Downtown Alleyway Project nears completion

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Above the Alleyway in downtown Montgomery workers are hammering away, carving out yet another downtown loft apartment.

Down below in the same building, Dreamland Bar-B-Que is 3 days away from opening day, just in time for the opening game of the season for the Montgomery Biscuits. Bob Parker is one of 11 owners of Dreamland.

"This has been two years in the making but it's come together in the last 60 days. We don't have time to be nervous," said Parker.

And Jeff Downes, the mayor's Chief of Staff, couldn't be happier because the entire project is 5-years in the making.

"This is a good example of the private and public sector coming together. In addition to the restaurant, there will be a couple of bars and a few more restaurants," said Downes.

The old water tank that sat on top of the buildings in the alleyway now straddles the Tallapoosa Street side of the Alleyway. It's about to get a fresh coat of paint with a splash of color.

"It will come with a package lighting. Green for St. Patrick's Day and red, white and blue for 4th of July," said Downes.

The official entryway to the Alleyway, however, will be on the Commerce Street side.

"Here you will have a police substation and another restaurant that's being negotiated right now," Downes said.

Talk about a return on the city's investment. Downes says the city invested $1.6 million into the deal while private developers chipped in so much more.

"And they have invested around $10 million with more plans on the way," said Downes.

The news gets even better. Bob Parker says he's hiring around 45-full time employees and they'll earn anywhere from 8 to 12 dollars an hour.