Changes ahead for South Gay Street in Auburn as development group purchases chunk of land

Local News

AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – News 3 has confirmed a developer has purchased a large chunk of property in downtown Auburn along South Gay Street and is working on a master plan to redevelop the property.

This week, we learned the Burger King along South Gay Street was closing after decades of sitting along that stretch of property. News 3 started digging into who was purchasing the property and discovered the same developer had made a significant land acquisition along the stretch of roadway, just minutes from Toomer’s Corner.

News 3 confirmed the Burger King building and property is now owned by Multi Aubal GS LLC. Next door to BK, the group also purchased the Tiger Rags building and parking lot. Next door to Tiger Rags,  Multi Aubal GS LLC also purchased the drive-up Compass Bank building and property directly behind it. The property is about 2.8 acres, making it a potentially massive development opportunity in downtown Auburn.

We reached out to the economic development team at the city of Auburn to find out what they knew. Soon, one of the developers had reached out to News 3 to share what they could about the project. 

“My understanding is the same, there is an entity that has been assembling property there. Some representatives of that entity have been in contact with the city just to say we are at the beginning stage of working on a project and we are acquiring property,” shared Megan McGowan, with Auburn’s Economic Development team.

McWane Inc. out of Birmingham is part of the development team for the project.  Spokesperson Michael Jones called News 3 late Friday afternoon to share what he could about the project.

“We are working on various options on how best to utilize the property. We promise the final project will contribute to the quality of life in downtown Auburn, creating jobs and opportunities,” shared Jones.

Jones says because a master plan is not done he wouldn’t know if residential or a parking deck will be included in the project.

McGowen says the property is zoned for mixed-use and allows for residential, commercial or office. McGowen says student dormitory type housing is not permitted, but apartments are allowed. The height restriction stands at 75-feet which equals a five to six-story building.

It’s safe to say downtown growth in Auburn,  particularly tall apartment complexes are a source of concern and contention in the community, the polls and city council meetings.

Jones says he can’t know for sure when a master plan for the project will be ready. He tells News 3 as soon as a master plan is prepared to go, they will share it with us, and we will share it with you.

*News 3 aplogizes for mispelling “McWane” in a grahic during our on-air newscast.

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