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Southron

Montgomery Developments

270 posts in this topic

Let's discuss news, projects and construction in Montgomery, Alabama's capital city, and the River Region.

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Court Square

From the downtown master plan: Court Square Plaza terminates the western end of Dexter Avenue (opposite the state capitol) and features the 1885 Court Square Fountain. The redesign of the plaza will transform the area into a signature public space and return the plaza to its historic, pre-1950s configuration. The plaza design features flush pavement at the edges, traffic circulating around the historic fountain, bollards at key locations, and cobblestone pavers. The cobblestone pavers will add character and manage traffic speeds to increase pedestrian comfort. The Court Square Plaza may be the first new plaza of its kind on a major U.S. city street in over fifty years. Construction has begun and is scheduled to be completed in early 2007.

CtSquare_old.jpg

CtSquare_new.jpg

Design view here: http://www.hpe-inc.com/pdf/Courtplaza.pdf

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Smart Growth

The city of Montgomery, under Mayor Bobby Bright, adopted a set of Smart Code ordinances to make it easier for developers to build traditional urban neighborhoods. Links to this code, as well as other helpful information, can be found at an excellent blog dedicated to Smart Growth in the River Region, www.riverregionsmartgrowth.com. This blog moved to http://riverregionsmartgrowth.blogspot.com/, but archives of previous content will be maintained at the old site.

An article about River Region smart growth in the New Urban News (Oct-Nov 2006 issue):

http://www.faulkner.edu/admissions/jonesla...tgy_article.pdf

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Old Cloverdale Master Plans

Old Cloverdale (www.oldcloverdale.org) was one of Montgomery's first suburbs, established in the 1890s. A couple of master plans were developed recently for redevelopment of commercial areas in the neighborhood.

The Cloverdale Five Points Master Plan (Fairview Avenue and Woodley Road), put together after a charette in 2005, is available here: http://www.faulkner.edu/o/admin/websites/c...smasterplan.pdf.

The Cloverdale Village Business District Master Plan (Cloverdale Road and Norman Bridge Road), put together after a charette in 2006, is available here: http://www.faulkner.edu/admissions/jonesla...tte%20Final.ppt

Thanks to Chad Emerson for hosting these on his website, www.riverregionsmartgrowth.com.

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Montgomery Area Intermodal Bus Transfer Center

The new bus transfer center and parking deck is under construction next to the river. When the new riverwalk is completed (also under construction), this deck will be connected to it via a walkway to a tower on the riverwalk.

IntermodalCtr.jpg

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Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa and Convention Center Expansion

RSA is spending $157 million on a new 12-story downtown hotel, performing arts center and expansion of the adjacent convention center. Currently under construction, the project is scheduled for completion in late 2007 or early 2008.

Discussion here: New convention center and hotel

RMHS_1.jpg

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Renovation of old Montgomery Advertiser building

Montgomery County announced plans to renovate the old Montgomery Advertiser building downtown for use as office space and archive storage. The newspaper moved into a new building a few blocks away, near the river, in 2002. The county purchased the building after the Advertiser moved and initially planned to tear it down and build a new office building. Thankfully, the commissioners decided to renovate the 1930s era structure.

The county will spend $12.5 million on renovations and $2.5 million for an integrated parking deck, covering up some surface parking.

Article here:

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/apps/p.../703200330/1003

Old_Advertiser_Bldg.jpg

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New RSA Headquarters

The Retirement Systems of Alabama has a new $100 million+ 8-story headquarters building under construction downtown. The structure topped out on March 5th, and is scheduled for completion in spring 2008.

The 280,000-square-foot complex will consolidate RSA employees and open up more first-class office space downtown. The lower four floors will be leased initially, and the former RSA headquarters building across the street will be available for lease after RSA moves into the new building.

RSA_HQ.jpg

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Riverfront Alley Way/"Grocer's Alley"

A New Orleans style

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The Central Alabama Business Journal interviewed Gordon Martin, chairman of the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation, about riverfront and downtown development. Mr. Martin had some interesting things to say about parking decks wrapped with retail and residential, condos and new housing, the Grocer's Alley, the riverwalk, a park across the river, water taxis, etc.

Article: http://www.cabj.biz/051806/02.htm

Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation website: http://www.downtownmontgomery.org

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Capitol Park Proposal

A new public park is proposed for the area in front of the Capitol. From the downtown master plan: "The State Capitol Complex is the city's and state's most important civic space, but it lacks a well-ordered foreground which properly dramatizes the building's symbolic significance. The original landscape plan for the Capitol Complex, designed by the Olmsted Brothers, was intended to transform the area around the Capitol into a monumental setting flanked by physical structures and park space. Currently, oversized surface parking lots are the central feature of the foreground to the Capitol. A strategy that satisfies the parking needs but does not detract from the site's stately civic beauty is required."

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Olmsted Brothers plan (ca. 1930):

Olmsted_AL_capitol.jpg

I hope that this will be expanded to include the surface lot behind the Capitol, next to the State House.

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Downtown Streetcar Proposal

The downtown master plan includes a proposal to reinstate part of the old Lightning Route streetcar service in downtown Montgomery. When it went into service in the 1880's, the original Lightning Route was the first city-wide electric streetcar service in the US. Hopefully, the city can get this funded and in place within the next decade.

