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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2005, 1:47 PM
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Arrow Montgomery development news

I'm sure this thread will only be updated every 6 months or so, but still....

Quote:
Adding pair of parking decks high priority for downtown

By Sebastian Kitchen
Montgomery Advertiser

More than 800 parking spaces and a New Orleans-style alley with restaurants and shopping will be added to downtown Montgomery through the investment of tax dollars.

"There are private developers very interested in moving forward if the parking situation is resolved," said Gordon Martin, chairman of the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation.

Last year, both the city and the county approved the creation of a tax incremental financing district for the downtown and riverfront area.

The district caps ad valorem taxes at a certain level and uses any revenue growth for infrastructure and development in the district. Martin said it is not a tax increase. The TIF does not impact taxes directed to education.

The first priority is two parking decks, one across Coosa Street from Riverwalk Stadium, and another just off of lower Dexter Avenue.

There is a project review committee, which includes Martin and several other city, county and chamber officials. The City Council has final review of the projects funded by the district.

Martin will present the priorities and recommendations to the council during its meeting Tuesday.

Local officials believe the parking decks will support future development and encourage private investment.

"The public investment is necessary to spur private development," Martin said.

Mayor Bobby Bright said he supports parking as a priority with the funding. The parking decks are needed for future growth, he said.

" I think parking is key," Bright said.

Parking has been a common complaint from business owners and employees downtown.

Martin said some preliminary work has been done for the Coosa Street deck and it could be ready for use in 18 to 24 months.

The two decks are among several planned for downtown. Those include one with the intermodal bus transfer facility and with the convention center and hotel project.

Martin said they estimate the district will create $9 million to $10 million in revenue.

The projects total at least $12 million, but Martin said the decks will generate revenue that can be reinvested.

The Coosa deck will cost $5.8 million and include 398 parking spaces.

Some retail spaces in downtown are ready for development, but are waiting for more parking, Martin said.

"When we solve the parking problem, I think we'll see a significant amount of development," he said.

The entrance for the lower Dexter parking deck will be on Washington Avenue and the deck will not be seen from Dexter Avenue.

There will be 421 parking spaces in the deck, which has an estimated price of $6.2 million.

The New Orleans style "Grocer's Alley" will be built using a current alley and path that will be torn through a building in front of Commerce Street. The alley, which will connect the hotel and civic center to the baseball stadium, will feature restaurants and shopping. The proposed cost of the alley is $1.1 million and will include contributions from private developers.

The alley was a priority because visitors, when surveyed by the chamber, said Montgomery needed more shopping and dining, Martin said.

He expects the alley to be ready by the opening of the civic center and hotel in the spring or summer of 2007, if not earlier.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2005, 1:48 PM
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Quote:
Dusty memories fill auditorium

By Sebastian Kitchen
Montgomery Advertiser

The auditorium in Montgomery's City Hall, once one of the city's main gathering points for major events, has for the past three decades only been used as storage space. Costly renovations for the facility are a subject of debate on the City Council.

Charles Carr remembers being in the city auditorium for a variety of events, including his commencement, concerts, boxing matches and the touching funeral of country superstar Hank Williams.

Carr, who was driving the 1952 Cadillac that Williams died in the back seat of in 1953, was on the second row for the biggest funeral in the city's history.

"It's unbelievable what has happened to it and what they have let happen to it," Carr said of the auditorium. "It was such a fine structure."

The stage where Hank Williams performed on several occasions is covered with shelves that are home to hundreds of boxes of documents and paperwork.

There are offices for the city's finance and housing codes departments where the seats were once located on the auditorium floor. Desks, broken chairs, an old water fountain and other items are strewn throughout the large auditorium, which was built in 1937.

"It's been a mystery to me why the city has not done something and allowed it to get into the state it is in today," Carr said.

Carr and many others want to see the historic auditorium renovated.

City officials disagree on whether the auditorium should be renovated. They believe renovations could cost as much as $4 million.

Councilwoman Janet May favors the renovation. She said the offices need to be moved out of the auditorium and city officials need to work with local and state historical societies to go through the thousands of documents.

May wants the front doors of City Hall unlocked and access to the once beautiful auditorium restored.

She said the current movement of several city offices, including the fire department to a building Madison Avenue, will allow those in the auditorium to be relocated.

"We can get everybody out of the auditorium and start to clean it out," May said.

She said they must also work to preserve whatever needs to be kept. May said cleaning out the paperwork will consume the most time.

"It is basically paperwork generated by bureaucracy," she said.

County music legend Hank Williams' funeral in Montgomery was held in the auditorium in January 1953. About 2,700 people packed into the auditorium and about 20,000 spilled into the streets.

After the room is cleaned out, she said they have three options for paying for a renovation. Among those options are borrowing, finding grant money and generating additional tax revenue.

"We have got many options," May said. "As the council, we're going to choose the most economical and most expedient route we can take to get this done."

May said the first step is to move the people out and dismantle the office space.

Mayor Bobby Bright said there is not money in the budget this year to renovate the auditorium.

"There are too many other needs in city government," he said.

