Across the country, downtowns are your regional center, employment center, historic and community identity. Even if you don’t live there, the role of Montgomery's downtown affects you. So much of Montgomery's rich history – those events occurred downtown and you can see it tangibly. Downtown is like your front porch, and the City of Montgomery's Department of Development works hard as a catalyst to drive economic growth and revitalization throughout the city with strategic public and private partnerships. Why? Because revitalization is a city issue.
Montgomery's downtown development began in 2004 with the arrival of the AA minor league baseball farm team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays, dubbed the Montgomery Biscuits. Riverwalk Stadium was constructed on the site of an historic train depot. Instead of knocking down the existing buildings, the architects incorporated them into the ballpark, creating a unique blend of old and new. In 2008 the construction of the Renaissance Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center significantly expanded the footprint of the old Montgomery Civic Center and included construction of the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. Additional hotels followed, along with restaurants and residences, mixed-use developments at The Alley Entertainment District and Lower Dexter, as well as projects to enhance the quality of life, such as a new dog park.
Currently, Montgomery is in the midst of a boom of downtown residential development, with easily a dozen multi-family residences either newly constructed or under construction but already leasing. While projects like hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues breathed new life into downtown, residential and mixed-use development is about sustaining that revitalization.