The City of Montgomery has been working to stabilize the area around West Fairview Avenue between Court Street and I-65 for the past several years. Completed projects include the new Fairview Environmental Park, the West Fairview Commercial Corridor Façade Improvement programs and ongoing infrastructure improvements in partnership with the Alabama Department of Transportation. Streetscape improvements are planned, and we are hopeful these will move forward in 2018.
The City of Montgomery purchased a large property at 1920 S. Court Street (locally known as the old Sears Store site) in 2011 to begin the revitalization of the once thriving commercial corridor. The City also purchased the property at Fairview and Mooreland, and nearby property from the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary at 1751 E.D. Nixon Avenue in 2012.
While the city’s 2011 efforts to bring a large retail outlet to that site did not materialize, the area has started to see more private investment.
In 2016, the City renewed its efforts to bring vitality back to the large corner site, relying on the West Fairview Avenue Master Plan, and Amendment as a guide. One idea was to bring to the site a mixture of affordable senior residential garden homes, apartments, and retail uses, and the property was re-zoned from Institutional and Business to Residential and Mixed use to accommodate that.
With this new design, the Department of Development held a successful Community Meeting at the Fairview Farmer’s Market in February 2017. With around fifty neighbors in attendance, the feedback on the plan was overwhelmingly positive.
Unfortunately, in 2017, we learned that the initial proposal of senior affordable housing did not receive the necessary tax credits to proceed. Attendees of the meeting with notified. We are trying to decide whether or not to re-apply for the old Sears Store site or to start over with a new concept.
In the meantime, the City’s Department of Planning Community Development Division is working to move forward with a portion of the original plan – specifically the development of affordable garden homes for seniors on the 1751 E.D. Nixon Avenue property. We will know more about whether this can proceed in late 2017.
The City of Montgomery also purchased property along Mooreland Road to reduce blight and spur additional economic development in the area. Mooreland Road is a street of approximately ten homes. It is the City’s goal to increase safety for pedestrians and provide for a new community green space. We have put in a budget request to help fund improvements to Mooreland Road include repaving the street, closing the street near Fairview Avenue by installing a cul-de-sac, new curb and gutter, and extensive landscaping to create a neighborhood green space with a Neighborhood Arboretum with approximately 15-20 native trees.
Check back over throughout 2017 and 2018 as we post updates on these efforts and feel free to contact staff if you have any questions, at 334-625-3755.