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Downtown Mobile news and info - July 2014
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Bill Extending State Historic Tax Credits Depends on Alabama Senate


In May 2013, Governor Bentley signed into law a bill establishing state tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic buildings. In the 24 months since then, 43 projects throughout the state have been undertaken, stimulating more than $350 million in investment in Alabama. Ten projects are currently underway in Mobile, including the Buick Building on St. Louis Street, Old Shell Road School and Marine Street Lofts at 951 Government Street. For the most part, all ten projects are returning long-vacant buildings to the tax rolls and would not have been possible without the tax credit incentive.

Without an extension by the legislature, the tax credits will expire this year. Last week, a bill sponsored by Mobile Representative Victor Gaston won unanimous approval in the House. The bill now awaits a vote in the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee before it can be considered by the full Senate. 

It is difficult to overstate how important this incentive has been to the recent redevelopment efforts in Downtown Mobile. The program is bringing in millions of dollars in investment to the city while also preserving an important part of our identity as an historic southern city. If you would like to know how you can help with the effort to extend the historic tax credits, contact chunter@downtownmobile.org or estevens@downtownmobile.org.

Unprecedented Opportunities for Citizen Input


In addition to the public workshops underway for the revitalization of Three-Mile Creek and the development of the Crepe Myrtle Trail, two additional opportunities are coming up for you to help shape the future of our city. The first multi-day workshop will take place  next week as the Toole Design Group explores opportunities to make downtown more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. The following week, the City will continue developing its 20-year comprehensive plan with more design workshops. Details on both efforts are included in links below, but please plan on participating in both of these workshop events. The vision for Mobile can only be complete if we all participate.

Map for Mobile: Designing the Future Workshop

Take part in a multi-day design event that will turn community ideas into a plan for Mobile, May 18-21 at The Grounds. Map for Mobile.
 

Bike-Pedestrian Study


The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, in close coordination with the City of Mobile, the Downtown Mobile Alliance, and the MPO's Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee, has embarked on a study focusing on non-motorized mobility for Downtown Mobile, Alabama. The purpose of the study is to consider bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity within the downtown area and along the radial connections to the Henry Aaron Loop. Walkable/bikeable communities are healthier, more vibrant and economically sustainable...let's help make downtown a model other neighborhoods in Mobile will be able to follow. More info

RETAIL & RESTAURANT NEWS

Gift Giving Season is Upon Us!

From Mother's Day (this Sunday!) to graduation, wedding and teacher gifts...Downtown merchants have you covered. You'll even find great one-of-a-kind items at our galleries and in the Mobile Maker section of the Urban Emporium. And you can make any gift more special by including a Downtown Mobile Gift Card. Good at more than two dozen restaurants and shops. Gift cards may be purchased at the Urban Emporium at 260 Dauphin Street. 

 

Covered Boutique Opening Soon

The first graduate of the Urban Emporium retail incubator program located into a separate strore front two years ago. Now Covered Boutique is moving into even larger, move visible space on Dauphin Street. The women's clothing and accessories shop is scheduled to open this Friday for ArtWalk, in a beautifully renovated store at 222 Dauphin Street. 

 

DEVELOPMENT BUZZ

Plans for New Federal Courthouse Revealed

The federal government has released renderings of the $89 million federal courthouse to be constructed at St. Louis and St. Joseph Streets. Construction of the five-story, 155,000 square foot courthouse is expected to begin next year and is projected to open in mid-2018. Original plans called for a much larger building that straddled two blocks of downtown, but the project was scaled back as space needs and funding availability changed. 

 

Greer's Downtown Market Ribbon Cutting

Ninety-nine years after opening its first store in Downtown Mobile, on Wednesday, the Greer's family officially opened its newest one. The Greer's Downtown Market is just a few blocks west of the original location. Mayor Sandy Stimpson and several generations of the Greers family participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, then officially welcomed the eager public into the well-stocked store.

 

Digital Design Studio Moves Downtown

Blue Fish Design Studio has announced a move to 412 Dauphin Street. The Mattress Factory location is alrealdy home to creative enterprises, including Fine Line Design,  Seven Eleven Fabrication and Paint the Town. Blue Fish specializes in digital marketing, web design and branding. Owner and creative director Marcus Neto tells us, "I am excited about what the Mayor and others in the business community are doing to revive downtown Mobile. For us, this move is a statement. We wanted to say that we believe in Mobile and what it has to offer entrepreneurs. We look forward to being part of the vibrant business community and all that is has to offer."

DOWNTOWN DOINGS

CAJUN CORNHOLE CLASSIC IN CATHEDRAL SQUARE

May 14, 5:30- 7:30PM

16-team, single elimination tournament to raise money for Springboard to Success, the non-profit that manages the Urban Emporium, Mobile's retail incubator. Geaux Boy will be on site and will donate a portion of the evening's sales. Prizes for top team, best team name, best costume, etc!!! Register here, or contact Henry Perkins
 

TOURS CELEBRATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION MONTH


The magical history tour is coming to take you away, coming to take you away...through 300 year of history in less than 30 minutes. Board the moda! at Dauphin and Joachim streets at noon every Tuesday and Saturday in May and learn about the unique architecture, culture and history of the Port City. Tours are led by historians, architects and other colorful characters. Schedule

The moda! Magical History Tours are part of Historic Preservation Month, which is full of opportunities to learn more about Mobile's history and traditions. From tours to lectures to the Historic Preservation Society's Annual Meeting, the month is full of opportunities to celebrate the importance of preservation in our communties. Preservation Month Calendar

Mobile Symphony Orchestra: Russian Romance

May 9, 8:00PM, May 10, 2:30PM

Stunning pianist Olga Kern returns to Mobile for the virtuosic and ravishing Third Piano Concerto by Rachmanioff. Glinka’s energetic Ruslan and Ludmila and Prokofiev’s First Symphony are also featured. There is no better finale than one with Olga Kern, Maestro Scott Speck and the wonderful musicians of your Mobile Symphony Orchestra!  Tickets.
 

