Downtown Mobile news and info - March 2017
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Two bills of particular importance to Downtown Mobile have been introduced in the Alabama legislature in the past few weeks. The bill with the most impact would be a renewal of the State Historic Tax Credit program. The legislature passed a Tax Credit bill in 2013, and in its three year life span, the program resulted in the renovation of 52 historic properties across the state (including the Staples-Pake building seen above), generating more than $334 million in private investment in our towns and cities. The bill expired last year, with several projects on the waiting list.

SB262, which would reinstate the tax credit program, has been introduced in the State Senate and is working its way through the committee process. Rep. Victor Gaston of Mobile is sponsoring the House version, HB345. Both bills have widespread support in the legislature, in part because of the positive results of an independent economic impact study ordered by the Alabama Department of Revenue last year. In part, the study concludes, "...that the Alabama HRTC program provides important benefits to local, regional, and state economies. It fosters rehabilitation of historic structures while providing important and meaningful (but difficult to measure) spillovers. Importantly, those investments—the rehabilitated historic structures—cannot be moved out of state, unlike companies that receive start-up capital or other inducements."

Rep. James Buskey of Mobile has introduced a bill that would allow the service of alcoholic beverages on sidewalk cafes in Downtown Mobile's two entertainment districts. This has been a common practice for many years, but was recently halted by the Alabama ABC. The bill has been adopted in the House and is making its way through the Senate. 

And there is a third bill that might have an impact on our downtown streets. Rep.Chris Pringle of Mobile has introduced a bill that would allow the City of Mobile to authorize the operation of low-speed vehicles (read that: golf carts) upon certain designated municipal streets under limited circumstances and conditions. This bill has been adopted by the House and awaits action in the Senate. 


Downtown Restaurants in the News

Downtown is booming with new restaurants and developments, both of which were recently highlighted in local media. Local 15-TV reported on a variety of projects underway or newly opened, and Lagniappe featured Kazoola Eatery & Entertainment in last week's issue.



Hannah Houses

The historic Hannah Houses recently sold to a Mobile developer for $560,000. The twin houses on Conception Street were purchased by the Federal Government several years ago when plans for a new Federal Courthouse included the block on which they sit. The Courthouse design was scaled back, freeing the buildings for private development. The new owner plans to convert the houses into office space. 

Serda's Brewing Underway

Mobile's first new brewery is expected to be turning out local libations by July. The former tire center on Government Street will feature brewing and bottling operations, a comfortable pub style tap room, a street side fence-enclosed beergarden and a well lit and landscaped food truck alley. If the beer is a good as the award-winning coffee John Serda has been roasting for years, it's sure be a huge hit!

Cajun Cook-Off
Saturday, March 18
Cathedral Square

Twenty of Downtown Mobile's best chef's will be facing off to see who can prepare the best Cajun dish. But the real winner is the Child Advocacy Center, which benefits from the ticket sales. And of course all the attendees who get to sample amazing food, great beverages and fabulous music! For more information, click here.


A couple of events will have us wearing green Friday and Saturday as Mobile celebrates St. Patrick's Day.
Friendly Sons of St. Patrick will kick off celebration Friday morning at 10:00 with a Mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. They will parade through the streets of downtown after the service...usually around 11:00. Here is the route for the parade: The parade will start on Claiborne St. at Conti St. and travel south on Conti Government St.; west on Government t. to Franklin St.; north on Franklin St. to Dauphin St.; east on Dauphin St. to Royal St.; north on Royal St. to St. Francis St.; west on St. Francis St. to Conception St.; south on Conception St. to Dauphin St.; west on Dauphin St. to Joachim St.; south on Joachim St. to Government St. and disband.

And then on Saturday afternoon, runners will take to the streets of downtown for the
O'Daly's Irish Pub Green Dress Run. This is always an entertaining event for spectators! The route for the run is as follows: The run will start on Dauphin St. at Warren St. and travel west on Dauphin St. to Catherine St.; north on Catherine St.  just south of Old Shell Rd. and conduct a u-turn around a traffic cone and will reverse the route back to the finish line at Warrant St.

Saturday, March 25
Saenger Theatre

LoDa Live - Live music in and around Downtown

Exchange 202 - Coffee Chats and Lunch & Learns

Fuse Factory - Start the Spark Lunch & Learns

Socialize Your Bizness - What'z Up Wednesday and Fast 5

Chamber of Commerce - Member and Non-Member Events
Mobile Opera: Suor Angelica
March 24th and 26th
The Temple Downtown

Suor Angelica is the 5th production of the Puccini Project, designed to present all twelve of Giacomo Puccini’s opera compositions.  Originally a part of Il Trittico, three short operas designed to be performed together, Suor Angelica is the dramatic story of a nun in penitence over the dishonor felt by her family over the birth of her illegitimate child. Learn more.
Negotiated Affections: The Women of Mobile's Red Light District
March 23, 5:30 PM
Historic Mobile Preservation Society

In 1888, Mobile’s mayor and city council passed an ordinance legalizing prostitution within a specific district near the heart of Mobile’s business sector. Over the next thirty years, hundreds of women called the district home. In this female-dominated space, women owned a sizable portion of the property and ran nearly all of the brothels. This presentation will explore the district and the lives of a few of these women. Learn more.

SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure 
GulfQuest Maritime Museum
Come see more than 500 artifacts recovered from deep-ocean shipwreck expeditions around the world. GulfQuest is now open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Christenberry: In Alabama 
Through June 4th
Mobile Museum of Art
This extraordinary exhibit is organized on the occasion of the 
Alabama Bicentennial Celebration, and honors the artist William Christenberry’s exploration of themes related to his native state: Alabama’s landscape, structures, traditions, and people.

Faces of Africa
History Museum of Mobile
Critically acclaimed collection of authentic reproductions of ancient masks, murals, and sculptures celebrates 3,500 years of African tribal art and traditions.

Drugs: Costs and Consequences
Through September 3rd
Gulf Coast Exploreum

Cathedral Square Gallery - St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Mobile Arts Council - Art of the Bay

Gallery 450

Alabama Contemporary Art Center


Opens Friday, March 17
Crescent Theater

Wild Africa
Through May 26
Gulf Coast Exploreum IMAX Theater

About Us

The Downtown Mobile Alliance exists to support the redevelopment of Downtown Mobile through marketing, advocacy and the management of Business Improvement District services.
Carol Hunter
Downtown Mobile Alliance • 251.434.8498 office
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