CommunitiesWe celebrate diverse communities with abundant opportunities that make them great places to live, work or visit.
Nestled on the banks of the Alabama River, our state capital has plenty to brag about: a storied past that set the stage for the Civil War and later the Civil Rights Movement; a newly revitalized downtown, complete with a riverboat, a championship baseball team, and a booming entertainment district; shopping and restaurant choices galore across the city; and the list goes on.
Anna Buckalew, Senior Vice President of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, expressed, “Montgomery offers an excellent quality of life on a number of fronts- cultural, recreational, family activities, amenities, great neighborhood options, and strong schools. Part of what we find when people are relocating to Montgomery is that they are looking for a quality place- a great education and activities for their kids, family, faith, recreation, excellent healthcare options, economic opportunities, safety, and an easygoing lifestyle. Montgomery and the River Region have all that, and without the two-hour traffic commutes!”
It’s not all play and no work, though. Montgomery cemented its reputation of being a city beneficial for business when Hyundai Motor Manufacturing came to town, and today, the outlook is just as rosy. Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Hyundai Power Transformers USA (HYPO), Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI), Raycom Media, Rheem Water Heaters, Baptist Health, and Jackson Hospital are but a few examples of Montgomery’s stable economy.
Montgomery also has a vibrant cultural scene. “We are so blessed to have a tremendous arts community- the Shakespeare Festival, Blount Cultural Park, the ballet, the Montgomery Chorale, the Symphony, and a folk and visual arts community, too,” Buckalew shared.
The city of Montgomery has made its mark on history. “Montgomery is unique in that we are the birthplace of two of the most dynamic events that have happened in the history of the country: the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement,” Buckalew remarked. “Montgomery has actually been listed as one of the country’s most historically significant cities. This heritage makes Montgomery not only a tourist destination, but it also greatly enriches our residents’ quality of life.”
This progressive city is undergoing great positive change. The downtown and Riverfront areas feature a four-star hotel, a convention center, and an 1,800-seat performing arts centre, plus the spectacular Riverwalk and Amphitheater. The Alleyway entertainment district, also downtown, includes restaurants, bars, and retail shops, all surrounded by a unique ambiance only historic buildings and the scenic Alabama River can offer. With Mayor Todd Strange and the City Council leading the charge, this revitalization is a great example of how the private and public sectors have come together to work for the best in Montgomery.
While it will never abandon its rich heritage, Montgomery is moving ever forward, and its many offerings and options make it a great choice for both families and young professionals to call home.
Market District and The Alley The urban resurgence is marching swiftly down Dexter Avenue towards The Alley Entertainment District. More than 170 loft apartments are being constructed in historic and new buildings alike. The exposed brick and sleek steel accents of these lofts are designed to appeal to a wide audience, from young professionals to retired couples. Those seeking modern, hip digs will be impressed with the proximity of the lofts to downtown Montgomery’s ever-growing entertainment and restaurant industries.
West Montgomery Home to many of Montgomery’s tech businesses, as well as the Maxwell-Gunter AFB, the west side of town is growing and attracting more business to our city.
The Boulevard Making a circle that connects the North and South sides of town, the Eastern Boulevard is generally considered the boundary between East Montgomery and Old Cloverdale / Midtown. The area is home to the over 300 acre Blount Cultural Park, where you can find the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and the city’s largest dog park.
East Montgomery This area is bustling with newer housing developments, shopping, and good eats. Traffic is a little more congested on the east side of town, but it’s always manageable in this smaller capital city.
Old Cloverdale Look no further than Old Cloverdale for some of the city’s oldest and most architecturally interesting homes. This area is home to Huntingdon College and Montgomery’s only independent movie theatre, The Capri.
Cottage Hill Cottage Hill is comprised of Victorian-style homes and other buildings that overlook the Alabama River. Home to The Sanctuary and Goat Haus Biergarten, the Cottage Hill area aims to introduce commercial developments while still maintaining its rich historical and cultural value.
Midtown Smack in the middle of Montgomery, this area is known for its restaurants and parks. Zelda Place is affectionately named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, whose family resided in Montgomery and whose house can still be toured today.
