Grand River is a 6,500-acre master mixed use development planned by the Daniel Corporation on land owned by U. S. Steel adjacent to I-20 in Leeds at the Rex Lake Road exit near the Barber Motorsports Park. The site includes former mining lands and is traversed by the Cahaba River.
Daniel worked with Audubon International to develop environmental safeguards for the overall development, with an eye toward qualifying as a "Certified Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary."
The first major retail development was a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop on a 100-acre site with a 35-acre nature park. Construction began on January 24, 2008 after several months of site clearing and the construction of a water tower. The store, which includes displays inspired by the area's motorsports and coal mining history as well as an 18,500-gallon aquarium, opened on November 19, 2008.
Two years later, a $127 million, 500,000 square-foot Outlet Shops at Grand River shopping center opened on the opposite side of I-20. A 4-screen drive-in cinema was added in 2016, which was later expanded into an entertainment complex with an outdoor concert stage and multiple concessions, including a beer garden.
A Buc-ee’s Travel Center is being planned, along with a new location of the Southern Museum of Flight. Other future plans include a regional athletic park in partnership with the Alabama Sports Foundation, another retail center with hotels and restaurants, and a 1,125-home residential subdivision.
- Hickerson, Patrick (November 30, 2007) "Daniel Corp. plans Grand River development near Bass Pro Shops." The Birmingham News
- Cooper, Lauren B. (January 21, 2008) "Bass Pro Shops to begin construction on Leeds superstore." Birmingham Business Journal
- Kent, Dawn (September 24, 2008) "Bass Pro Shops is on scheduled to open its third Alabama store Nov. 19." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (February 12, 2009) "Daniel eyes 2010 for outlet mall." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (August 9, 2009) "Developers line up retailers for $127 million Leeds outlet mall." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (August 8, 2010) "Leeds' Shops of Grand River outlet mall up to 44 stores." The Birmingham News
- Lloyd, Gary (January 18, 2014) "Trussville Old Navy moving to Leeds." Trussville Tribune
- Grand River at danielrealty.com