Ground broken for $51 million downtown Mobile apartment project

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Groundbreaking for Mobile's Meridian at the Port apartment complex on Wednesday was accompanied by new images

Groundbreaking for Mobile's Meridian at the Port apartment complex on Wednesday was accompanied by new images illustrating backers' claims that it will be a transformative project for downtown.

In the renderings, the five-story, 267-unit development is a large and distinctive presence on the east side of Water Street, a location that will make it one of the first landmarks seen by visitors arriving via I-165. Its features include an impressive poolside view of the Mobile skyline.

Developers say the project will be completed in 2019. According to information provided by Leaf River Development Group and Bristol Development Group, the project will cost more than $51 million and will feature a mix of upscale studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Amenities are to include "9-10 foot ceilings, large windows, balconies, quartz countertops and custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances, soaking tubs or frameless showers, and walk-in closets."

"This should be a project we can all be proud of," said Stewart Speed, president of Leaf River Development Group. He praised local leaders, including Mayor Sandy Stimpson, City Councilman Levon Manzie, County Commissioner Jerry Carl and Mike Rogers, president of construction-management firm Rogers & Willard, which is involved in a consulting role. They were among those who recognized "that this project could be a true catalyst for a lot of things Mobile wants and needs," Speed said.

Stimpson said he thought that just by being announced, Meridian at the Port had served as a signal to other residential developers that downtown Mobile's time had come. With two other large projects nearby - the renovation of the Merchants National Bank building and the redevelopment of City Hall North - and other smaller ones in the works, downtown stands to gain hundreds of residential units.

But Stimpson said it wasn't about the units, it was about the people who will occupy them.

"Stop and think about this," the mayor said. "In a two and a half year period, we will have 700 new residents downtown."

"I look forward to serving all 700 new residents," said Manzie, who described the project as "a gateway to our downtown."

Carl said he thought the wave of residential development would provide downtown housing for "not just the bankers and lawyers" but for other professionals and service-industry workers who work downtown.

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Article Ground broken for $51 million downtown Mobile apartment project compiled by Original article here

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