Mobile City Council

Councilman Fred Richardson Addresses Concerns Regarding Augusta Evans Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2016

 

Councilman Fred Richardson Addresses Concerns

Regarding Augusta Evans Development

 

Mobile, Ala – Councilman Fred Richardson addressed concerns today regarding the proposed development at the site of the Augusta Evans School. A Publix grocery store, that would serve all neighborhoods east of I-65 and an accompanying development have been proposed for this site.

“I greatly appreciate everyone taking time to provide us feedback on the proposed project,” said Councilman Richardson. “We are doing everything we can to address concerns and ensure the final result serves the entire community.”

Earlier this week, Councilman Richardson held a meeting with representatives from the developer, MAB, leaders of the Mobile Midtown Movement (MMM), who have expressed concerns about the project and representatives from the city planning office. This meeting provided an opportunity to take a comprehensive look at the plans submitted to the city by MAB and what MMM proposed for the site. The discussion lasted for nearly three hours.

“During this meeting, the developer agreed to give consideration to several of the issues raised by MMM and I hope that will bring us to some resolution,” said Richardson. “There is no doubt the community as a whole will benefit from a grocery store at that location.”

Below are some specific responses to concerns raised:

  • Concerns about Old Shell Road and/or Florida Street being widened: These are not decisions the developer or any politician can or will make. The city’s planning office requires a traffic study for that site and plans submitted must conform to that study. Citizens nor politicians can make that call.

 

  • Opposition to a retention pond on the proposed site: MAB has been tasked by the city with building a water retention system for a 100 year flood at this site. The retention pond was required not imposed. The underground retention system proposed by MAB would not work at this site – and definitely would not be able to meet the 100 year flood bar set by the city.
     
  • Concerns about proposed large parking lot visible from the street: The City's Planning Office will dictate the number of parking spaces for this development. However, the requirement is that 12% of the property to be vegetation. The developer is already proposing 18% vegetation in order to use trees to mask the parking lot.

 

  • Desire for a walkable shopping center: The developer has proposed an eight feet path along Florida Street for those wishing to walk or ride their bikes to the store. Once on the property, there will be wide lanes for walking or biking. Racks will also be available to store bikes.

 

  • Desire for a seating area: The retention pond area will be a beautiful garden area, with an assortment of flowers and vegetation. Benches will surround the garden with a fountain in the center.

 

  • Requesting that the four proposed buildings be moved together to the street: To line the four buildings together will create a majority of citizens in Midtown said they did not want, a strip mall. However, the developer foresees other businesses coming to this location in the future that will fill in much of the vacant space.

 

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