City council approves agreement to develop master plan to potentially renovate Mobile Civic Center

Updated: Mar. 22, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -The Mobile City Council approved an agreement with Populous Architects to develop a master plan to potentially renovate the Mobile Civic Center. The agreement which was originally for just over $160,000 now changed to $200,000 to make sure all bases are covered.

“There may a few things that may need to be added to the prospectus and scope of work of Populous so that may entail additional funding and resources,” said Councilman William Carroll.

In 2019, city leaders looked at options to demolish the Civic Center and repurpose the property with a new structure. Now, this master plan will hopefully shed some light on upgrading the existing Civic Center.

“Maybe a path forward to putting a building that has been somewhat off of the revenue-generating side for awhile to one that is on a major revenue-generating path to where it’s beneficial for the city,” said Carroll.

Part of the study is to see what it will take to attract big acts to the Civic Center but some aren’t sure if renovating it would be enough.

“Even if you renovate the Civic Center unless you redistribute the way you market and promote downtown people are still not going to come down here,” said Sergio Rangel.

The Civic Center is part of Mobile’s history and city leaders want to make sure they’ve looked at every option before deciding whether or not to tear it down.

“It’s part of our culture and I don’t think we should arbitrarily tear down a part of our culture if it can be revenue-generating,” added Carroll.

While others feel it may be time to start over.

“Sometimes you have to be willing to tear things down and start over to really show what we’re capable of,” said Rangel.

“I think it’s great. We need something either renovate it or a new construction. I’m not stuck on that particular building,” said Albert Robinson.