Maxwell Boulevard next in line for facelift

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Development Director Chad Emerson believes the view of the Alabama River from Maxwell Boulevard will make developers anxious to snatch up space there.

"This is the type of property that not many cities are fortunate to have," says Emerson.

Right now, the city owns the property between Whitman and Holt streets. They plan to sell it to the developers who present the best ideas. Emerson believes the key is getting more places to live.

"You can imagine people building maybe a residential unit that has multiple stories worth of balconies, people overlooking the river, drinking their coffee in the morning."

City leaders say the demand for downtown living has increased so much over the last few years, that even the residential space they have downtown isn't enough to satisfy the need.

"You could easily build 300 units downtown for the next five years and still not meet all the demand," adds Emerson.

TJ Williford knows that demand all too well.

"We can average anywhere from 10-15 inquiries per day," says Williford.

His company manages the Alley Station lofts downtown and is currently working on a 220-unit apartment development downtown known as the Warehouse Project.  With a waiting list sometimes 40 people deep, he'll admit, residential space on Maxwell Boulevard would help.

"I think it's an obvious solution to the demand. There's some beautiful views on that side of the river and a residential component would fit nicely."

Not to mention folks who would jump at the chance to be down there.

"I could easily go out, do a few things, go exploring for lack of a better word," says Montgomery resident, Danielle Sabafi.

Developers have until Labor Day weekend to come up with ideas and submit them to the city.

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.