Short older article here:

http://www.heritagetrolley.org/planMontgomeryRTOL1.htm

LightningRoute.jpg

Dexter_streetsection.jpg

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Would this be a fixed rail streetcar like New Orleans RTA system or like the "streetcar" buses that we commonly see in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa?

If this is then Montgomery would be the first city in the state to restore rail transit.

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Would this be a fixed rail streetcar like New Orleans RTA system or like the "streetcar" buses that we commonly see in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa?

If this is then Montgomery would be the first city in the state to restore rail transit.

This proposal is for streetcars on rails, but it's very early in the timeline and funds aren't secured as far as I know. There are two existing wheeled trolley routes downtown, mostly used by tourists; and a new lunch trolley route for downtown workers starts next month.

Article about new trolley route and extended bus hours from Montgomery Advertiser here.

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More renderings of the downtown Renaissance Hotel:

RMHS_1.jpg

RMHS_2.jpg

RMHS_3.jpg

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Montgomery Riverwalk

The first phase of the riverwalk (along the Alabama River) is under construction downtown, right across the railroad tracks from the minor league baseball stadium. The project includes a multilevel riverwalk, two amphitheaters, restrooms, a police precinct office, an observation tower, riverboat landing, and more. Eventually, the riverwalk is to be extended to Maxwell AFB to the west and to the Montgomery Marina to the east.

Riverwalk Plan:

Riverwalk_plan.jpg

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Downtown Lofts/Condos

Downtown loft living is finally beginning to catch hold in Montgomery. The city is ten years or more behind Birmingham and Mobile; but momentum is building, and the success of current projects should mean more additions down the road.

Mixed-used renovation complete:

Alps1.jpg

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Undergoing renovation now, with ground floor retail on the left side (109) and the rest residential:

Photo_042707_008.jpg

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The Grand View at Cottage Hill

The Grand View at Cottage Hill is a renovation of the old Hilltop Arms apartments at downtown's 5 points. Plans include two-level luxury condominiums, a coffee shop (possibly a Starbucks) and other retail outlets.

Construction under way:

5pts_condos.jpg

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This project is a major step in the redevelopment of 5 Points, part of the Downtown Master Plan:

fivepoints.jpg

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Downtown construction updates...

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa:

RMHS.jpg

New RSA headquarters:

RSA_HQ2.jpg

Riverwalk:

Riverwalk1.jpg

Riverwalk2.jpg

Pergola.jpg

This old silo will be the new home of the riverfront police precinct.

Police_precinct.jpg

Intermodal bus transfer station and riverfront parking deck:

Intermodal1.jpg

Intermodal2.jpg

Court Square redevelopment:

CtSqFountain.jpg

CourtSq_1.jpg

This section of Court St. will be open to traffic again for the first time in decades.

CourtSt_atSq.jpg

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Mixed-use project on site of former A&P grocery in Old Cloverdale

AandP2.jpg

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AandP4.jpg

Project website here.

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Hotel Guru Works to Attract Conventions

Ray Ezelle, sales and marketing director for Montgomery's new hotel and convention center, has begun booking convention business for 2008, and believes that the facility will help change the perception of Montgomery for decades to come.

The $157 million development will have more than 103,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space and a 14,000-square-foot ballroom on the main level. A performing arts theater will seat 1,800, and an upscale restaurant will face Commerce Street.

There will be 347 rooms; 600 parking spaces; and a 9,000 square-foot European style spa, a fitness center, a pool and fountains on the parking deck. A running track will circle the top of the deck.

Montgomery Advertiser story here.

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Retailers Rush to Midtown

The Midtown area is enjoying a retail renaissance, with the new 300,000 square-foot Midtown Plaza on Ann Street, and the new retail centers at Carter Hill Rd. and Zelda Rd., which includes a new Publix and Starbucks. While these are primarily automobile oriented developments, they are inside the bypass in previously developed areas, and are not adding to sprawl.

Montgomery Advertiser story here.

Edited by Southron

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$303 million school construction program in Montgomery

A $303 million Montgomery school construction program, which will build several new schools and replace or renovate others, is funded and will commence soon. New schools are in the design phase now. The program will affect high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. Notably, the plan includes a new George Washington Carver High School.

Montgomery Advertiser articles:

Public gets look at new school designs

$70M for facilities plan now in bank

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no specific comment - just thanks for posting a lot of quality information on this and other threads in the AL forum. you've brought a lot of interest back to this section of UP, of late. most of what you post isn't inaccessible to the average person, but you seem to have the initiative and interest to find these good pieces of information (not to mention all the photos) and put them in front of other people - and that's what makes this forum a pleasure for me. thanks.

and if half of the projects mentioned in your various montgomery postings come to fruition, i may find myself, in a decade or so, in the utterly unique position of actually looking forward to visiting this long-maligned city. leadership there really seems to have their heads on straight, at the moment. the downtown / riverfront stuff is almost too good to be true, especially to one such as i - wearied, over the years, of having to deal with montgomery in my professional and academic life. columbus, GA seems to be undergoing some similarly encouraging enhancements/urban growth.

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Thanks, Convulso. We've got a great group of Alabamans here, and hopefully many more will join us.

After spending a couple of years as a part-time Montgomery resident, I've been pleasantly surprised with what's going on in the city. After long-time Mayor Emory Folmar was defeated and replaced with a progressive leader, the city has come a long way. It's great to see major development going on downtown and in the older inside-the-bypass suburbs.

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