Midtown Mobile is a quaint, residential section of Mobile but, it changes could be coming in the near future. Mobile’s Planning Commission just approved the site of the old Augusta Evans school to be turned into a Publix Supermarket and shopping center.
This is what the final design plan looks like.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson says he’s excited for the possibility of a new development, “To me it’s exciting because you can look in a certain geographical area and say it’s somewhat of a food desert in that area.”
The Planning Commission approved the proposal on Thursday afternoon but, that decision wasn’t made without controversy. Many Midtown residents are not excited about such a large development coming to their residential area.
At a public hearing on the issue, many residents spoke out saying that the development “does not enhance neighborhoods and surrounding areas.” Most residents are not in opposition to the development but, they don’t believe it follows the guidelines set forth in the Map for Mobile. One resident said, “I don’t think anyone who worked on the Map for Mobile saw it as a mechanism to pave over the hearts of our neighborhoods with massive parking lots, more strips malls, and drive-thrus.”
However, a representative for the developer said that he did all he could to accommodate the residents’ demands, “He let the community pick the brick, he let them pick the brick color and architectural design- we’ve been to numerous community meetings. He’s even gone door-to-door in the neighborhoods.”
As far as the Map for Mobile goes the Mayor says it will take time to fully implement it, “The Map for Mobile although it’s been adopted– the zoning laws and the changes in zoning haven’t taken place and it will take a 2-year process before all of the codes are addressed.”
Now, while the planning commission has approved the development it will still have to go through the City Council for a final approval.