MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The lonely, desolate days of downtown Mobile are no more. A quick stride down the city’s streets shows businesses under construction, or new, hip places just opening.
“Coming Soon” signs cover windows all around the downtown Mobile community, and business owners told FOX10 News they’re excited to contribute to the Downtown Revival.
Mary Kendall Butler owns Bella Bridesmaids, an appointment-only bridesmaid dress shop that is opening downtown next weekend.
Butler said she moved her business from Fairhope to downtown Mobile because she thinks there’s big opportunity in the Downtown sector.
“I live in Downtown Mobile, and all of the restaurants and boutiques that are popping up, I really want to jump on the bandwagon while the whole revival is happening,” said Butler.
Fred Rendfrey, with the Downtown Mobile Alliance, said there’s been a renewed interest in downtown hospitality projects.
One big project to look forward to is the renovation of the Admiral Semmes Hotel, which should begin in October.
Rendfrey said new restaurants are also coming to the area, including Chick-fil-A and Jimmy Johns.
Business owners said downtown’s recent beautification improvements have helped boom business.
Recently, the Downtown Mobile Alliance added 12 cafe tables and 24 matching chairs to the city’s Bienville Square. The tables and chairs are put in the square each morning and afternoon, and are stored away at 2:30 p.m. each day.
The are not chained, but rather monitored by Downtown Alliance staff.
Downtown Alliance officials said it’s a perfect spot to enjoy lunch, or use the free public wi-fi available in the area.
But, that’s not the only beautification project.
“This year if you walk around downtown, you’ll see a lot of wonderful flowers and plants and everything has been blooming wonderfully well and it adds a lot to the scene,” said Rendfrey.
There are also tax incentives for business owners to open up shop downtown. For more information on that, or more of what Downtown has to offer, head to the Downtown Mobile Alliance website.