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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2005, 1:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bystander1
RSA plans to build a 10-story office tower with a penthouse on top along with a 685 space parking deck across from their current HQ building downtown.

Could this be Bronner's new digs?
In the vacant lot at Union and Adams, or in the Missing Person's parking lot at Washington and Ripley?
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2005, 8:40 PM
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I'm in Montgomery right now, BTW. East Montgomery continues to explode, unfortunatley - wish all of that could be downtown.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2005, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoraudio
Quote:
Originally Posted by bystander1
RSA plans to build a 10-story office tower with a penthouse on top along with a 685 space parking deck across from their current HQ building downtown.

Could this be Bronner's new digs?
In the vacant lot at Union and Adams, or in the Missing Person's parking lot at Washington and Ripley?

It will be on the vacant lot at Union and Adams.

Quote:
I'm in Montgomery right now, BTW. East Montgomery continues to explode, unfortunatley - wish all of that could be downtown.
You are so right, pkp. But I think Downtown will begin to get their share of development 'big-time' real soon now.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2005, 12:32 AM
ExpatBaman ExpatBaman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bystander1
RSA plans to build a 10-story office tower with a penthouse on top along with a 685 space parking deck across from their current HQ building downtown.

Very nice, more infill is a good thing.
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2005, 12:34 AM
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Question for Montgomery forumers: Does anyone have renderings of the proposed improvements for Old Cloverdale that were in the paper a few months ago?
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2005, 3:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bystander1

It will be on the vacant lot at Union and Adams.
Drove down there this afternoon and saw they already had the construction fence up. I'd much rather this go nearer the core.... but I'll take what I can get
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2005, 4:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpatBaman
Question for Montgomery forumers: Does anyone have renderings of the proposed improvements for Old Cloverdale that were in the paper a few months ago?
I remember those renderings but I don't have pics of them.

I do have an article about it though.




Joint effort planned to make over Cloverdale

By Tiffany Ray
Montgomery Advertiser


Capital City residents and merchants are joining forces with architects and designers to make Old Cloverdale a better place to be.
Next month, the American Institute of Architects' Montgomery chapter, along with Historic Southview, a new coalition of neighborhood and business associations, will play host at a three-day event intended to create a common vision of the future of the historic neighborhood.
Called a "charette," the event will focus on Cloverdale's Fairview Avenue commercial corridor and surrounding residential areas. Organizers of the project will draw together the concerns, comments and suggestions of local homeowners and other stakeholders. Then, during a two-day work session in April, teams of architects, designers and other experts will work free of charge to mold those ideas into possible realities.
An informational public meeting about the event is planned for Tuesday. The charette, which will include two subsequent public meetings, will take place April 22-24.
Don Brown, a partner in Montgomery-based Brown Chambless Architects, said public meetings held at the start and the end of the April charette will give "before and after" views of the neighborhood. The first will focus on the neighborhood's current issues. In the followup, designers will show off their work, giving participants a glimpse of how the community could look in the future.


The Fairview Avenue corridor is the first in a series of neighborhoods the AIA and Historic Southview plan to target, Brown said. Others include a west-side location, the Mulberry Street district and the neighborhood surrounding the intersection of Cloverdale and Norman Bridge roads.
Plans generated by the charette will dovetail with the city's efforts to create a new comprehensive plan for the city, Brown said.
John Acken, a Montgomery attorney who serves as president of Historic Southview, said Old Cloverdale was an ideal starting place because the neighborhood already is well-defined. With a strong business association in place, it also offers built-in momentum, he said.
Chris Vaughan, owner of Christine's Feathered Nest, a home accessories shop at 1048 Fairview Ave., said the charette will address all kinds of issues, from parking, land use and maintenance to green space, sidewalks and lighting.


Ella's, Tomatinos, Cafe Louisa and Fronduti's are part of the Cloverdale shopping area.
The intent, she said, is to "create a charming atmosphere without taking away any of the uniqueness that is Old Cloverdale."
Vaughan said the Old Cloverdale Business Coalition, for which she serves as president, formed a couple of years ago to address ways of promoting and improving the area. Joining a larger group will help "get some steam behind our purpose," she said.
Brown said the charette is important not only for Old Cloverdale residents but also for all of Montgomery. The neighborhood draws visitors from throughout the city to its restaurants and shops, he said. And the charette is a project that can be emulated in other Capital City communities, he added.
Acken said charettes have been done in other parts of the nation, but they are new to Montgomery.
Tom Kaufmann, a designer for the Alabama Main Street Program of the Alabama Historical Commission, which is involved in the Cloverdale charette, said a similar event held in Greenville in 2003 yielded a number of benefits, including the preservation of historic houses that had been slated for demolition.
It also generated community interest in the future of Greenville's downtown, he said, and "interest is always the precursor to investment."
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2005, 2:20 PM
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Thanks for the article, bystander. Any word on when the plans are to be finished and work to begin?

