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Town Center Master Plan

Approved by the Town Council September 21, 2021


Aloe Bay Master Plan Executive Summary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A letter from the Mayor, to the Town of Dauphin Island, AL: As Mayor and on behalf of the Town Council, I am excited for our community that plans for Aloe Bay are nearing completion! I want to express our sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the Steering Committee members that volunteered countless hours working with the Goodwyn Mills Cawood team and to each of you that took time to participate in one or more of the public engagement opportunities to shape the future of Aloe Bay. One of the most recurring questions received during the course of the public engagement process was, “Why is the future of Aloe Bay so important to the Town of Dauphin Island?”. The answer actually didn’t originate with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill instead, it was the devastating impacts related to Hurricane Katrina that generated a conversation among elected leaders that in order to ensure economic sustainability and resiliency we needed to find ways to “put some economic eggs in a safer basket”. Although the island has been impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes throughout its history, impacts over the past couple of decades have shown a marked increase leaving the island in a more vulnerable state. Today, weaker storms are creating greater damage in certain portions of the island that have become less resilient over time. As we continue to pursue options to curb the adverse effects future storms may pose, we are also taking proactive measures with the Aloe Bay project to maintain a stable tax base while creating a vibrant town center that will serve residents and visitors for many years to come. Together, we’ll make sure that happens. As previously mentioned, the Aloe Bay concept originated as a result of catastrophic damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the ambitious vision was included in the 2007 Dauphin Island Strategic Plan. The project was further supported by its inclusion in the town’s Comprehensive Plan 2030. Initial funding of more than $16.5 million wouldn’t come until 2019 when the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) awarded the grant as part of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourism Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act). Subsequent to available funding the town selected Goodwyn Mills Cawood to help our community navigate the complex and important process to develop a Master Plan for the broader Aloe Bay area. Although emphasis was

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Executive Summary

placed on enhancing economic sustainability, doing so in a manner that would embrace and compliment the island’s charm and character to the extent possible was also of high importance. As a result, a unique, walkable waterfront consisting of a network of boardwalks, observation points, marina, commercial and recreational seafood opportunities, eateries, shops, mixed-use, lodging and more are among the numerous ideas and visions that were identified via the comprehensive study. Implementation of the Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan will require additional time, resources and effort to ensure it is accomplished in a responsible and respectful manner. Residents and visitors can be comforted that while changes to Aloe Bay will occur over time, the expectation is that the plan will result in development that compliments the island we’ve all come to love and enjoy. It should also be noted that this plan will not happen overnight, but over several to many years with additional opportunities for future conversations to occur regarding individual aspects of the plan. Our goal is to keep everything to a scale that blends with and maintains the local characteristics while optimizing, not maximizing, any new development or uses for economic resiliency. Initially, our focus will be on required infrastructure improvements and upgrades needed to support the planned development of Aloe Bay. The Dauphin Island community has faced many challenges throughout its existence but together we can make sure the future remains bright. The Aloe Bay project represents one such opportunity for us to create an attractive and vibrant town center that will help us accomplish that goal.

Kindest regards,

Mayor Jeff Collier

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Executive Summary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A USER’S GUIDE This section is written to help readers and users understand the Master Plan, and how it can be used by the town. answer all questions. In this case, it was imperative to provide ideas, that are based on the vision for the future, which highlight key elements from which the town can set measurable objectives and also return to core ideas to validate success. That said, all recommendations within the Master Plan should be appreciated in a flexible, adaptive, yet implementable manner. As an example, Chapter 4: Community Design & Placemaking, (pg. 40) provides a list of elements related to community character. It should be expected if the majority of the objectives in that section are provided during future development; then a successful outcome should result. Each of the substantive chapters cover matters in a user-friendly pattern which includes: (1) A ‘Big Idea’ is presented, (2) expand or explain the specifics of that ‘Big Idea,’ and then, (3) Provide implementable objectives, tools, or recommendations.

TO BEGIN, THERE ARE A SEVERAL KEY THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT THE DOCUMENT IN GENERAL:

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In essence, the Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan document is a written catalogue which presents the vision, objectives, tools, and recommendations for the Dauphin Island community and town leaders to create an attractive and vibrant Town Center. The document is termed a ‘Master Plan’ and the phrase can often be used in many ways. For the purposes of Aloe Bay Town Center, the ‘Master Plan’ is intended to provide; vision, concept, analysis, framework, illustrations, even implementation strategies. All of these are oriented toward providing enough information within the document from which Town Leadership can use to make informed decisions to develop a Town Center. It is not necessarily intended to be a prescriptive blueprint but rather, to serve as a community-supported guideline to maintain direction. On occasion the Plan references other sources, plans, or outside resources to bring forward previous or historical ideas, when combined with new ideas, will serve to propel the Town toward action. Therefore, in some cases it assumes the reader has knowledge of these documents and previous plans or it may identify the sources of items to consider for further review. It also uses ‘common knowledge’ and best practices across the planning, design, and engineering industry to recommend potential solutions, while recognizing Dauphin Island is unique. In these cases, common knowledge is always applied with the specifics of Dauphin Island and Aloe Bay in mind. It is recognized by the authors the puzzle of an attractive and vibrant Town Center and economic resilience is complex and one set of planning strategies alone cannot solve all problems, nor

