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DruidCity

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

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Gulf Shores-Orange Beach has more high-rises than any city in Alabama, and

though the hurricanes in the last year or two hit the area pretty hard, there are more residential towers on the way.

Here's the web site for The Verandas :

http://www.verandasresort.com/

Also, here's the web site for another of the many planned "mega-condos" for Alabama's coast, Turquoise Place, which will rise to 370 feet:

http://www.turquoiseplace.com/

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My concern is that theyre building 30+ story building on a sandy foundation in a very high-risk hurricane zone. More power to them if they can do it safely... I think Alabama's beaches are a real gem and should really be showcased to the southeast (and nation for that matter).

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I share the concern, but I've talked with real estate people down there who say that a lot of the new construction is more storm-resistant, that developers are learning from areas like Miami, where minimum codes are more strict.

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Thats great. I went over to the gulf last week and the strip has changed a lot. But lets hope that the tall condos stay in gulf shores and orange beach. They aren't needed on Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island.

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I agree. Dauphin & Ft. Morgan aren't as suitable for high-density development.

I do look forward to seeing some of the new restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores at places like the Wharf, Riverwalk, and Beach Place

when they're built out in a couple years.

How are things looking on the coast now ?

I have a tiny efficiency condo in Gulf Shores (built in the 1970s), and when I was last there in June, a lot of things were still torn up from Ivan way back in 2004.

Edited by DruidCity

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I like the development, but there needs to be more hotels down in Orange Beach. They've been tearing down all of the hotels for these massive condo developments. The last time I was down there I stayed at a hotel that was about to be demolished for another Phoenix (do they really need that many Phoenix buildings?)....

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Pleasure Island is really coming along. I can't wait till the shops are finished too. its gonna be great.

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Thanks for the link ! I had not seen that.

The whole Gulf coast has changed so much, even from when I was young (and I'm just 33).

I look forward to seeing how the Biloxi area develops, too.

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Impressive looking project ! Will this rank as Alabama's third tallest high-rise ?

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Impressive looking project ! Will this rank as Alabama's third tallest high-rise ?

Depending on roof height, if built, it might be Alabama's tallest... or maybe 2nd tallest.

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I was counting the New RSA-Battlehouse Tower as the tallest hands-down. And at least the tallest high-rise in Birmingham too ?

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I was counting the New RSA-Battlehouse Tower as the tallest hands-down. And at least the tallest high-rise in Birmingham too ?

RSA Tower is only 35-stories (but it does have a large crown and 80ft spire). But if you're talking strictly roof heights (not including spire or crown), this one could be the tallest.

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I'm surprised that there aren't more topics on Orange Beach and Gulf Shores developement. That is by far the biggest developement area in the state with 50-100 big projects going on right now. I grew up in that area and I'm really interested in what's going on down that way..... If you know of any projects that I didn't list, post them in this thread. Thanks.

Orange Beach

Retail, condo, entertainment complex

http://www.thewharfal.com/

Retail, condo, entertainment complex

http://www.riverwalkorangebeach.com/

2 - 34 story towers

http://www.verandasresort.com/

2- 370 foot towers

http://www.turquoiseplace.com/

25 story Bella Rio

http://www.2dimes.com/client_area/bellario...larioFrontB.jpg

2 - 26 story towers The Marqueza

http://www.2dimes.com/gallery/images/zclie...a1-v07-0006.jpg

Bel Air towers

http://www.gulf-shores-alabama.net/condo-s...ower-condos.htm

Portage Crossing 5 towers

http://www.buy-the-beach.com/pre_construct...ge_Crossing.htm

Others without a link

Palmetto Condominiums at Adventure Island - 26 story tower

Caribe East and Caribe West - both 22 story towers

Romar Towers - 20 stories

Coral Reef II Condominiums - 30 story tower

Spire Condominiums - 22 story tower

Pinnacle Tides Condominiums - 24 story tower

Caymus Resort Condominiums - 26 story tower

Saphire Beach Condominiums - 26 story tower

Royal Romar Dunes - 26 story tower

Gulf Shores

Bon Secour Village

http://www.bonsecourvillage.com/Home.aspx

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I have a small efficiency condo in Gulf Shores.

