A development firm floating a plan for a new Mobile event center, pitching it as the anchor of a larger redevelopment of the Mobile Civic Center site.
Mobile, AL officials have been debating the future of the 22-acre site of the Mobile Civic Center–a downtown facility that includes a 10,000-seat arena, 3,000-seat Expo Hall, and a 1,940-seat theater. Covington LA-based Stirling Properties is one of two firms floating a proposal for the site, with its plan–modeled after Allentown, PA’s PPL Center–calling for a new event center to anchor surrounding development.
The Mobile event center would be a multipurpose venue, hosting events such as sports, Mardi Gras balls, shows, and more. In addition, it would be positioned as the anchor of a larger redevelopment plan that includes residential units, a grocery store, and bars and restaurants.
Along with Stirling, Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. is pitching its own plan for the site. City officials have not made a final decision on the proposals yet, and would have some steps to complete before moving forward with either project. More from AL.com:
George Talbot, a spokesman for Mayor Sandy Stimpson, said Thursday, “We definitely want to visit a Stirling property and we’ll work with them to identify the appropriate one.”
Talbot said, “It is very much a competition with two very outstanding proposals.”
Time is steadily ticking down, however. The projects from Stirling and Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. are expected to be presented to the City Council during a closed-door executive session on July 15.
An advisory committee will evaluate the council’s feedback and offer a recommendation. Talbot said it’s difficult to “put a hard timeline on the project,” but that he anticipates a development agreement going before the council for a possible vote by Sept. 1.
Mobile Civic Center is an aging facility, having first opened in 1964 and receiving its last renovation in 1989. As part of Stirling’s proposal, any demolition work on Mobile Civic Center would not begin until after construction of the new venue is completed, while the Civic Center’s existing theater would be renovated as part of the project.