DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — The City of Decatur is looking to transform its riverfront.

Mayor Tab Bowling told News 19 that he hopes to bring a development similar to City Harbor in Guntersville to Decatur.

Mayor Bowling said he and other city officials reached out to City Harbor developer, Patrick Lawler, and he was on board quickly.

“I’m ready to start now, we’re geared up to go,” Lawler told News 19.

While Decatur has 15 miles of waterfront in city limits, most of it is taken up by industrial manufacturing and housing. Both Bowling and Lawler said they want to see restaurants and shops added to the mix.

“You need to utilize the waterfront,” Lawler said. He said he envisions live music on warm summer nights, similar to what they have at City Harbor in Guntersville.

The City of Decatur is looking to transform its riverfront.
City Harbor in Guntersville, AL.

Mayor Bowling said Decatur needs a “cool factor.” “The water just brings excitement for the guests” he continued.

Ingalls Harbor, an already existing property owned by the city of Decatur has been selected for the location of the proposed project.

While the city of Decatur owns the land, the cost of the development would fall on Lawler.

He told News 19 he estimates the project will cost somewhere in the range of $40 million dollars.

He also said the plans for Decatur are even larger than what’s in Guntersville.

He said the development will be between 75,000 to 90,000 square feet. Lawler said he doesn’t anticipate having a hard time filling the retail and restaurant spaces, as they are already “70% leased.”

Of course, the development isn’t a done deal just yet.

“We still have some work to do, a couple of T’s to cross,” said Mayor Bowling. He said he anticipates it will go before the City Council “sometime in April.”

Lawler said once the project is approved they will still need to get some other approvals, but he anticipates work to be underway by 2024.