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Thu January 21, 2021 - Southeast Edition
After a year in the works, downtown Florence, Ala., could face a new economic boom due to The Mandolin, a thriving residential, retail and office development project Bobo Family Group has proposed for the heart of the city.
"When COVID-19 hit, we had to hit pause, step back and take a look at how things might be changing. We immediately knew that retail and hospitality were going to get hit, we just didn't know how long it would last. Thankfully, we've discovered that some retail sectors have become more resilient, with grocery being one of them," Bobo Group said.
"We've spent the last six months going back and forth with our architectural, engineering and construction team to fine tune a project Shoal's residents say they want. It's involved a tremendous amount of time and thought. Now we know we can make this idea a reality if the City decides to make this type of development a priority."
The $45.5 million development will offer modern residential units, high-class office spaces, convenient parking and jobs, totaling more than $100 million in proposed ongoing economic impact for the city. Since the initial reveal, developers have been in talks with a national grocery chain to create a large, ground-floor grocery experience with space for additional offices and retailers.
The Mandolin's primary purpose is to boost the local economy and offer resources that will aid in generating greater retention of recent University of North Alabama graduates, said CEO James Bobo.
The development is proposed to occupy the space between Tennessee Street, East Mobile Street, Walnut Street and North Wood Avenue, across from Turbo Coffee and McDaniel Window and Door.
This much-needed resource for the Shoals area cannot happen without the public's help, though.
"In order to attract, develop and retain the jobs we need for our future, we need the types of developments that will attract and retain talented people," Bobo said. "We have to start thinking proactively as opposed to reactively."
For more information, visit www.mandolinflorence.com/.