A few years back, the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program issued a report “Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization.” Step No. 7 is to create urban entertainment venues, which “gives all sorts of people a reason to come downtown…providing an excitement and spectacle that draws people to the area.”
Plenty of Alabama communities have followed that advice, and one of the latest is Prattville where $3.4 million has been earmarked by the city to create a new outdoor recreation and entertainment venue on Main Street. The location is an underutilized space between the former Hancock Whitney bank, recently acquired by the city, and the City Hall Annex.
As part of continuing efforts to revitalize downtown Prattville, the venue will contain a large multiuse pavilion, a covered stage for live performances, a canopy-covered seating area, a movie screen for shows and sporting events, multiuse space for recreational games, lighting, and a sound system.
The plan also calls for a pedestrian canopy-covered corridor along the bank building side and a one-way vehicle corridor next to the City Hall Annex, along with on-street parking and space for food trucks. The bank’s drive-through will be removed, along with a nearby vacant former grocery store building. A new entryway will be created leading into the area, as well as developing green space and a vegetative buffer for the stage. In addition, a new walking path with trees and seating.
Creating a rooftop venue in the former bank building is a concept being explored, however, at this point is an idea only, says Lisa Byrd, executive assistant to Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. She added that “we have not verified the stability of the roof to accommodate a roof top experience.”
Though the project is a budgeted expense in the 2023-2024 City of Prattville Budget Capital Projects Fund, it will still require council action for construction. Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood created the project’s conceptional design.
“This project is about continuing the revitalization of downtown Prattville while providing a quality of place to offer diversified quality of life opportunities,” says Byrd. “Providing this type of family entertainment and recreational area, will encourage further urbanized living, business sustainability, easier walkability, and growth opportunities for all who choose to live, work, and play in historic downtown Prattville.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood