Chick-fil-A is only scratching the surface as to what Sylacauga can be in the future. “This project will and others will bring a higher quality of life to the people of Sylacauga,” he explained. “What we see here is a magnet and it will draw others like it into the area. Everything throughout Sylacauga will begin to blossom as many projects, like this one, will begin to move forward.

Heigl listed other projects including infrastructure repair and replacement set to revive portions of the city with 12 miles of roads scheduled to be paved and a downtown streetscape project that Heigl believes is much needed in the downtown corridor.

See where the city stands on its paving projects by clicking here.

Before T.J. Maxx opened as the first store in the new Marble City Square shopping center, it celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. As hundreds patiently waited along the outside wall of the 18,000 sq. ft. facility, T.J. Maxx manager Shane Cash presented a $10,000 check to the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE). This is the second large donation SAFE has received in the last few months. In November, Nemak donated $20,000 to the community outreach organization.

“This is an honor for our organization and to be chosen as the recipient of this is just phenomenal,” said Margaret Morton. Morton is the executive director of SAFE. “This is just another opportunity to value the work that is being done at SAFE.”

After the check presentation and an official ribbon cutting, T.J. Maxx allowed shoppers in the store, giving people a taste of what it can bring to a small town of just over 12,000 people.

With a large retail store moving into town some have opinions that the local retail market could take a hit, but the Executive Director of the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce, Laura Strickland, thinks otherwise. “This is great for the entire community in terms of the jobs that it [T.J. Maxx] has provided, but they also believe in being community partners,” she said. “I don’t see this affecting our small businesses at all. Competition is always good, and there is so much offered in small businesses and boutique-type stores that you just can’t get in a big box store.”

Other stores are set to open soon in the shopping center. Chick-fil-A is scheduled to open April 26.

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