I'm glad to see that other areas are slated for similar improvements, and really glad to see that the city is going to develop a comprehensive plan.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2005, 6:10 PM
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Downtown is all good and well; but when is the downturn on the Southern and Eastern Bypasses(south of I-85), gonna be revitalized?

Crime must be delt with harshly in Montgomery, Broken Windows Policy style.

Education; we must demand the best for children, Black or White, Rich or Poor; and quit giving those "Christian Acadamies" a reason to exist.
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2005, 8:53 PM
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The official ground-breaking ceremony was held today for the convention center hotel!

I saw a rendering on WAKA News, and although at first I hated the 16-22-21-10 stories tall merry-go-round for the hotel, it looks as though they've settled for width over height instead-- going with 12 stories.
It looks nice from the little glimpse I saw on TV, but I will really be able to tell when I see the rendering again in the paper tomorrow as they've promised (not the most reliable paper in the world...).

I'll post them then!

It's really interesting how this grew from an $85M, to $130M, to $157M project...







City reveals plans for convention center

By Sebastian Kitchen
Montgomery Advertiser



Local and state officials revealed plans this morning for the $157 million hotel, convention center, performing arts theater and parking deck that will anchor downtown development.

Today was the official groundbreaking and the hotel is expected to open for business in September 2007.

The hotel has 347 rooms, will be 12 stories tall and be located along Commerce Street in downtown Montgomery.

The project will be the latest in series intended to rejuvenate and bolster downtown Montgomery and strengthen the city’s core, Mayor Bobby Bright said.

The hotel is expected to be a Renaissance, one of the upscale Marriott brands.

The civic center will have more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space and there will be a 14,000 square foot ballroom on the main level.

The performing arts center will hold 1,800 people for traveling Broadway shows and other entertainment.

The bottom floor of the hotel will feature an upscale restaurant along Commerce Street.

The six-level parking deck will hold more than 600 spaces.

The top deck of the hotel will feature an 8,000 square-foot European-style spa, fitness center and pool.

The hotel and convention center will join the riverfront amphitheater, the baseball stadium and other development along the riverfront.

The project is a partnership between the city and Retirement Systems of Alabama. The city is contributing about $30 million plus the land and the shell of the former civic center. RSA will fund the remaining portion of the project.
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2005, 8:56 PM
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WOW!

RSA building ANOTHER Marriott. How SURPIRSING! How much tacky carpet can Alabama handle?

:puke:
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2005, 9:06 PM
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I knew you'd be interested...hater
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  #73  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2005, 6:26 PM
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Smallest rendering evar.



The article... nothing really different from Bystander's...

Quote:
New hotel next step in revitalized vision for downtown

By Sebastian Kitchen
Montgomery Advertiser



MAKING ROOM
Details of the luxury hotel and convention center expansion project include:

Total anticipated cost of $157 million

Expected to open in September 2007

Civic center will have more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space

14,000-square-foot ballroom on the main level of the hotel

Performing arts center will hold 1,800 people for traveling Broadway shows and other entertainment

Bottom floor of the hotel will feature an upscale restaurant along Commerce Street

Six-level parking deck will hold more than 600 spaces

Top deck of the hotel will feature an 8,000-square-foot European-style spa, fitness center and pool

Interior décor will be inspired by the artwork of native Montgomerian Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Structure is influenced by The Plaza Hotel in New York

Source: PCH Hotels and Resorts


The anchor has been dropped.

Montgomery and state officials revealed plans and broke ground Friday on the $157 million hotel, convention center, performing arts theater and parking deck expected to anchor the next phase of downtown development and revitalization.

"The groundbreaking will be another critical piece in the resurrection of our downtown," Mayor Bobby Bright said.

The hotel is expected to open for business in September 2007, with 347 rooms in a 12-story building on Commerce Street.

"The need is here, and it's a great location," Bright said.

The project will be the latest in a series of developments intended to rejuvenate and bolster downtown Montgomery and strengthen the city's core, Bright said.

"Any city that is successful, they have a very vibrant core," he said. "Our downtown and riverfront are the core of our city."

Bright said Friday was an historic day for the city. He said the hotel is another sign the city is growing and the gains equate to more jobs, more revenue for the city and more outside investment in Montgomery.

