New development planned for Commerce Street

Published: Nov. 22, 2012 at 4:01 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2012 at 4:01 AM CST
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A key section of Downtown Montgomery will be getting a new look.  The city has agreed to sell property on South Commerce Street to a development firm.  It plans to put a mixed-use development on the site.

"All of our studies we need 300,000 square feet of retail and we need 3,000 units of residential units and this begins to address that," Mayor Todd Strange said.

The development would be built on part of the current Commerce Street Parking lot.  The temporary structures on the site would be torn down.  The new development features buildings similar in style to those on the other side of Commerce Street.

One City Council member thought the project may go too far in changing the look of the area and take away the sight lines to the historic Union Station.

"That's one of the most historic things we have here in Montgomery, built in the same 1800 time frame and to hide it from all the pedestrians who would want to travel through here, to me would not be the thing we really want to do," said Richard Bollinger, Councilman from District 1.

The mayor assured Bollinger the sight lines will be preserved in some fashion.  As for another concern – green space downtown – city leaders said existing parks would be redeveloped and refashioned.

The developers said a grocery store may also come to the site at a later date.

"When our retail agent says they've found for the right one for this site, for this market, we can then exercise that option and go ahead on that site," said Anna Lowder, one of the developers of the project.

Another developer has also indicated interest in bringing a grocery store to Downtown.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.