Property owners, Buzz Jordan and Tom Townsend, seek to develop 401 Dauphin Street into a music and events venue in Mobile, Alabama. The owners are committed to improving downtown Mobile, as demonstrated by their other downtown projects, such as the historic renovation of 459 Dauphin Street into a multi-use property and the recent purchase of the A&M Peanut Shop at 209 Dauphin Street.
Why develop 401 Dauphin Street into a music venue?
After a complete restoration as a National Park Service Certified Historic Preservation Project, our music and event venue will encourage new life to spring from Mobile’s downtown infrastructure. We will be participating in active tourism outreach, which we believe will foster new jobs, revenues, and taxes for our local economy. We will be promoting Mobile as an epicenter of southern music, which will help foster local talent and draw regional acts to our area. This outreach will also create a cultural nexus to boost local real estate values and our local hospitality industry as it has in other cities.
The venue will only be open and in operation during scheduled events. The owners will also work to make the space available to the community at a reduced rate or free of charge.
What will be the maximum occupancy?
Maximum occupancy for the venue will be 750. We seek to complement other venues in Mobile, not to compete with them, and there is no other “high end” music venue in Mobile competing in this niche. This occupancy is far less than the larger venues, such as the nearby Saenger, and other events that take place along Dauphin Street (ArtWalk, SouthSounds, Ten65, etc.). Our venue differs from others in downtown Mobile in that it is being designed with acoustics and sight lines in mind for the ultimate experience for both the audience and the performers. We have plans in place to mitigate noise and to minimize any potential disruption for area residents.
What type of acts will you book and what is the average ticket price?
We aim to book acts similar to those seen at House of Blues or Tipitina’s in New Orleans: nationally known touring acts passing through Mobile en route to their next show. We plan to draw these acts to Mobile by providing a historic venue with an intimate setting for attendees, designed with both the audience and the performers in mind to include lines of sight, acoustics and amenities. An experienced, proven promotional partner will work with us to book acts that complement the high-quality acts and programming available in other parts of downtown.
The base ticket price for music events will be in the $45-60 range. Other events, such as recitals, art shows/receptions and the like may have a different price structure. Our vision is to attract a well-heeled, responsible audience with disposable income and the ability to travel and stay the weekend in Mobile.
What is the security plan for large shows?
Security and crowd control is a top priority. There will be in-house security at entrance doors, in addition to off-duty Mobile Police Officers serving as extra security. Event closing times will be strictly enforced, with doors closed and all attendees exiting the building onto Franklin Street within 60 minutes of the event’s conclusion.
Off-duty Mobile Police Officers will be on-site until all members of the public have dispersed from the venue. Security will be variable to crowd size. Any and all outside debris will be removed and cleaned within two hours of the event conclusion.
How will noise levels affect area residents and businesses?
Development plans of 401 Dauphin include soundproofing of the building to keep noise level to a minimum. Franklin Street will serve as the primary entrance and exit, with the Dauphin Street entrance reserved for will-call and smaller lines, so crowd noise before and after events will be kept to a minimum, with any queuing to be conducted on Franklin Street and Mobile Police Officers dispersing crowds after events. Sound readings will be in compliance with the City’s sound ordinance, which dictates noise levels below 80 dB before 10 p.m. and below 50 dB after 10 p.m.
There is currently no plan for a rooftop bar or other amenities. In the event a rooftop bar were to be developed in the future, the owners of 401 Dauphin would only allow acoustic music in this area. No amplified music would be allowed on any future rooftop bar.
Does the project require rezoning?
No. 401 Dauphin is zoned T5.1, which is “a mixed-use district of medium intensity” and is “zoned” for our exact use (as is all of the Dauphin Street corridor). In 2013, a newly created layer of oversight called “Planning Approval” was enacted so that all projects in entertainment use districts that request greater than 100 occupants, no matter how large the building, must submit for Planning Approval. This process is not re-zoning, and all property owners within 300’ are invited to offer opinions.
Will you continue to address any reasonable concerns presented by area residents and businesses?
We want to be a good neighbor and our plan is to be in harmony with the orderly development of the district. We believe working with our neighbors is vital to our success, and we intend to keep a positive and proactive relationship with our neighbors long after the approval process. Our plan includes items to address concerns about noise, security, and ongoing discussions through regular meetings with our immediate neighbors.
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