Mobile County

New Publix, restaurants, hotel in the works for Saraland

SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) - You can't help but notice it, driving along I-65. Growth is everywhere you look.

"We're really excited, I think it's great for Saraland, I think it's great for our city. I think it's really awesome for people eating out after church," says Chelsey Sayasane.

Most of the development is along Shell Street in Saraland, where construction crews are busy with a new Cracker Barrel, Hampton Inn, and Publix shopping center complete with several outparcels closer to Highway 158. The city will also see a new Mexican restaurant, Azteca's, and a splash pad for children. Chelsey Sayasane is a student at University of Mobile and says students usually have to go to Mobile to find jobs.

"Because it's so limited, and people want experience, a lot. But it's hard to get that first-time opportunity and so I think all these restaurants coming here and all of us getting opportunities as waitresses and baristas, I think it's great for the students and I think it's just great for our community," says Sayasane.

It's growing so fast, people are comparing it to other Alabama suburbs like Hoover. In 2016, Saraland had a population of just under 14,000. That's expected to go up.

Another sign that Saraland is growing--house sales. Before, a house would sit on the market for about 120 days, Now, a house sells after just 60-70 days. That's about half the time.

"They're actually selling for very close to the list price, we actually just had one in Weatherby that sold for $5,000 over price last week," says Sheran Atwell.

New developments are popping up with a projected 1,000 more homes scheduled to be built.

"I started in real estate 15 years ago and the growth that we're seeing now in the Saraland area has been absolutely phenomenal," says Atwell.

And most people like the change, just as long as it doesn't attract one thing.

"Excess crime, let's say that. It hasn't come this far out, so anything like that would definitely be a negative," says Jeremy Windle.

An urgent care clinic, part of Infirmary Health in Saraland is also slated to open in October.

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Northwest Florida