Long-term, there's a load of development planned there, too - esp. lots of mid-rise condos planned along the intracoastal. I can't remember the names of all the developments. Delfino's the one just east of Lulu's.

There's the Colonial Properties shopping center, with Target opening later this month, and a theater opened there last year.

Envision Gulf Shores is expected to take about 5 years to build out, with the "heart" of the project being the upgrade to the "T" intersection, where 59 meets Beach Blvd. The Envision concept is my favorite of all the planned amenities for Alabama's Gulf Coast, as it will mix in retail and restaurants with condos in a walkable "downtown" district in the center of everything: http://216.14.214.109/pages_2006/projects/envision.html

Periwinkle Place is one early proposal in the area :

http://www.cfbre.com/preconstruction_condos.htm

I'm not sure what project this is referring to, but here's mention of a possible 38-story condo in Orange Beach: http://www.bidclerk.com/projects/projectDe...rojectID=348126

Although not right on the coast, here's a great-looking development as part of the RSA's master plan for the Grand Hotel in Point Clear : http://www.colonyatthegrand.com/

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That area is an interesting scenario... though there's alot of development, it wont be adding that many residents. Not many people will be able to just live in condos on the beach unless they're loaded and dont have to work. Otherwise, it'll most likely be inland residents buying a personal vacation spot. So my point is that, while significant developments, they arent contributing to an increase in population or any sort of urban fabric. I'm not sure I agree with it either... not right on the coast like that. Oh well... they'll learn their lesson when some Cat. 3-5 hurricanes come through there and destroy these outrageously expensive towers.

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That area is an interesting scenario... though there's alot of development, it wont be adding that many residents. Not many people will be able to just live in condos on the beach unless they're loaded and dont have to work. Otherwise, it'll most likely be inland residents buying a personal vacation spot. So my point is that, while significant developments, they arent contributing to an increase in population or any sort of urban fabric. I'm not sure I agree with it either... not right on the coast like that. Oh well... they'll learn their lesson when some Cat. 3-5 hurricanes come through there and destroy these outrageously expensive towers.

That's your opinion and you're entitled to it, but I think billions of dollars in residential, retail, entertainment, and tourism is worth discussion on a development forum. Many of the newer developements are residence condos. There are a lot of people retiring and relocating to the Gulf Coast. Some people are buying vacation condos or investment condos but that area is growing fast population wise as well. Baldwin county is only behind Shelby county in terms of growth over the last 15 years. Growth on the coast means more jobs. More jobs means population growth. There are around 10K jobs available now and speculation of close the 30K within 5 years. About a Cat 3-5 hurricane..... I think Ivan fell into that category and you'd be hard pressed finding evidence that it made landfall in Gulf Shores now. Ivan destroyed a lot of cheaply built developments but the big condos were fine. Also, the vast majority of the new development isn't on the gulf side, it's on the back bays and the intercoastal waterway.

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Yeah, there's a lot of development planned for "off the beach," and "regular subdivisions" popping up

in places like the Foley Beach Express.

Oh well... they'll learn their lesson when some Cat. 3-5 hurricanes come through there and destroy these outrageously expensive towers.
I'll say this much, my condo is a dinky little concrete deal built in 1975, across the street from the beach. It has withstood the best punches that hurricane after hurricane have had to give.

Most of the outrageously expensive new stuff is built to even better standards.

A well-built project in a well-chosen location can withstand a whole lot.

While significant developments, they arent contributing to an increase in population or any sort of urban fabric.

I see where you're coming from, but some of the new stuff shows promise beyond just a wall

of vacation condos - mixed-use, walkable districts like Envision, massive new shopping and entertainment areas like Wharf/Riverwalk, new bike paths, planned state convention center at Gulf State Park for around 2010, bus service (I don't know how extensive this is, but saw buses taking people between the outlet mall in Foley and the beach), new urbanist-inspired neighborhoods planned along the intracoastal, etc.

