Sheffield City officials confident $160 million development will happen

John Elkington, the man who developed Beale Street in Memphis, is the man planning to develop a $160 million resort in Sheffield.

Posted: May 3, 2018 3:19 PM
Updated: May 3, 2018 6:47 PM

Sheffield City officials told WAAY31 they are confident the $160 million develpment called Inspiration Landing will still happen.

The plans were announced in 2015 by John Elkington, the man responsible for developing Beale Street in Memphis. The project will be on about 200 acres in the area of West 20th Avenue in Sheffield.

"It will happen when it happens, but he [Elkington] is full steam ahead," said Sheffield Mayor, Ian Sanford.

Sanford said Elkington is a huge real estate developer and he has secured letters o intent from hotel and restaurant chains to build at Inspiration Landing.

"They are working that out and I think it will happen," said Sanford.

The ambitious development will have an amphitheater, residential plots, hotels, retail stores, and a marina with 317 boat slips. Sanford said he believes the project has been slowed down because of all the federal approvals they must get to make this happen.

For instance, part of the land for the project was once a landfill. The city received a $300,000 loan from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to clean up the site. Now they're turning their focus to securing a $200,000 loan for infrastructure.

"The main roads will be public roads. So we've applied for a grant with the USDA for some infrastructure and roads," said Sanford.

Many people who call Sheffield home tell us they hope the project will actually happen.

"We certainly get anxious and want it to happen quick," said longtime Sheffield resident, David Johnson. "It's not as fast a process that we want it to be, but he [Elkington] obviously is determined for it to happen. He's going do it and he's a renowned developer."

Sanford told WAAY31 Elkington told him he planned on breaking ground on the amphitheater sometime this year.

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