Downtown Montgomery Opens First Starbucks
Montgomery’s newest Starbucks location, and the first freestanding store in downtown, is now open for business. Located at 124 Coosa Street, it shares the block with Springhill Suites by Marriott and the soon-to open Autograph by Marriott. The much-anticipated downtown location was developed by Ascent-Hospitality, which also developed and manages both hotels along Coosa Street.
In addition to ample indoor and outdoor seating, it features a unique design and convenient pick-up area for customers on the go, including those who place mobile orders through the Starbucks app. The store is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Plan Kicks Off
In partnership with the City of Montgomery, the Chamber has kicked off a new strategic and visionary downtown planning initiative called Downtown 2.0. Nationally recognized firm Interface Studio has been secured to guide the process that takes on one of the most critical calls to action and opportunity in the Envision 2040 strategic plan – a plan for downtown that will catalyze growth and progress for our entire city and region.
During the week of August 16, the Chamber briefed the community on the downtown plan process, introduced the team and hosted a virtual conversation with several other cities that have successfully executed and implemented downtown plans for their community. Montgomery’s plan is projected to take six to eight months for development.
Chamber President & CEO Anna B. Buckalew Appointed to U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100
Anna B. Buckalew, President and CEO for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100.
These experienced leaders serve as advisors to the organization’s board of directors, as advocates to enhance lobbying and coalition work, assist with recommended programming efforts, while also serving as a conduit to strengthen relationships and outreach to the business and chamber communities.
“The CCC100 has a long-standing reputation as one of the most prestigious appointments in the chamber community,” said Sara Armstrong, Vice President and Managing Director, Political Affairs and Federation Relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “These appointments reflect our continued dedication to naming diverse, high-profile leaders to serve on this important committee.”
Jesco featured in Business Alabama for Montgomery Whitewater
Jesco Construction was featured for its impressive role in the Montgomery Whitewater project by Business Alabama in its September series “Amazing Builds.” Senior project manager Brian Slaughter spoke about the monumental task of constructing two man-made rivers and compared the transformative nature of the project to Riverwalk Stadium. “We actually built the Riverwalk baseball stadium here in Montgomery,” Slaughter said. “We looked at it as an opportunity to build something unique in the community. We’re all hometown people, from Montgomery and the surrounding area. I’ve been in Montgomery close to 40 years. This particular project is the same...”
Montgomery Named a Top Place to Visit by AFAR Magazine
Once again Montgomery has been featured in a major travel publication as a top place to visit. The Chamber’s intentional public relations strategy to raise awareness of all that Montgomery offers to visitors has successfully achieved this ranking in AFAR magazine, which encourages readers to consider a visit to Montgomery to experience the newly expanded Legacy Museum created by the Equal Justice Initiative. The new facility opened its doors in October.
Willie Durham Honored as Montgomery Advertiser Community Hero
Local State Farm agent Willie Durham served as the Chamber’s Board Chairman in 2019 and in August, he was named that month’s Community Hero by The Montgomery Advertiser. The newspaper noted Durham’s service to the local business community in his Chamber role, but the long list of ways he is “a good neighbor” didn’t stop there. The retired Marine was recognized for his success as a businessman; his State Farm franchise is one of the highest performing in the country. He also gives back through community organizations like Sunrise Rotary Club and through his church.
The Lab on Dexter Launches, Leases All Small Biz Office Space in First Week
The Chamber’s Lab on Dexter entrepreneurial learning and innovation facility celebrated the signing of its first tenant, international software developers Analog Teams, at an Open House event on August 30. Within just a few days, leases were signed on all small business office spaces; however, coworking and collaboration rooms are available.
Located at the crossroads of our nation’s civil and human rights journey, The Lab welcomes corporate and individual daily and monthly tenants to co-work, collaborate and host tech and entrepreneurial activities at the facility and fosters the creation of sustainable social and tech innovation ecosystem through programing and serendipitous collision at events like Wine Down Wednesdays. The Lab’s Executive Director Nichole Thompson explained more on a recent Business Alabama podcast available on the podcasts section of the publication’s website.
Montgomery Tech Lab Founder Tapped to Lead Industry-First Initiative to Increase Diversity
The Montgomery Tech Lab (MTL) accelerator and the start-ups it fosters stand to benefit from the recent news that MTL founder Marcus Shaw has been named Chief Executive Officer for ALT Finance Corporation (“AltFinance”).
Shaw will guide AltFinance in its mission to increase diverse representation across the alternative investment industry and has already launched the application for the AltFinance Fellowship program at Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Morehouse College and Spelman College. The AltFinance Fellowship will introduce students to investing and operations, and tap into their entrepreneurial spirit—key elements of a career in the alternative investment industry.