Another Stop on the RT Jones Golf Trail Coming

In May 2004, work was continuing on yet another stop along Alabama’s popular Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Planning is well underway on Ross Bridge, a 1,600-acre development in Hoover that will include homes, shops, a resort, conference center and an 18-hole daily-fee golf course. Also planned are 100 acres of commercial space, including a village center.

Groundbreaking took place in April on the Ross Bridge Parkway, a new entry road into the development off Alabama 150. Its connection with Shannon-Osmoor Road will open up much of the land for Daniel Corp., which will be co-developing the project with USS Real Estate. Also involved in the project are the city of Hoover, Retirement Systems of Alabama (the developer-owner of the courses on Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail) and Jefferson County.

The mixed-use Ross Bridge project promises to be one of the largest residential construction projects in Jefferson County history. “[Ross Bridge] is really one of the best examples of a public-private partnership you will see,” Tim Howard, general manager of the Southeast for USS Real Estate told the Birmingham News. “It’s a huge cooperative effort that could not be done by USS or, frankly, any private developer alone.”

David Bronner, RSA’s chief executive, said there was demand for another Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail course in greater Birmingham. The new facility will allow him to shut down one of the Oxmoor Valley courses for an overhaul in 2005 and still have two full courses operating in close proximity. The addition of a hotel, resort and conference center will also serve to boost tourism and economic development for the entire area.

“Adding hotels is something we have done around the Trail,” Bronner told reporter Michael Tomberlin of the Birmingham News. “There was a need for an upscale hotel and conference center in the Hoover area and it fit in well with what we were doing in other parts of the state. It’s going to be a nice addition to Hoover.”

Bronner said the location of Ross Bridge between the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance and the Honda plant in Lincoln made Hoover the right spot for the project, particularly in attracting new industry. “You want to have classy spots,” said the visionary leader of RSA. “If you’re trying to make an impression to sell Alabama, you have to have places like this already there that show you’re not just waiting for something to happen.”

At full build-out the community will contain 1,778 home sites and 600 multifamily units alongside a championship-caliber golf course designed by Roger Rulewich. Other project aspects include a 263-room hotel with spa and executive conference center. The community’s core will consist of a village center with residential, village commercial and small offices within walking distance of each other. The village center will feature an elementary school, parks and recreational areas. Each neighborhood will have a park reachable by foot, with trails and sidewalks interconnecting the entire community. Ross Bridge will feature a Civil War-era bridge accessible by the trail and sidewalk system.

With offices in Birmingham, Raleigh and Richmond, Daniel Corp. is a company whose golf-community portfolio already includes Greystone, a 3,000-acre Birmingham development that features the Robert Cupp-designed Founders course – home of the Champions Tour’s Bruno's Memorial Classic, and the newer Rees Jones-designed Legacy course.