A prime piece of bayside property that both the city and the Mobile Airport Authority had previously attempted to purchase is back on the market.
The development group 24/7 Development Partners of Alabama has backed out of the $45 million purchase of the University of South Alabama Foundation’s Brookley property, according to a statement. The foundation had signed a letter of intent with the developer in March to sell about 290 acres adjacent to the Brookley Aeroplex.
“The University of South Alabama Foundation appreciates the interest shown by 24/7 Development Partners in certain property owned by the foundation,” Foundation Board Chairman John McMillan said in the statement. “While we are disappointed that 24/7 did not exercise their option to finalize the purchase of the property, commonly known as the ‘Brookley Property,’ we will once again turn our full attention to marketing it for its outstanding development potential.”
In the initial letter of intent, the foundation agreed to retain about 30 acres of wetlands and an additional 10 acres around them.
That property will be kept free of commercial development and it could become the basis for an eco-friendly park, according to the foundation. The letter of intent also stated that 24/7 Development Partners has expressed intentions to “substantially preserve” the property’s shoreline as well as an additional 10 acres of wetlands included in the sale.
The property includes 290 acres on Mobile Bay. The acreage, all of which is within Mobile County, is located along the western shore of Mobile Bay, to the east of Brookley Aeroplex, near the Airbus manufacturing facility.
“This is a uniquely attractive property, located close to downtown Mobile, the Alabama State Docks and interstate access,” McMillan said in the statement. “Its development by a qualified and responsible developer will greatly enhance the economic vitality of the greater Mobile community and will represent a win-win for the entire community and the University of South Alabama, which the foundation is chartered to support.”
Shortly after the letter of intent was signed in March, Mobile Airport Authority Board Chairman Elliot Maisel confirmed the agency and the city had made a “competitive” offer. At the time, he said the board would “keep an eye on the situation.”
MAA President Chris Curry said at the time there was an interest in developing the 90 acres of the property closest to the airport to increase the aeroplex’s footprint.
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