Boxes are piled up on the stage of Montgomery's old auditorium in City Hall. Built in 1937, the city is considering reviving the facility. Costs for the renovations, which could take millions, have been a road block to the work.

Bright said there is not revenue coming in to help fund the renovation.

Carr said the auditorium should be included in the push to refurbish downtown.

Williams's funeral was held in the auditorium in January 1953. About 2,700 people packed into the auditorium and about 20,000 spilled into the streets outside and listened to the service on the public announcement system.

Country stars who attended the service included Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, June Carter, Bill Monroe and Red Foley, who sang "Peace in the Valley."

Carr drove several family members away from the funeral in a limousine. He said people there were people lining the streets for several blocks.

The crowd was said to be the largest since Jefferson Davis' 1861 inauguration as president of the Confederacy.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2005, 4:23 AM
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Those parking decks are going to do a lot for downtown. Many developers are simply waiting for more parking in order to move forward with their plans.

Did you know that part of the reason Colonial scrapped their downtown high-rise is because they wanted the city to build them 2 parking decks within six months?

But the city couldn't give Colonial a gaurantee that they could do it in time because the city was already working on building 2 other parking decks downtown: the Intermodal Deck, and the convention center/hotel parking deck.

And now add to those the Coosa Street deck and the lower Dexter Avenue deck and there will be plenty of parking deck-building going on for a while. I think the city should have just said yes anyway but Colonial has enough money to build their own decks...why try to make the city build their decks?

I think it was just a lame excuse anyway.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2005, 4:49 AM
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I hope all the new parking decks are designed to be pedestrian-friendly and have retail or office space at ground level. Otherwise, they are just more ugly eyesores for downtown. Montgomery is plagued with too many ugly decks already.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2005, 5:10 AM
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^ These decks are all supposed to be designed with retail on the bottom floors. I've only seen plans for one since the others are still in the design stage, and that's the Intermodal deck. It will be very pedestrian-friendly.

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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 12:11 AM
rabbi2007 rabbi2007 is offline
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Give Montgomery a Nice Arena

One thing I personally believe is missing from our Civic Center ( Embarrassment to this city ) turn Convention Center, among all the new things coming to our downtown, a Arena. Our Coliseum ( Garrett built in 1954 holds between 8000 and 14,000 depending on how you structure the seating ) is too old ( falling apart ) and not large enough for venues of this day. Most cities our size have an arena in their Convention complex , Columbus Ga, Tallahassee Fl, Huntsville, Mobile just to name a few. It would be nice for our city to have one ( arena ) that could seat between 15,000 and 20,000. I have never understood why the city leaders in the early 1970's settled with what we built, and look how many conventions we lost because we could not seat more than 4,000. One place that this arena would fit perfect in is the block behind the present configuration. Montgomery is usually" a day late and a dollar short"on most progress and I know this will never happen in my life time, but 10 years ago who would have ever thought we would have a new baseball stadium ?
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 2:08 AM
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baby steps.... More has been done civicly in the past 5 than in the previous 20.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 4:49 AM
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THat's been my biggest gripe for years...why not have an arena? I have a feeling that one's coming really soon, though. Where, I don't know but the area you suggested, rabbi2007, is where most think it should be.

Don't get me started on why the city settled for what they called a civic center back in the 70's...
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 1:21 PM
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Hopefully, this year, we'll start seeing real economic results from the Hyundai plant... and pray that the tech group gets resurrected from BRAC.....
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 4:18 PM
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Re: Give Montgomery a Nice Arena

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi2007
One thing I personally believe is missing from our Civic Center ( Embarrassment to this city ) turn Convention Center, among all the new things coming to our downtown, a Arena. Our Coliseum ( Garrett built in 1954 holds between 8000 and 14,000 depending on how you structure the seating ) is too old ( falling apart ) and not large enough for venues of this day. Most cities our size have an arena in their Convention complex , Columbus Ga, Tallahassee Fl, Huntsville, Mobile just to name a few. It would be nice for our city to have one ( arena ) that could seat between 15,000 and 20,000. I have never understood why the city leaders in the early 1970's settled with what we built, and look how many conventions we lost because we could not seat more than 4,000. One place that this arena would fit perfect in is the block behind the present configuration. Montgomery is usually" a day late and a dollar short"on most progress and I know this will never happen in my life time, but 10 years ago who would have ever thought we would have a new baseball stadium ?
Actually, I think our arena will barley hold 10,000 The University of South AL has an arena in W Mobile that will hold 12,000, I believe. Either way, we never get any good acts - Penasacola actually gets a lot, as does Biloxi - and of course NOLA - 2 hrs away. Biloxi and Pensacola's arenas are not any larger than ours. I would think MGM would have problems attracting good shows because B'ham is so close.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 4:20 PM
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On the rendering, is that tower actually in the water? That's awesome!
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 4:49 PM
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Downtown

At least the cities I named have a Arena in their downtown. Alabama State University which is about 2 miles from downtown Montgomery has an Arena which seats about 8,000, but that is now the answer for our downtown.
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 4:50 PM
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Downtown

At least the cities I named have a Arena in their downtown. Alabama State University which is about 2 miles from downtown Montgomery has an Arena which seats about 8,000, but that is not the answer for our downtown.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 5:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkp
On the rendering, is that tower actually in the water? That's awesome!
Yes, it's an observation tower that's in the Alabama River. The catwalk/bridge goes over the train tracks.