The project is a partnership between the city and Retirement Systems of Alabama. The city is contributing about $30 million, the land and the shell of the former civic center. RSA will fund the remaining portion.

Bright and David Bronner, chief executive officer of RSA, say they share a vision for a strong downtown Montgomery.

"We have worked very hard to change the image of Montgomery," Bronner said.

After being elected six years ago, Bright shared his vision for revitalizing downtown and the riverfront. During the last six years, much of the vision has been initiated and some has come to fruition. Riverwalk stadium, construction along the riverwalk, the amphitheater and loft apartments all signify the investment and movement downtown.

Those, along with Hyundai, demonstrate movement in Montgomery, said Gordon Martin, vice chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation.

"Today, we are gathered at the center of that vision as it becomes a reality," Martin said.

Bright symbolically poured the first concrete. The mayor and Bronner etched their names in the structure.

The city has a management agreement with PCH Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of RSA, and will share expenditures and revenues from all of the structures, except the hotel, Bright said.

The hotel is expected to be a Renaissance, one of the upscale Marriott brands. Bright said they have begun to market the facility for future events.

The project has come a long way since its inception. The initial price tag was $50 million to $80 million, but continued to climb. The city's investment never did, remaining near $30 million.

"That has never been asked to be raised," Bright said.

He said there have been dramatic changes in Montgomery in the last five years and the hotel and convention center will contribute to great changes in coming years.

"It is really going to change," he said.
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  #74  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2005, 10:01 PM
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The article on the building that Bystander mentioned.

Quote:
RSA will add new building

By David Irvin
Montgomery Advertiser


Downtown Montgomery will have another big green roof in the next couple of years, officials at the Retirement Systems of Alabama said Friday.

Site work on a new eight-story office building for the RSA will begin in the next couple of weeks, officials say.

The 280,000-square-foot structure is estimated to cost $80 million to construct, officials said, and construction is expected to last until late 2007.

"It will be in keeping with the other RSA buildings," said Ron Blount, project director for RSA. "It will be first-class office space."

A development plan presented at a recent planning commission meeting shows the building will be located in the block of Adams Avenue, Ripley Street, Union Street and Highland Avenue.

The primary purpose of the new building is to expand office space in the downtown area, thereby making it easier to recruit white-collar jobs to the city, said RSA CEO David Bronner.

"It's full. It's been full. We really have no more space in town," Bronner said.

He said recruiting white-collar jobs is a difficult task without adequate office space.

"Only after you build it will they come. You have to sort of anticipate, take a chance, and then fill it up," said Bronner. "Sometimes you fill it up quick. Sometimes it takes a few years."

The plans also include a 685-space, six-
level parking deck that will be 252,896 square feet. Three levels will be underground, and three will be above, Blount said.

Eight stories of the office building will be above ground, officials said, and there will be one basement level.

Initially, the RSA will attempt to lease the space to tenants, officials said, and eventually RSA will move many of its offices there.

For Mayor Bobby Bright, this project represents another boon to the development of downtown.

"I'm delighted. It's another project in the ongoing revitalization, stabilization and growth of our downtown," said Bright. "I welcome it. It's going to be another building added to our skyline."

The approved plan is titled "The RSA Headquarters, an Executive Office Building for the Retirement Systems of Alabama."

Conceptual drawings of the building were not available this week.
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  #75  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2005, 11:40 PM
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I just wish he would have at least kept this little building the same height as he had originally requested from the planning commission, as you can see below:

7. DP-063-2005 PRESENTED BY: PH & J Architects

REPRESENTING: Retirement Systems of Alabama


SUBJECT: Request recommendation(s) for development plan approval for a new office building and parking deck to be located at the corner of South Union Street, Adams Avenue, and South Ripley Street, in an O-1 (Office) Zoning District (proposed B-1-a (Central Business) Zoning District).


REMARKS: This request is for recommendation(s) to construct 10 story building that would include a basement and a penthouse, along with a 685 space multi-level parking deck. There will be entrances from South Union Street, Adams Avenue and South Ripley Street. The building will be 280,643 sq. ft. and the parking deck will be 252,896 sq. ft. All applicable requirements will be met under the B-1-a zoning requirements. A landscape plan is on file.

Planning Controls Comment(s): No objections.

COUNCIL DISTRICT:

All requests are subject to Zoning Ordinance and/or Subdivision Regulations, applicable departmental approvals and Planning Commission recommendations






I figured this would be RSA's new HQ, but $80M for an 8-story building, you would think it could have been at least 20+ stories, even with the higher price of building upwards these days. But you know Bronner invests more into interior design than outside design to keep the buildings top-of-the-line 'class A ' for a long, long time.

