Baltimore-based developer Cordish Cos. is proposing a Live! entertainment district for the Mobile Civic Center site, putting its pitch in the mix as the city considers the venue’s future.
Mobile Civic Center is an aging facility, having first opened in 1964 and undergone its last major renovation in the late 1980s. Its age and high maintenance costs are prompting debate over its future, and two proposals for the site are currently being considered by city officials.
One of the plans come from Cordish, who is proposing a Live! entertainment district for the 22-acre site. Entertainment venues and dining would be part of the mix, with the redevelopment also expected to include a six-to-eight story office building that would occupy a portion of the property.
The bid from Cordish is in the mix with a separate proposal from Covington, LA-based Stirling Properties. Stirling’s pitch, modeled after Allentown, PA’s PPL Center, calls for constructing a multipurpose sports and event center on the site, surrounded by mixed-use development. Both plans were presented to the Mobile City Council on Monday, but a recommendation from Mobile mayor Sandy Stimpson and a council vote will not come until later in the process. More from AL.com:
“If you’re looking to activate the downtown market and bring that vitality around the country, Cordish has a proven (reputation),” said Michael McShea, executive vice-president with CBRE Inc., which is overseeing the selection of the Civic Center development team.
He added, “We think this really builds in downtown and the venues already there. And it will bring people from the suburbs to the city. You will want to be there.”
CBRE unveiled the Cordish concept for the first time before the Mobile City Council. In addition, CBRE introduced a competing project by Covington, Louisiana-based Stirling Properties that includes the construction of a new multipurpose sports and entertainment venue, apartment buildings, a hotel and a grocery store….
The council and Stimpson’s office will meet in the coming weeks with neighborhood groups and Mardi Gras organizations before recommending which company will receive the go-ahead to develop the property. A recommendation from Stimpson, and a vote from the council, could occur in September.
Located in downtown Mobile, the Mobile Civic Center includes a 10,000-seat arena, 3,000-seat Expo Hall, and a 1,940-seat theater.
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