The construction trailers have been onsite for a month or 2, but no sign of beginning construction yet.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 5:19 PM
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And you gotta love the JOE L. REED ACAdome!!







Montgomery several small (2000-8000) venues, but no good 'big ones'.

Civic Center, Coliseum (not counting 'floor seats'), Ampitheater, Riverwalk stadium, Crampton bowl, Paterson field, Acadome, Carmichal (DEA ) center, ASF, museum ampitheater, Davis Theater, Civic Auditorium if its redone + a couple of 1000+ seat churches


as a kid, I even remember going to see Doug Henning (cheesy hippy/magician) at the Lee auditorium.... :hilarious


*edit* I think ASF is only like 750.... but still...

Last edited by thoraudio; Aug 3, 2005 at 5:29 PM.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 8:32 PM
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You Forgot

You Forgot the Historical ( LOL ) Crampton Bowl. It can hold 24,000 for a tight fit. The West side is as old as dirt, the east side was built in the early 60's. I am glad about one thing we no longer have the Bore Bowl (Blue Gray Classic ) here. This is one fire that needed to be put out years ago. Crampton Bowl could be a nice place, but like most things around here neglect and band aids have taken there toll.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 9:00 PM
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it's on there.... right after Riverwalk


I liked having the Blue-Gray game...
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2005, 9:05 PM
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Montgomery info

Montgomery had a nice theatre that was tore down by Troy to build the Rosa Parks Museum, the old Empire Theatre. In my opinion it was nicer than the Paramount ( changed name to Davis because the old lady loved seeing her name in lights). It held several hundred more than the Paramount ( Davis ). Troy has done much to that area of downtown so I am not knocking them for letting that one get away. I just wonder why the movers and shakers of this city have little vision. Take Riverwalk Stadium as an example, it seats 7,000 and for the past two years we have had many sellouts, why was its built to only hold this amount or why was it not built in the beginning to hold about 10,000 the standard sive for AA baseball ? Our old baseball stadium ( Paterson Field )holds 7,000. I know for years our past Mayor did all he could to discourage developement downtown. When he was on the city council he voted not to build any convention center. During his reign as KGB leader of Montgomery we had no concerts ( he ordered one raid to many and concert promoters would not even consider this city ). HELP Montgomery needs developers with Vision, plus we now have a great Mayor.
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2005, 8:30 PM
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Still depressed that Milo's is gone, but this will help some.

Quote:
I have great news for Montgomery-area Whataburger fans -- and there are a lot of you out there because many of you have e-mailed me!

All the Way Management will open the Capital City's first Whataburger on the Atlanta Highway, the spot that originally was Milo's.

Albert Lopez and Pablo Huerta of All the Way Management, a Texas-based group of private investors, met me for coffee last week after finalizing the deal.

"We're still looking at some time in the fall," said Lopez, who grew up eating at Whataburger. These days, his favorite is the No. 5, which comes with bacon, cheese and a toasted bun.

But that's just one of 36,864 ways to order your Whataburger, he said. And they're available 24 hours a day. In addition to burgers, you can get such items as salads, grilled chicken, chicken strips and onion rings.

You also can have breakfast from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. daily. During those hours, customers can order breakfast items, such goodies as taquitos, pancakes and breakfast on a bun.

Huerta said another great thing is that Whataburger will hire Montgomery-area folks. The only people they are bringing with them are the people who will train the local team for six to eight weeks before opening.

The city's first Whataburger will be at 6521 Atlanta Highway.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2005, 10:18 PM
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Re: Montgomery info

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi2007
Montgomery had a nice theatre that was tore down by Troy to build the Rosa Parks Museum, the old Empire Theatre. In my opinion it was nicer than the Paramount ( changed name to Davis because the old lady loved seeing her name in lights). It held several hundred more than the Paramount ( Davis ). Troy has done much to that area of downtown so I am not knocking them for letting that one get away. I just wonder why the movers and shakers of this city have little vision. Take Riverwalk Stadium as an example, it seats 7,000 and for the past two years we have had many sellouts, why was its built to only hold this amount or why was it not built in the beginning to hold about 10,000 the standard sive for AA baseball ? Our old baseball stadium ( Paterson Field )holds 7,000. I know for years our past Mayor did all he could to discourage developement downtown. When he was on the city council he voted not to build any convention center. During his reign as KGB leader of Montgomery we had no concerts ( he ordered one raid to many and concert promoters would not even consider this city ). HELP Montgomery needs developers with Vision, plus we now have a great Mayor.
Fulmar and Bright are 2 completely different animals. What Montgomery needs is someone that has the pro economic redevelopment that Bright has for Downtown, but also has the Hard as nails stance on crime, especially on South and Eastern Blvds., that Fulmar had. Put those 2 together, and you're just asking for a successful city.
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