Bellingrath Mother's Day Concert

May 10th

Bellingrath Gardens and Home will welcome the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra and their conductor, Rob Seebacher, for the Annual Mother’s Day Concert on Sunday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. on Live Oak Plaza. Guests are invited to enjoy the Gardens and Home throughout the afternoon and then gather at 5:30 p.m. for the late afternoon concert.
Schedule

Shen Yun Performing Arts

May 7, 2015 : 7:30 pm

5,000 Years of Civilization. Live on Stage! 

Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.

A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops – together creating one spectacular performance.

Tickets: Now on sale $50 - $120
 For more information, please visit www.ShenYun.com.

 

The Shaolin Institute Kung Fu Competition

May 30

The Shaolin Institute teaches martial arts of traditional Shaolin and modern MMA, Oriental Culture, Arts and Natural Healing. Located on Lakeside Drive in West Mobile, they will be hosting a Kung Fu Competition May 30 at the Mobile Convention center.

Mobile Convention Center

Armed Forces Day Celebration

May 16

The Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc. will hold Alabama’s 11th annual Blue Star Salute Celebration on Saturday, May 16, Armed Forces Day, at USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park, 2703 Battleship Memorial Parkway.  This is the third year that Mobile will host the state-wide celebration.  The day’s events will honor those who serve, have served, and those who have fallen in military service.

Learning Lunch: Watt Key

May 13, Noon
History Museum of Mobile

Watt Key, an award-winning southern fiction author, will talk about growing up on the Gulf. The mesmerizing stories of his childhood in and around Point Clear, Alabama, appear monthly in Mobile Bay Magazine.  

GALLERIES AND EXHIBITS

Market on the Square

Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - Noon
Cathedral Square

Time to get your early season fresh veggies, along with goat milk soaps and lotions, local honey, cut local flowers, plants, pastas, eggs, fresh caught fish and shrimp, preserves, fresh baked breads, muffins, pastries, and more, including Art!!  All locally produced and harvested!  Come out and say hello to all your old Market vendor friends and meet the new ones! We've got new farms, new veggies, new bakers, lots of new things! Come early and remember...Buy Fresh! Buy Local! 

History Museum of Mobile

Through September 2015


Ark of India is an account of late 19th and early 20th century India as seen by Alabama artist, Roderick D. MacKenzie, using his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and most importantly, photographs and writings. 
In March, the History Museum will mark the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with an exhibit that serves as a poignant reminder of those horrific months when the waters of the Gulf teemed not with life, but with deadly, thick, black tar. More than 20 local artists will lend their works to this exhibit entitled What's at Stake?, designed to remind visitors of the beauty and the uniqueness of the Gulf region, and the necessity of its protection. Learn more about both exhibits
Your Connection to Southern Coastal Art and Artists.
May Show - 'Steel Magnolias-Celebrating the Strength of a Mother's Love'. 
Artwalk Reception  May 8, 5:30-8:30, wine tasting, Music by Bayou Rhythm.

612 Dauphin St. T-S 11-5, Sun 11-3. 251-694-0278. All media - Oils, Acrylic,

Watercolor, Photography, Woodturnings, Jewelry, Pottery, Glass, Textiles.

CathedralSquareGallery.org also Like us on Facebook. Info
 lhall699@aol.com  
  

Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Through December 2015

Featuring over 75 works by 15 Alabama self-taught artists from the collection of William S. Arnett and Souls Grown Deep Foundation, History Refused to Die examines the textured African American experience in Alabama. Special video installation by Tom Leeser. Often dismissively referred to as "outsider" or "folk" art, works from this genre of truly astonishing American art are sure to engage and surprise visitors of all ages and walks of life.
 Learn more

End of Dinosaurs, Getting Back to Mars, and Summer Camp



Hurry to the Gulf Coast Exploreum to catch the last few days of Hatching the Past: The Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt. The exhibit closes Sunday, May 10th so go ahead and plan to come down because it could be another 65 million years before you get another chance to be this close to dinosaurs. Journey to Mars exhibit opens at the end of the month, May 23rd.

Exploreum Summer Camp kicks off May 25th and registration is now open so hurry up and give those aged 4-14 a memorable summer that inspires learning for a lifetime.

Lemurs of Madagascar runs in the IMAX dome till the end of the month, so if you need to calm your heart rate after the dinosaurs or if summer camp hasn't filled enough of the day, why not learn about some of the cuddliest endangered animals ever to exhibit female social dominance?

The Lost Garden

May-July 2015

“The Lost Garden” is part installation art work, part sustainability laboratory and seeks to recapture that sense of adventure and self-reliance. The project is constructed of found materials and available hardware and consists of three small house-like structures surrounded by a temporary garden of beds and planters. The title “The Lost Garden” describes a place that is mysterious but attainable. That which is lost can indeed be found and visitors to the garden can rediscover possibility. 

What's on the Screen

The Crescent Theater features current releases and popular documentaries. Plus, you can relax in one of 10 recliners and enjoy a glass of wine or beer.
Current films, showtimes and tickets
 

The Gulf Coast Exploreum with its I-MAX dome will educate and entertain at the same timeCurrent films, showtimes and tickets

Live Music Listing


Looking for some great live local and regional music in downtown? Check out these sources:

Soul Kitchen
Alchemy Tavern

Moe's Original BBQ
O'Daly's Irish Pub

Lagniappe has a listing of live music in the Mobile area.

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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