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Finally, all ideas in the document have benefitted from a robust community engagement process, Steering Committee review and Town leadership involvement. This means every idea contained within the Master Plan has either been presented to, expanded by, or proposed by the larger community reflecting the strategy to reach the largest consensus possible. This was done through a series of public outreach events, stakeholder interviews, an intensive design charrette process, a full project website, and numerous town leadership and Steering Committee meetings. More details on the overall planning process, including community engagement, can be found in Chapter 2: Planning Process. To fully realize the future vision for Aloe Bay, there will be months and years of additional work as the Town Center develops, which provides ongoing opportunities to continue this active public engagement process throughout the implementation of the Master Plan.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Executive Summary

HOW TO USE THE DOCUMENT: Considering the document has already been identified as a catalogue; it can be helpful to think of the Master Plan document as a literal tool box. There are ten basic parts of the document as identified in the Table of Contents. On the first page of each chapter a brief description of what is contained in the chapter is provided. These chapters are the tools based on specific topics including community design, ecology, mobility, and economics. The reader should open to the chapter based on the topic of interest, and use the information within as the metaphorical “tools for the job”. The order of the presentation of the Master Plan is designed to build the elements of the plan from the more general foundation of the planning process, through the specific planning elements or topics and finally to a series of specific recommendations for implementation. While this organization is typical for a Master Plan, there may be a sense of repetition or redundancy when reading the Master Plan cover-to-cover. This is a result of the intentional strategy to establish each chapter as a presentation of a specific planning element as a tool for action and implementation. For those elements that are reiterated in several chapters signify the importance of those elements to the Master Plan. For readers or users who have limited knowledge of Dauphin Island, or one who want to understand more supporting information building up to the Master Plan, it could be helpful to begin at the cover and read through the first three chapters in page order (Chapter 1: Introduction and Background, Chapter 2: Planning & Public Process, Chapter 3: The Plan). These chapters combined provide an expansion on the basic elements of why the plan is important for Dauphin Island, existing conditions, an

extensive public engagement process, and foundation for five ‘Big Ideas’ which become the guidelines for the rest of the document. When arriving at Chapter 3: The Plan the reader or user will find the five ‘Big Ideas’ which are the basis of the substantive chapters to follow. Each of these chapters and associated ‘Big Idea’ revolved around common themes of discussion by the community during the process. Chapter 8: Mobility also revolves around a common theme or concern from the community focused on providing ideas on transportation, walking, bicycling and access to and within the Town Center. While most of the chapters relate to the ‘look and feel’ of place, Chapter 6: Economic Development and Chapter 9: Implementation are unique. Chapter 6 focuses on the fiscal sustainability and diversification of the plan. It lands nearly in the middle of the plan document as the framework behind how ideas developed earlier parts of the document can be transformed into economic impacts to achieve both physical and fiscal resiliency. This chapter summarizes the full Aloe Bay Market Analysis and Aloe Bay Strategic Recommendations; two reports which can be found in their entirety in Chapter 10: Appendix of the overall master plan document. Chapter 9: Implementation is a brief yet powerful chapter which focuses on making actionable recommendations to the town and community to implement all the ideas contained within the master plan. With all this in mind consider the combined Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan document a comprehensive catalogue of tools providing guidelines for the physical and programmatic framework of potential development, the aesthetics and character of Town Center components, and means of reaching overall economic and physical goal of resiliency for the Town of Dauphin Island.

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TOWN LEADERSHIP Mayor Jeff Collier Councilman Trey Alderman Councilman Rich Colberg Councilman Clinton Collier Councilman Earle Connell Councilman Gene Fox

STEERING COMMITTEE Participants on the Steering Committee are leaders in and around the community, who serve as ambassadors to the process. Their role is to ensure all residents, property and business owners, tourists, and others related to Dauphin Island all have a voice in the process. Eric Bay Renee Collini Earle Connell Robert Dixon Pat Edwards

David Felton Gene Fox Craig Greene Trish Kerr Beth Lyons

Eliska Morgan Tina Sanchez (Former Members) Michael Hardy Joan Smith

PROJECT TEAM Selected through a competitive process, the Dauphin Island Town Council chose the following team to lead the community through the Aloe Bay design process. Each of these groups were involved and assisted to determine the feasibility and future vision of Aloe Bay. Goodwyn Mills Cawood Dover Kohl and Partners Randall Gross Development Economics

The Aloe Bay Harbour Town Project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Treasury in cooperation with the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This plan was prepared by the Town of Dauphin Island using Federal funds under Award No. RDCGR010097 from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Treasury.