I am glad that something is being built on that side of Downtown also. I thought this would be his new home when I saw the penthouse request, but I didn't see any info in the article about it on the top floor.
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  #76  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2005, 1:26 AM
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Wow, from all the investment lately, Bronner must really like Montgomery & its current leadership.

"We have worked very hard to change the image of Montgomery," Bronner said.

That is great for Montgomery, but it would be nice if Bronner would work similarly hard to change the image of Birmingham, the state's largest city, and of the rest of us.

Even so, that concern doesn't overshadow the great news for Montgomery.
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Last edited by DruidCity; Oct 9, 2005 at 11:38 AM.
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  #77  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2005, 8:48 PM
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Hurray for renderings....



Not totally thrilled with it, but better than nothing, and hopefully the real thing will look great.

It's going here. I was hoping the tallest portion would be directly across from the Commerce building, to get a little bit of a canyon effect, but it's going further north (to the right).




and the new RSA building will go here. It should be as tall or taller than the Headquarters and the Plaza.

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  #78  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2005, 9:11 PM
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Nice renderings !
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  #79  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2005, 1:01 AM
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Nice pics, thoraudio. I agree, I'm just so glad that they're finally starting to do something that I'm not complaining too much about the height issue anymore.


BTW...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoraudio
...the Alabama Dept. of Archives, which is just below the arrow in this pic, had a grand opening for the new addition Saturday. It's called the West Wing and looks great inside (stunning, from what I've heard). It may be good to check it out one day.
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  #80  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2005, 1:29 PM
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Article on ongoing renovations at the Airport.

Quote:

The most recently completed phase of the Montgomery Regional Airport is a combination of tall glass doors, flat-screen TVs, Greco-Roman columns and pop art stylings of Auburn and Tuscaloosa doorways.

It's a bright, shining addition to an airport that is growing, according to several of the speakers at Tuesday's grand opening -- so bright, that Montgomery Airport Authority chair Chester Mallory donned a pair of sunglasses during his remarks.

"My outlook for the Montgomery Regional Airport Authority growth and development is so bright ... that I have to wear shades," Mallory joked.

The additions and the completion of some of the construction have made a difference for Phoenix resident Pat Johnson, who has been through the airport about 20 times over the years. On Tuesday she was on her way back to her home in Phoenix.

"Some of the security areas are much shorter, and much nicer than that long, scary corridor they had when they were remodeling for a long time," said Johnson. "It's extremely important (to be comfortable) while traveling."

Besides putting the casual flier more at ease, the additions increase the business value of Montgomery, said Mayor Bobby Bright.

"People doing business in the city of Montgomery, they land here," Bright said, "and they usually come to Montgomery by way of our air service. This is going to be another shining example of our growth."

The newly renovated portion of the airport will be dedicated to Alice Reynolds and her son, Jimmy Reynolds, officials said. By Thanksgiving 2006, airport officials said a another phase of construction would be complete, and a fourth stage already is in early planning, they said.

"We could have been here a long time ago," said City Council President Charles Jinright. "Now we are here, and then when you open up the other side, I look forward to seeing that."

The airline industry is so chaotic right now, the new additions probably won't immediately attract new airlines or flights to the airport, said Phil Perry, executive director of the Montgomery Regional Airport Authority.

Many area residents still travel to Birmingham to catch flights to the west. That's probably not going to change anytime soon, Perry said.

"The chances of us getting Southwest are slim and none -- only because Southwest requires a number of things. Number one, they want a million people within (the service) area, and we are well short of that," Perry said. "And they want you to be at least 100 miles from any other Southwest city."

He went on to say that with recent mergers among the airlines that service the Montgomery, there is at least the potential to open up some western routes.

A direct flight to Houston that began earlier this year has an 85 percent load factor, which Perry thinks is very good. But because the industry is having financial trouble right now, airlines aren't really looking to expand routes.

"We did not undertake this in an effort to make it easier for us to recruit new airlines, or to get additional service out of existing airlines," Perry said. "We really did it because the city said they needed the ability to do their economic development ... where the feeling is you are walking into a new modern facility, as opposed to what we had."

For Johnson, a more westward route would be nice, but not essential to keep her flying from Montgomery. To get to Phoenix on Delta Airlines, she first takes a regional hop to Atlanta and then shoots west. But the zigzag approach to air travel beats the alternative of driving to Birmingham from her mother's house in Midway.

"It would just be out of the question. It's like three hours away," she said. "It's not worth it."
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