Dothan's City Center
City Center Project - Groundbreaking - Tuesday, January 16, 2024
After years of planning and conceptualization, the City of Dothan broke ground on Phase I of the City Center project. Phase I includes an addition and enhancements to the historic Dothan Opera House as well as the new Porter Park and Events Plaza. This phase of the project will begin the process of revitalizing the city’s core…with hopes of further revitalization efforts from both public and private developers.
Dothan’s Mayor, Mark Saliba, eloquently stated, “If a vision doesn’t make you strain to see if it’s possible. If a vision doesn’t make you feel like we’re reaching and even question how we can do this, then it’s not much of a vision at all. This vision needs to be transformational. It needs to be a vision that will not only benefit us now, but our children, and our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren. What do we want our community to look like in the next 30 to 50 years? That’s the questions that we need to ask and that’s the questions and the answers that we need to have.”
“A City Center can set the tone for the community it serves, and we’re thrilled to play a role in revitalizing Dothan’s core,” said Brasfield & Gorrie Vice President and Division Manager Wes Kelley. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor on the Opera House and the Porter Park projects. “Our first opportunity to build in the Dothan area was more than 40 years ago. These projects are an important way to strengthen a community in the state our company calls home.”
Projects of this magnitude take teams of professionals, all working together, to see tangible results. Dothan’s City Center Project is no different. The RDG Planning and Design Group, the team that designed and developed our Wiregrass Public Safety Center, was brought in to take care of the design and development piece of the project. David Streebin, RDG Architect and Principal, said, “Our approach to revitalizing Dothan’s downtown is holistic, focusing not only on physical infrastructure but also on fostering a sense of community and cultural vibrancy.”
Dothan’s City Manager, Kevin Cowper, expressed great optimism regarding the City Center project. “The heart of any city is its City Center. We have researched, planned, and now executed the start of our City Center transformation. With new development will come new business, industry, as well as new energy to downtown Dothan. We are confident that this transformation process will encourage and attract new growth within our city’s core, but we also believe it will spur economic growth throughout Dothan. All of this is to say…we really Love Dothan and are excited about the future here.”
Dothan’s city-center is ready for re-birth! It’s taken years of hard work and planning, but the time has finally arrived!! The core of the downtown area will witness a revitalization effort, the likes of which Dothan residents have never seen.
City leaders have engaged with the design group RDG ( https://rdgusa.com/ ), a national leader in re-imagining cities’ core spaces, to conceptualize what Dothan’s city-center could become. After hosting civic charettes and blending together thoughts and opinions from across the community, we are finally at a place where we can unveil the beginnings of Dothan’s core transformation. Daniel Burnham, America’s most famous urban planner and renowned architect once stated, “Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.” With this guiding principle in mind, Dothan has arrived at a place where it is time to transform and grow to meet the needs and desires of its citizens.
The lifecycle of cities begin, end, and begin again at their cores. Dothan’s revitalization process should begin at its center. The impending ripple effect will radiate throughout the city and change will take shape in all areas of Dothan.
It’s time for Dothan to take a step towards becoming a “next-level” city. The time and conditions are right for Dothan to undergo this change. We hope that you will find the information contained on this page to be both exciting and inspiring. What you will see in the images that follow are concepts. These images will not necessarily become what will eventually be. The conceptualization merely allows us to see how certain structures fit within the downtown city-center footprint. The base elements will exist, but forms may change depending on several factors. Rest assured; this will be a generational shift in re-imagining Dothan’s downtown. There is a well-used management concept that states, “Right People, Right Place, Right Time”. The City and its partners, including The Wiregrass Foundation, truly believe that we are at that point where all three points have converged. Now…it’s time to make this dream a reality!