Montgomery Business Journal

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Game-Changing Projects Motivate Mayor

November/December 2015
By David Zaslawsky

One of the key reasons that Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange ran for re-election was seeing key projects completed.

Just as important was “not letting people down” who believed in what the mayor’s administration was doing, and those who gave up careers to work at City Hall.

He knows that there will be many new projects that won’t be completed during his final four-year-term, but there are key projects that Strange called “game-changers” that will be completed under his watch.

One of those projects is One Center – the old Montgomery Mall, where two new high schools will be located: Loveless Academic Magnet Program High (LAMP) and the Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT). Those schools are scheduled to open in fall 2016.

A new Municipal Court is being built on Madison Avenue and could be completed in about one year.

Another 17 homes are being built at Lanier Place in West Montgomery, and that will be a significant accomplishment considering the project is only the second residential development west of Court Street in the last 30 years, according to Strange. There was a new multifamily project by the Cleveland Avenue YMCA about three years ago. “We’ve been working on Lanier Place for the 17 new houses for three years now,” Strange said.

He could have made the announcement before the mayoral election, but held off because the importance of the project “would have been lost in the rhetoric of the politics, so you wait until after the election. It’s about the betterment of that particular neighborhood.”

All the development on Dexter Avenue is another game-changer, Strange said, but one of the most important game-changers is what Strange called a “paradigm shift”, and that’s cyber. “Because of our uniqueness with the military and Gunter (Annex), the cyber school of the Air Force is going to be at Maxwell – we have to take advantage of that,” he said.

“We have to leverage that and make our city a cyber city; make our city a gig city, where you can connect to any device anywhere in the world in record time. That in and of itself is a major, major push of this administration. We’ve been working on it for a while.”

“These projects that we’ve been working on, we have been working on them for four or five years,” he said. “At the end of the day, I know there will be projects that we would have just started, but my expectation is there will be projects that we have finished.”

He said that he ran for a third term “because of all the people that really believed in us – believed in the vision of what we could do in downtown Montgomery. Or believed in what we could do with the old Montgomery Mall or trying to make a great neighborhood out east with the investment we made in Park Crossing (High School) and to establish the infrastructure as far as the transportation side of the equation.”

laT-?ZStrange said that he could not walk away and let those people down, or many who work at City Hall, including members of his Cabinet. “They bought into something and we’ve been working together for a couple of years.”

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