Located in eastern Montgomery County, the Town of Pike Road is a rapidly growing small town looking to build a solid future on the area’s rich history. With a population of nearly 9,000, Pike Road has experienced phenomenal growth in the past decade. Town leaders attribute that growth to the excitement and passion inspired by the unique mix of old and new within the town’s boundaries.
Comprised of more than 40 distinct neighborhoods, Pike Road is home to some of the River Region’s oldest settlements. Among those settlements is the original Pike Road community, founded upon the arrival of the Marks, Matthews, and Meriwether families around 1815. In an effort to preserve its heritage and plan wisely for the future, Pike Road legally incorporated in 1997, nearly two centuries after the first settlers arrived in the area. The town now contains a mix of beautiful new neighborhoods and lovely historic communities, both of which contribute to the hometown feeling generations seek in moving to the area.
Completed in fall 2011, the first phase of the Pike Road Natural Trail is perfect for walkers, runners, and off-road bicyclists. In addition to offering residents a place to exercise and enjoy the natural surroundings of the area, the trail system will connect the town’s neighborhoods and future recreational sites.
Introduced in early 2012, the ENHANCE Initiative aims ensure Pike Road continues to grow in quality of life, community planning, public education and municipal services. Residents are encouraged to take part in the initiative by engaging in community activities such as the Agriculture Club, Arts Council, Business Association, and the Recreation Service Corps. There’s a place for everyone to be involved in bettering and building the community.
Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone wants residents and others to think of the Town of Pike Road as the River Region’s old-fashioned hometown, where citizen output drives future priorities. “Our town’s motto is ‘Welcome home’,” shared Stone. “These words exemplify the spirit of this town and the feeling we try to give everyone who comes through the door of Town Hall.”
Prattville is the capital city’s neighbor, located just 11 miles northwest of Montgomery. With approximately 35,000 people living within its city limits, this community boasts a multitude of things that make it something special. Its people exude that famous “Southern hospitality”, and despite being named on of the fastest growing areas in the state, Prattville has maintained its small-town charm.
It all started in 1833, when founder Daniel Pratt arrived on the scene. He established the town of Prattville along the fall line of the Autauga Creek, and shortly after began manufacturing cotton gins. He became the foremost producer of cotton gins in the world, earning Prattville the designation of the “Birthplace of Industry in Alabama.” Holding on to this heritage, while also focusing on the future, has given Prattville a character all its own. Mayor Bill Gillespie, Jr. explained, “Prattville is a city where progress and preservation go hand-in-hand. We are truly a city on the move, and we are proud of our rich history, but look forward to our future as the ‘Hometown of the River Region.’ We are home to the world-class Robert Trent Jones Capitol Hill golf complex. Additionally, we are proud to have Alabama’s first Bass Pro Outdoor World, as well as many other shopping amenities.
Patty Vanderwal, executive president of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, shared, “There’s a lot of opportunity here. Our community has the best of both worlds. We have the beauty of nature with the convenience of the city, and small-town closeness with unlimited growth potential.” Vanderwal added that Prattville’s growth can be credited to its community leadership and education system, stating, “We have strong schools here, with a good curriculum and other opportunities.”
World-class golf is played in Prattville at the Robert Trent Jones golf courses. Prattville’s Capitol Hill is the crown jewel of the RTJ Golf Trail, and is host to one of the LPGA National golf tournaments each fall.
Founded as Union Camp in 1967, International Paper Company continues to be the largest employer in the Prattville area. Several smaller industries related to plastics, automotive-related manufacturing, packaging, and power generation have also moved into the area.
Prattville shopping mixes modern and historic storefronts, with a vibrant downtown district that is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Winding through portions of the downtown area is a Creekwalk, nestled along the banks of the Autauga Creek.
“There is no shortage of pride when we talk about Prattville,” Vanderwal stated. “Combine our rich history, quality of life, and our focus on the future, and it all adds up to success. We are a community that is moving forward- and the best is yet to come. We are proud of our progress and of our past. We encourage you to join our friendly community.”
