I'll make a prediction...and this is just my take on things. I foresee a dramatic shift in the way we as a society operate. I see a future that resembles our past. When business was handled locally, when markets were open on every corner. I see a huge influx of the mom and pop businesses back into the mainstream. As more and more people are losing jobs and people worry about the financial melt down I think we will revert back to the days of controlled spending habits. Living in Mobile gives me hope of a brighter future, as our city officials continue to boost our egos with plans to revitalize our 300 year old city. We will be creating jobs, increasing revenue and will attract more visitors to our lovely city.
The city paid urban planning firm EDSA Inc. $400,000 to revise the city's 12-year-old master plan, which covers an area bordered to the east by the Mobile River, the south by Interstate 10 and Duval Street, the west by Houston Street and the north by Three Mile Creek and the neighborhoods north of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
Here are just some of the details:
The Civic Center would remain intact, but the city would partner with a developer to replace the building's massive parking lot with a parking garage. The extra space would then be turned into a mixed-use commercial and residential development.
The part of Water Street just south of the Interstate 165 entrance would be home to several mid-rise office buildings, making it the city's "skyline office
district," according to planner Keith Weaver. The post office on the corner of St. Joseph and Congress streets could move into one of those buildings, freeing up that land for a park.
St. Stephens Road and Spring Hill Avenue would become a medical-technology corridor, Weaver said. The city would install high-speed broadband Internet lines down the street and partner with local universities to move medical research facilities there.
The city would create a "wireless cloud" over downtown Mobile, offering free wireless broadband Internet access throughout the Hank Aaron Loop. That would help encourage young people to move downtown.
The Alabama Department of Transportation would tear down the onramps leading from Water Street to Interstate 10 and the Wallace Tunnel. Motorists would drive farther down Water Street until they reached the Canal Street entrance. That would allow Fort Conde Village to expand with more homes and businesses.
A boat slip would be built at the north side of the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center on Water Street. The slip would be home to a dinner-cruise ship or water taxi.
The city would target a few intersections, such as the
corner of Broad Street and Spring Hill, and offer incentives to businesses, such as grocery stores, to move there.
Barton Academy would be transformed into either a culinary arts or performing-arts school.
A new quasi-governmental organization would be formed to help put together large developments by purchasing and combining smaller lots.
The city would create new historic districts for the Oakdale and Maysville neighborhoods.
The city would turn the old Hickory Street landfill into a sports academy and park.
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