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Downtown Mobile news and info - May 2016
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Celebrate Mother's Day Downtown
If you haven't found that perfect gift for Mom yet, we have a few suggestions. How about a special brunch at one of downtown's many restaurants, including the Battle House or Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotels? Chef Marty has created two amazing menus to make your mother feel extra special...and no one has to clean up! Reservations required. Battle House:  251.415.3092.  Riverview: 251.415.3092

GulfQuest is celebrating Mother’s Day by offering FREE admission to all moms this Sunday, with the purchase of one paid admission. Along with free admission for moms, Treasures Museum Store at GulfQuest is offering 20 percent off select items especially for mothers.

The Mobile Symphony's season finale falls on Mother's Day this year, providing an opportunity for an outing with a cultural spin. The performance, "From the Oceans to the Stars," takes place at 2:30 at the Saenger Theatre, giving you time to take Mom to brunch before the concert.

And if you're still at a loss, consider a Downtown Mobile Gift Card. It's good at more than two dozen shops and restaurants...some of them sure to be among Mom's favorites! You can pick one up at the Urban Emporium (also a great place for gifts!), 260 Dauphin Street.
Historic Tax Credit Update

The Alabama legislature adjourned yesterday without renewing the State Historic Tax Credit program, despite overwhelming, in fact super-majority, support in both houses. Three state senators managed to block the bill, though their motives remain unclear. It cannot be that they object to tax credits in principle, since at least three other tax credit bills were approved this session. 

Neither can they claim the program costs the state money, since an economic impact study done by one of the most respected independent accounting firms in the country projects the program to generate revenue to cover the initial investment in only three years. Over 20 years, the program generates nearly $4.00 in new state and local tax revenue for every dollar invested. With chronically under-funded state budgets, one would think these opponents would embrace a program that created new tax revenue without a tax increase. 

Cities across Alabama have benefited from the $400,000,000 in private investment this first round of tax credits has generated, not to mention the intangible benefit of restoring the long-neglected historic fabric of our downtowns and town centers. As Nika McCool, a small developer restoring the Drish House in Tuscaloosa, puts it, "The history and heritage of our state is written in these buildings just as surely as it is written in our text books." 

We are surrounded by states that offer historic tax credits; states that have reaped great financial benefit by leveraging these dollars. Even though the program has expired, threatening the future of historic treasures across the state, every legislative session gives us another opportunity to convince lawmakers of its value. This is a program we cannot afford to lose. 
Cathedral Square Fundraising

It's difficult to imagine a time when Cathedral Square wasn't a part of our downtown landscape, but 20 years ago, it was just a vacant, grassy field. Today, this lovely public space is a vibrant center of activity, and home to some of the region's best events.To celebrate this transformation, Main Street Mobile has commissioned a major piece of art for the Square. "Equino," by Mobile sculptor Casey Downing, is a tribute to the Mobile Police Department Mounted Unit and a memorial to Lt. Tommy Menton, who patrolled the sidewalks of downtown for several years. 

Main Street Mobile is in the process of raising $35,000 for the sculpture, and has already received several generous donations. If you would like to contribute to "Equino," please contact Elizabeth Stevens at 251-434-8498 or donate online through the Equino Donation button at downtownmobile.org. Many thanks to those who have already joined the effort to complete this beautiful piece of public art:

Archdiocese of Mobile
Regions Bank
Leannah and Lyman Holland
Battle House Hotel
Fluxus Project
Helmsing Leach Herlong Newman
Ann Hearin
Therese Greer
Thomas Burnett
Jacquelin Jones
Mark Berson

RETAIL & RESTAURANT NEWS

Five Opens to Livley Crowds

The popular eatery with locations in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa is now open at 609 Dauphin Street. The clever menu offers five snacks, five entrees, five cocktails, five white wines, five reds...you get the idea. The remodeled space (formerly home to The Bull) is lively and festive with eye-catching art and dozens of chandeliers. One diner was heard to remark, "Thanks goodnes they finally opened one in Mobile...I could never get in the one in Tuscaloosa!" 
Menu and hours

 

DEVELOPMENT BUZZ

Staples-Pake Renovations Begin

A New Orleans developer has begun the renovation of the historic Staples-Pake building at the corner of Royal and St. Michael streets. The 1850s office building has been largely vacant for years. Plans call for 20 apartments and five retail spaces on the ground floor. 

This major renovation is being undertaken using Historic Tax Credits. 

Olde Mobile Antiques Moving Downtown


NAI-Mobile has announced that the owners of Olde Mobile Antiques recently purchased a 25,000 square foot building at 653 St. Louis Street. Known for its large estate sales, the popular Mobile destination will be relocating from its current location on the Beltline near HWY 90. The owner plans to open for business later this year after renovations are complete.
 

Brewery Planned for Church Street East Neighborhood


Haint Blue Brewing Company will be setting up operations in the historic Crystal Ice warehouse at 806 Monroe Street. The building has housed the ice company since the 1920s, but a new plant across the street is freeing up the 8600 square foot warehouse/office space for an entirely new and highly anticipated use. Depending on the length of time it takes to begin operations, Haint Blue could be the first brewery in the Port City for decades.
SPECIAL EVENTS


Creek Fest - May 7

Tour de Bay Criterium - May 14

Many Beautiful Things - May 18

Mobile "Silkies" Hike - May 14


Market on the Square - Saturdays

 
MUSIC

Mother's Day Garden Concert - May 8

MSO: From Oceans to Stars - May 7, 8 

Brown Bag in Bienville - Wednesdays


LoDa Live

Soul Kitchen
MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS

Exploreum - Da Vinci, Machines and Robots 

History Museum - Tutankhamun

GulfQuest - Treasures of NOAA's Ark

Fort Conde

USS Alabama
GALLERIES


Cathedral Square Gallery

Gallery 450

Alabama Contemporary Art Center
WHAT'S ON THE SCREEN

The Crescent Theater


IMAX
FUNDRAISERS



Shooting for a Cure - May 13

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
downtownmobile.org • 251.434.8498 office
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