Millbrook is the most accessible and populated city within Elmore County, providing convenient I-65 access via exits 176, 179, and 181. Located 10 miles north of Montgomery, Millbrook’s close proximity to and inclusion in the Montgomery area and nearby Maxwell AFB have helped shape the city. It consistently ranks among the fastest growing cities in Alabama- its four-zip code area is home to an estimated 35,000.
An influx of new residents has spurred unprecedented residential building in recent years, which in turn has attracted new commercial and retail developments. As more and more people discover the allure of the good life in Millbrook, the community spirit of this close-knit city flourishes. Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley shared, “Community in Millbrook is the kindred spirit, the thread that binds us all together. It is the annual barbecues, parades, and festivals. For those who live it, breathe it, and expect it, it is dear and important.”
The great outdoors plays a prominent role in Millbrook’s quality of life. Nature’s beauty is celebrated at six well-equipped and maintained public parks that provide recreation for all ages. Other outdoor activities can be enjoyed at nearby lakes and waterways, including the Alabama River and scenic Lakes Martin and Jordan.
One of the most significant assets to the Millbrook area is the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF). Its headquarters are located on the grounds of the historic Lanark Estate, only one mile from I-65. The AWF offers a top-notch conservation center, the Alabama Nature Center, with miles of diverse nature trails, a pavilion, and programs offered to schools and the public.
Millbrook residents enjoy small city comforts and community paired with urban conveniences, creating a relaxing and enjoyable way of life. Exceptional residential developments, outstanding outdoor and recreational venues, excellent public schools and leadership, quality health care providers and facilities, and positive local government add to the quality of life in the Millbrook area. Millbrook is proud of its past and confident about its future.
Tallassee is a small town with big energy that’s got much to give its residents and visitors. Only 20 minutes from Montgomery, this city may be best known for a rich history dating back to Native American times and carefree lake living (with the Tallapoosa River running through it and Lake Martin practically in its backyard). But Tallassee is also an industrial hub, with over 21 industries located in the city, including Neptune Technologies, GKN Aerospace and several Tier-1 Hyundai suppliers. “We are a small, but growing city,” Jeanna W. Kervin with the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce said. “Our public city school system continually out-ranks all neighboring systems.”
She also pointed to Mother Nature as a large part of the community’s appeal. “Our natural resources are bountiful,” she
said. “Hunting, fishing and all types of outdoor activities are easily available.” And it’s all about to be easier to access. “We are in the beginning stages of developing our Riverfront and Entertainment district,” Kervin said. “This area will include an amphitheater, a Creek Indian heritage museum, walking paths plus a hotel and conference center.”
With its hometown feel, Tallassee is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle, and for those who are considering a place to live, work, raise a family, retire, or even start a new business, Tallassee should be on your list.
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians, along the Coosa River, Wetumpka is appropriately known as the “City of Natural Beauty”. Thanks to the six-mile stretch of whitewater rapids, developed hiking and mountain biking trails and lakes, it is also a haven for outdoor recreation lovers. Wetumpka is located in Elmore County, the third fastest growing county in the state.
The archaeological significance found in Wetumpka is staggering, as Wetumpka was home to the most cataclysmic geological event in the area. Some 83.4 million years ago, a meteor slammed into the shallow sea that covered this entire region. Today, its remains are showcased in the four-mile-diameter crater that the impact left behind, with the city’s historic downtown cradled in its basin.
Wetumpka’s historic downtown district is listed on the “National Register of Historic Places”. Visitors will enjoy the Elmore County Museum, Elmore County Museum of Black History, 1931 court house and distinctive Bibb Graves Bridge, three
pre-Civil War antebellum churches and historic homes.
Outdoor recreation remains Wetumpka’s focus in terms of economic development. The Coosa River offers white water sports for the beginner and the skilled competitor. The blue-green waters of 44,000-acre Lake Martin are only 20 minutes away, as are the shores of smaller Lake Jordan (a mere 10-minute drive), and both offer not only magnificent options for the home buyer, but endless opportunities for boating, fishing and other recreational activities.