MOBILE, Ala. -- It appears the City of Mobile is much closer to getting the Mobile Civic Center off its books.
According to George Talbot, senior director of communications, Mobile has narrowed the list of private redevelopers.
The city is now working with them on final bids, and a deal could be done by this summer, Talbot told FOX10 News.
Right now, the 55-year-old downtown complex is costing the city $1.5 million, annually, according to officials. That’s not counting the millions more needed for current and future maintenance.
"The redevelopment of the Mobile Civic Center site represents a generational opportunity for downtown Mobile and the next major step in our quest to become the most family-friendly city in America," Talbot said. "We are excited by the response we’ve received from private investors and are now focused on attracting a world-class development partner."
Talbot added, "Now is a time to think big about Mobile, because big moves are happening in our city."
It’s not clear how Mardi Gras societies that use the Civic Center would be affected by the sale, but Talbot said Mardi Gras solution will be part of the plan, whatever is chosen.
According to the city, in addition to the annual cost of $1.5 million to the city for owning and operating the Civic Center, $20 million would be needed for necessary repairs. And ongoing future maintenance would require the city to pay $17 million over 10 years if the city continues to own the facility.