CommunitiesWe celebrate diverse communities with abundant opportunities that make them great places to live, work or visit.
Sitting on the banks of the Alabama River, our state capital has plenty to brag about: a storied past that set the stage for both the Civil War and later the Civil Rights Movement; a newly revitalized downtown, complete with a riverboat, championship baseball team and a burgeoning entertainment district; shopping and restaurant choices galore across the city; and the list goes on, creating a high quality of life for all.
Anna Buckalew, Senior Vice President of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “Montgomery offers an excellent quality of life on a number of fronts—amenities, cultural, recreational, family activities, entertainment, 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 and entertainment, excellent healthcare options, a variety of residential choices, economic opportunities, safety and an easy-going lifestyle. Montgomery and the River Region have all that, and with no two-hour traffic commutes!”
But it’s not all play and no work. Montgomery cemented its reputation of being a city beneficial for business when Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama came to town, and today, the outlook is just as rosy. Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, HYPO (Hyundai Power Transformers USA), CNHI (Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.), Raycom Media, Sabic Innovative Plastics, Rheem Water Heaters, Baptist Health and Jackson Hospital are but a few examples of Montgomery’s stable economy.
In addition, Montgomery has a vibrant cultural scene. “We are so blessed to have a tremendous arts community—the Shakespeare Festival, museums, Blount Cultural Park, the ballet, the Montgomery Chorale, the Symphony, and a folk and visual arts community too,” Buckalew said.
The city of Montgomery has also made its mark in 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 world: the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement,” Buckalew said. “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 greatly enriches our residents’ quality of life.”
This progressive city is now undergoing great positive change. The downtown and Riverfront areas feature a new four-star hotel, convention center and an 1,800-seat performing arts centre, plus the spectacular Riverwalk and Amphitheater. The new Alleyway entertainment district, also downtown, includes restaurants, bars and retail shops—all surrounded by the 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 heritage, Montgomery is moving ever forward, and its many offerings and options make it a great choice for both families and young professionals.
Market District & the Alley The urban resurgence is marching down Dexter Avenue towards the Alley Entertainment District. More than 150 new loft apartments are being constructed in historic and new buildings alike. With even more events and restaurants coming to downtown, urban professionals are flocking to these new modern, hip digs.
Old Cloverdale Some of the city’s oldest and most architecturally interesting homes can be found in these historic and garden areas. The camaraderie of these residents can be seen as they walk to A&P Lofts or enjoying a Sunday afternoon concert on the lawn.
Midtown Smack in the middle of Montgomery, this area is known for its shopping, 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—they also have an annual 20’s Gala complete with flapper dresses and wide-legged suits.
West Montgomery Home of the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and many of our technology park businesses, this area is growing and bringing more businesses to our city.
The Boulevard Making a circle from the North to the South side of town, the Eastern Boulevard is generally considered the boundary between East Montgomery and the Midtown/Old Cloverdale areas. It is home to the over 300 acre Blount Cultural Park that houses ASF, MMFA and the largest area Dog Park.
East Montgomery Home to the newer housing developments, this area is bustling with malls, retail and a little more traffic congestion. However, traffic in this smaller capital city is always manageable, while the food and shopping is plentiful.
Located in eastern Montgomery County, the Town of Pike Road is a growing small town with a vision that builds a solid future on the area’s rich history. With a population of 5,406 according to the 2010 Census, the Town of Pike Road experienced phenomenal growth during 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.
Made up of more than 40 distinct neighborhoods, the Town of Pike Road includes some of the River Region’s oldest settlements. Among those settlements is the original Pike Road community, begun with the arrival of the Marks, Mathews and Meriwether families around 1815.
In an effort to preserve a rich heritage and plan wisely for the future, the Town of Pike Road incorporated in 1997, nearly two centuries after the first settlers arrived in the community. The commitment to planning was identified by residents in 2005 as one of four priorities for the future work of the town. The town is now a mix of beautiful new neighborhoods and lovely historic communities, both of which contribute to the hometown feeling generations have sought in moving to the area.
The first phase of the Pike Road Natural Trail system was completed in fall 2011 and is ideal for walkers, runners and off-road bicyclists.
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 input drives future priorities. “Our town’s motto is ‘Welcome Home,’” said 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.”
Introduced early in 2012, the ENHANCE initiative combines the strategic efforts of the town with the work of nine citizen groups to increase citizen involvement and leadership. In Pike Road, there’s a place for every resident to be active and involved.
