Locals react to city's three options for Mobile Civic Center


City leaders unveiled three options for Mobile's Civic Center property Monday.

The options include adding housing, office space and parking lots, plus either renovating or building a new facility.

With standing room only, dozens gathered inside the Civic Center to find out what the city plans to do with the 22-acre site.

For some like Dr. Stephanie Crawford the Civic Center holds sentimental value.

"My most fondest memory was attending the Jackson 5 concert in the 1980s with my family," she said.

Crawford says she supports the option that does not involve tearing it down.

"For me tearing it down would definitely mean losing those memories," she said.

City leaders presented three options.

Option one is the status quo. It involves renovating the existing Civic Center arena, expo hall and theater.

Option two is an arts district. It involves re-using or renovating the Civic Center theater or building a new one and providing new smaller concert venues.

"I'd love to see it torn down," downtown resident Steven Damrich said. "I loved to see all of this torn down."

That's where option three comes into play. Option three is a multi-purpose arena. It involves a new 5,000-10,000 seat venue that replaces the existing building.

All options include adding a mixed-use neighborhood to the site. That includes a large grocery store, housing and office space.

Some say all of the options bring something new to the table and that's worth thinking about.

"I feel like it would may be give more activity to the area because it's not getting that much right now," Memphis Vaughan said.

Next step is to review the feedback. You can view the full presentation here.

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