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Not saying it doesnt warrant discussion... merely suggesting reasons why it hasnt been discussed. Coastal development is a completely different animal because in many coastal areas, it's just miles after miles of highrise condos and hotels stretching a long line. You all can have your own opinions, but I find it distasteful for all of these developers to turn beautiful beaches into long rows of highrise condos that block the view of anyone and anything north of them.

You also mention it being a popular place for retirees. Maybe, but really how many can afford that lifestyle...especially once theyre retired? Not many people I know, but I do know a number of people that were speculating and hoping prices rise even more so they can sell it off and make a profit. Now, however, many of them are beginning to become a bit fearful because with thousands and thousands of units, the supply is far outpacing demand, and thus, fearful they'll lose their shirt.

One of you also brought up residential development further inland... that's fine, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm stricting talking about the coastline.

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Blazer85, you're being to dogone critical. Of course you don't want to see a wall of condos lining the beach, but there is not a WALL of condos lining the beach. There are spots where there are obstructed views, but if you want the view from a mile away, and you're only 10 ft. off the ground, I think you don't have much of a gripe. With development comes some goods and bads, but I think in this case the development is more of a good thing. It brings more to an area of Alabama that a lot of people are interested in. I don't see people complaining that they can't see the beach in Miami. THEY just build higher for the view, and that is part of what makes Miami a beautiful place. Gulf Shores is going in the right direction, IMO.

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i don't think it's possible to preach people out of their development mentality. experience is the big ole teacher. gulf shores is not being developed as an urban core in the same way that miami was, and miami is not what it is today because a bunch of vacation-market condo developers threw up a bunch of nondescript midrises for wealthy yankees to colonize. interestingly, miami's latest round of construction growth has been controversial because it is comprised primarily of condos and resort-type midrise and highrise apartments in the general style of such apartments everywhere along the gulf coast.

development, jobs, and tax money are all part of the golden carrot of progress dangling in front of the growth-hungry. none of those things is bad, but they sure as hell are not good by default. the whole AL gulf coast is growing. great. give the people what they want. when they don't want it anymore - when the environment is altered, when the costs become prohibitive except to those wealthy types seeking to flesh out their vacation property fiefdoms, when the area is largely populated, gated, exclusive and lacking in anything representative either of a pristine coastal area or a coherent urban center - we'll all cross that bridge together. can't wait!

Edited by convulso

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i don't think it's possible to preach people out of their development mentality. experience is the big ole teacher. gulf shores is not being developed as an urban core in the same way that miami was, and miami is not what it is today because a bunch of vacation-market condo developers threw up a bunch of nondescript midrises for wealthy yankees to colonize. interestingly, miami's latest round of construction growth has been controversial because it is comprised primarily of condos and resort-type midrise and highrise apartments in the general style of such apartments everywhere along the gulf coast.

development, jobs, and tax money are all part of the golden carrot of progress dangling in front of the growth-hungry. none of those things is bad, but they sure as hell are not good by default. the whole AL gulf coast is growing. great. give the people what they want. when they don't want it anymore - when the environment is altered, when the costs become prohibitive except to those wealthy types seeking to flesh out their vacation property fiefdoms, when the area is largely populated, gated, exclusive and lacking in anything representative either of a pristine coastal area or a coherent urban center - we'll all cross that bridge together. can't wait!

There we go... glad I'm not the only one that sees it this way. I thought it was obvious that Miami was/is COMPLETELY different than Miami. The Alabama coastline is not one city, but a long string of smaller cities with various stripmalls and highrise condos (which, as adequately put, will belong mostly to wealthy northerners that will only spend a portion of the year there). Each of these cities and communities will be looking out for their own interests and there will be NO cohesive plan. That's fine... glad it's not here, because they can have that unplanned, out-of-control, over-inflated type of development.

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Each of these cities and communities will be looking out for their own interests and there will be NO cohesive plan. That's fine... glad it's not here,

Not to start a flame war, but that's a very funny statement from someone from the Birmingham area... :lol:

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