After nearly two decades since first introducing the plan to launch a school system in Pike Road, the small town east of Montgomery finally opened the doors of the Pike Road School system serving over 1140 students, Kindergarten through 8th grade students.
The Pike Road Board of Education hopes to spark intellectual curiosity and inspire students’ creativity through an innovative approach to learning called “The Pike Road Way.” It embraces project-based learning to solve real problems that prepare them for team-oriented workplaces where innovation and creativity are valued. There are also plans to add 9th-12th grade and talk about adding a second school in the community.
Kadie Crowell, a representative in Pike Road said, “There are plans to add a grade each year, so this year we’ll add 9th grade and the year after that, we’ll add 10th grade and so on. The first class will graduate in 2020.”
An initial 54 educators were chosen as faculty out of more than 500 applicants from around the region. According to Pike Road Schools Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Freeman, the new teachers help “bring learning to life”
with their real world experiences.
For information about registration and zoning policies within the Pike Road School system, visit pikeroadschools.org.
With approximately 32,000 people in its city limits, Prattville is the capital city’s neighbor just 13 miles to the north. This community boasts a bevy of things that make it something special. Its people exude Southern hospitality, and despite being among the five 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. Acquiring land at the fall line of Autauga Creek, he established the town of Prattville and began manufacturing his cotton gins. His company became the foremost producer of cotton gins in the world, earning Prattville the designation of “Birthplace of Industry in Alabama.” Holding on to this heritage while moving ahead has given Prattville a character all its own, as 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 also 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, said, “There’s a lot of opportunity here. Our community is the best of both worlds. We have the beauty of nature with the convenience of city, and small-town closeness with unlimited growth potential.” Vanderwal added that Prattville’s growth could be credited to its community leadership and its education system, “We have strong schools here, with a good curriculum and other opportunities such as athletics.”
World-class golf is played in Prattville at the Robert Trent Jones golf courses. Prattville’s Capitol Hill is the crown jewel of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and is host to one of the LPGA National golf tournaments each fall.
International Paper Company, which opened as Union Camp in 1967, continues to be the largest employer in the Prattville area. Several smaller industries related to plastics, automotive industry-related manufacturing, packaging and power generation have also opened.
Prattville Shopping mixes modern and historic venues with a vibrant downtown district that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Winding through portions of the downtown is a Creekwalk that is nestled along the banks of Autauga Creek.
“There is no shortage of pride when we talk about Prattville,” Vanderwal said, “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. And, we are excited that you, too, will discover the beauty of Prattville and Autauga County that we have grown to love. We encourage you to join our friendly community and enjoy the best of both worlds…the beauty of nature with the convenience of city; small-town closeness with unlimited growth potential; and roots rich in history with a promising vision for the future.
Only 10 minutes from Montgomery in Elmore County and easily accessible by Interstate 65, Millbrook is a young city that’s proud to be a great place to live. Its “wholesome, country” atmosphere lends a true sense of community and highlights its natural beauty, all while offering the relaxing lifestyle of a small city with the conveniences of the nearby Montgomery metropolitan area right at hand. The city consistently ranks among the fastest growing cities in Alabama, with its estimated 2011 population of 14,639 in the incorporated area representing a 41-percent increase since 2000.
This influx of new residents has spurred unprecedented residential building in recent decades, which in turn attracted new commercial and retail development. City leaders are thrilled with Millbrook’s growth and diligently work to make sure that services meet and exceed needs. And 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 elaborated. “Community in Millbrook is the kindred spirit, the thread that binds all of us together. It is the annual barbecues, parades and fireworks shows. For those who live it, breathe it and expect it, it is dear and important. This sense of community and the high quality of life it provides is also one of my responsibilities, and I take it very seriously.”
The great outdoors plays a prominent role in Millbrook’s quality of life, with nature’s beauty celebrated at six well-equipped and maintained public parks that provide recreational options for all ages. Multiple other outdoor activities are enjoyed at facilities atnearby lakes and waterways, including the Alabama River and scenic Lakes Martin and Jordan.
The most significant asset in 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 city hall. AWF offers a top-notch conservation education facility called “The Alabama Nature Center” with miles of diverse nature trails, a pavilion and exceptional programs and events for schools and the public.
Today, ease of access is paving the way for prosperity. With substantial land areas in which to expand and develop highly trafficked commercial sites, Millbrook’s future is very bright. A booming residential building campaign, which began in the 1990s, continues today and is largely responsible for Millbrook’s current high rate of population growth. Millbrook, one of the fastest growing cities in the state, is proud of its past and confident about the 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.