Revitalization Well Underway In Downtown Montgomery

The Biscuits stadium is a good example of growth downtown.
The Biscuits stadium is a good example of growth downtown.

A new building here, another one renovated, increasing signs of new life in downtown Montgomery.

"I could point to any building in a 5 block radius and tell you there's something going on right now," said Jerome Moore of Moore Company Realty.

Jerome Moore should know. His family has been in the commercial real estate business for more than a hundred years.

"Revitalization is underway," Moore said.

And Moore is not alone.

"The first downtown lofts were built in 2005," said Beau Daniel of Foshee Management Company.

Daniel works for the property management company that manages most of the loft apartments in downtown. What used to be Montgomery Fair, a long time department store on Monroe Street, is now weeks away from becoming the home of 23 loft apartments and loft condos.

"It's sort of like the perfect storm. Biscuits stadium and the new hotel," Daniel said.

Two main reasons why more and more people it seems are either taking a chance on a new business or simply downsizing. They're from all walks of life. Another reason?

"The real effect of high gas prices is everybody wants to live, work and play in this environment. It's the real deal," said Moore.

Commercial real estate broker Jerry Wills is the first to admit he didn't think bringing back downtown could be done. A 'doubting Thomas' in the beginning.

"Downtowns were decaying all across the country," said Wills.

Now he's a convert. Riverwalk Stadium changed his mind as well as a friend, a developer who bought a building in the Alleyway and is in the process of turning it into a restaurant.

"That told me this is going to make it," said Wills.

Clearly though some areas of town still have a way to go, a few stores are still locked down and shuttered but just as clear the renovation engine is moving ahead.

If you were to include Riverwalk Stadium and the Renaissance Hotel, the total investments in downtown so far exceeds $200 million, money that has slowly brought downtown back into focus, one block at a time.