The city of Andalusia announced plans on Tuesday to develop the historic Prestwood building in the downtown area and to partner with CDG Engineering, Big Mike’s and Town and Country Boutique. The building from the late 19th century is on the west side of the courtyard.
Mayor Earl Johnson said much of the success in Andalusia in recent years has been due to public-private partnerships. “The Alabama Constitution through Amendment 725 gives us the power to work with private agencies for economic development. We have a number of these partnerships and because of these partnerships we have been able to maintain a number of our historic buildings and grow local businesses. “
Johnson is pleased to announce new partnerships that will energize the downtown area. “I am particularly pleased that these new partnerships will maintain and restore the Prestwood Building where we are today. When I first returned to Andalusia in 1974 to work as a lawyer, I was working right here, so this place is very special to me, ”he said.
He also shared historical notes about the building from the 1880s and who it was named after. “The earliest reference we found was in an 1884 edition of the Covington Times. Prestwood, who went to Andalusia from Coffee County in 1874 to give his family a new life, left the building after visiting the Owens- Design Thomas House in Savannah, Georgia, in the Regency Revival architectural style, ”said Johnson.
The Prestwood Building has been an integral part of downtown Andalusia for at least 137 years and will continue to do so in the future. “We know with the partners who join us that it will have an effect for many years to come.”
The city of Andalusia will initially partner with CDG Engineers and Associates, which has offices in six locations in Alabama and is headquartered here. The top floor is being developed to house CDG and local staff. Originally from Andalusia, Daniel Wells is CDG’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Mayor and Councilor, we would like to thank you for your guidance and vision regarding this project. The decision by the city council and the mayor to purchase a number of historic buildings in the area gave local businesses the opportunity to invest in the revitalization of downtown Andalusia. Today we are happy to announce that CDG will start construction and move into the Prestwood building next June. We will have around 50 employees who are excited about the opportunity to work in a high energy downtown environment. We will have the opportunity to walk to restaurants, cafes, boutiques and other businesses to integrate our work life into our daily lives, ”said Wells.
CDG is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Wells shared how excited they are about the view from the second floor of their new building. He said, “We can see some of these footprints that we have made in the church and we look forward to the things to come. Mayor and city council, thank you again for your time and your investment in this community. “
There will also be a Big Mike’s restaurant group on the south side of the ground floor. Co-founder Mike Cole shared these plans. “We’re going to set up a pizzeria and call it Luie’s. All owners and several employees graduated from Livingston University (LU), now the University of West Alabama (UWA). The school mascot is Luie the tiger and we thought it would be a nice thing to call it that. We will have handmade pizzas, wings and really good salads. It will be like a relaxed sports bar with a TV and very family friendly. There will be video games for the kids and it will be a nice place to watch a ball game and hopefully good food. This is a beautiful building and we love it, ”said Cole.
Terri Proctor, a native of Andalusia who owns the Town and Country Boutique, discussed plans to work with the city and bring their store back to its original location on the square. The boutique will move to the north side of the ground floor. “Town and Country has been part of Andalusia for 70 years, which I think is great. I’m a big history nerd and I love history. I am so excited to come to this building. While I’ll miss all of my retail neighbors with the trio we’re in right now, I’m proud to bring Town and Country back to where it all began. Our place is beautiful and our city has done a great job renovating these old buildings and attracting locals and visitors from the city center. ”
Town and Country traditionally sells womenswear, accessories, shoes and makeup, but has recently added menswear too. “In the last year since I bought the store, I’ve brought some men’s accessories like bow ties and needle belts. We also have a girls and boys clothing line that is golf clothing and I have a twin girls clothing line exclusively for them. The move to the Prestwood Building will give us a lot more space to expand these departments and bring new product lines to Andalusia. I am delighted to be part of this historic renovation and to work with these partners and the city. I think we have a great thing here, ”said Proctor.
Teva Kaplan is one of the partners of the city of Andalusia in the New Orleans company Concordia, which is the project architect for this project. “We have been working with the city of Andalusia for a number of years and this building has always been one of my favorites. It is really an honor for me to be entrusted to one of the main buildings right on the market square, and I look forward to it moving back into the community. By working with the city and CDG, we hope to restore the Prestwood Building to its former glory, ”said Kaplan.
Johnson also recognized the importance of historical tax credits that made the restoration of the Prestwood Building possible. “The Alabama state tax credits were due to expire this year, meaning this project could not have happened. We found that out and thank God the legislature was still in session. We were able to employ Rep. Mike Jones and Senator Jimmy Holley and in record time they got the tax credit law back into effect for our state, ”he said.
Construction work is scheduled to begin in autumn and last around eight months. CDG employees are expected to move into the new office space by June 2022. The new changes are sure to bring new and exciting times to Andalusia’s future. “I hope you’re all excited as wellut these partnerships for who I am and what they will mean for downtown, ”said Johnson.