Table of Contents 1.

INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND............ 1

2.

PLANNING PROCESS............................... 13

3.

THE PLAN..................................................27

4.

COMMUNITY DESIGN...............................37

5.

LAND USE..................................................49

6.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.................... 61

7.

RESILIENCE...............................................87

8.

MOBILITY.................................................. 99

9.

IMPLEMENTATION.................................. 113

10. APPENDIX.................................................119


1.

Introduction & Background This chapter introduces the project and reviews an analysis of relevant work and existing conditions.

INTRODUCTION SITE LOCATION RELEVANT TOWN PLANS PREVIOUS SITE PLANS SITE ANALYSIS

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

INTRODUCTION The importance of Aloe Bay is to diversify the local economy in a location historically safe from storm impacts. ABOUT THE PROJECT

WHAT IS ALOE BAY?

The purpose of this project is to develop a “town center” master plan and community design which will inform the development of Aloe Bay district. The Aloe Bay project includes the planning and implementation of a mixeduse district with public facilities to enhance economics, tourism, and resident opportunities for the Town of Dauphin Island. The project will be implemented in three phases. Phase I includes planning and conceptual design of Aloe Bay along with a Meeting Space Study for the entire Island. Phase II will include design and engineering, permitting, development of project costs and preparation of construction plans and documents. Finally, Phase III is the construction period of the project.

This harbor, located in the heart of Dauphin Island, has been an important location for the commercial fishing and tourism industries of the community. It has been home to the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR) and numerous other maritime businesses that are the historical and cultural core of the island. Roughly bordered by Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue, this area is being planned as the town center for Dauphin Island.

The Aloe Bay Master Plan is a master plan and zoning recommendations report that will set the path for development in the district for the future. The process for creating this plan is unique and involved the public, stakeholders, and residents. The plan was created out of ideas generated from the residents and stakeholders of Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island.

The Aloe Bay area on the north side of the Island, near the across-bay bridge entry, is a prime “redevelopment” Gateway to Dauphin Island. A public access point exists in Aloe Bay through the operation of the Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board. Aloe Bay is a prime location for access to the Gulf Intra-coastal waterway, and land is still affordable. It is also somewhat protected from hurricanes through its location on the bayside. Aloe Bay can present the last vestige of a working waterfront, which would be a strong tourism draw, as long as sufficient public access is maintained. The site proper designates the area along Aloe Bay over which the Town owns and has direct control. The planning area is the full area of consideration in the

SITE PROPER SITE PROPER PLANNING AREA IMMEDIATE AREA

ADSFR ALOE BAY

DE SOTO AVE

LE MOYNE DR

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

Master Plan. The immediate area is considered the area of immediate impact by this project, to which some recommendations and visualization will be found in the document.

PLANNING AREA SITE PROPER PLANNING AREA IMMEDIATE AREA

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HOW DID THIS GET STARTED?

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In the Dauphin Island Strategic Plan, adopted in 2007, a town center was envisioned along Aloe Bay that included revitalizing a true working waterfront which builds upon the past and creates a small mixed-use area with commercial fishing, eco-tourism activities, housing and retail space. The vision was carried forward in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan 2030 by including ideas like a network of boardwalks, observation points, and a marina. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the Town decided to leverage these ideas as part of a funding request to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council which resulted in the Town being awarded over $16.5 million to make this vision a reality.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

PHYSICAL AND FISCAL DEVASTATION

Actual image of devastation following 2005 Hurricane Katrina (source: unknown) The Fiscal Objectives of Aloe Bay Project:

Town of Dauphin Island Facing Increased Vulnerability • Hurricanes & Regular Storm Activity • Stormwater • Oil Spills • Sea Rise

It is critical to understand the Town of Dauphin Island is facing increased vulnerability, caused by a variety of factors outside of the Town’s direct 2019-2020 Impacts on Town Budget as Example control. Among these factors are increasing hurricane and regular storm • $1.5 - $2.0 Million in Damage from Multiple Storms activity, as well as pressure from oil • Infrastructure, Clean-up, Recovery • Town Budget is Just $4.0 Million Total spill risks, and rising sea levels, all of • Town Cannot Sustain Multiple Years of Impact without Raising Taxes or which cause impacts detrimental to Finding New Revenue Sources the Town’s tourism industry, livability, and fiscal health. Solutions to Explore The objective of this plan is to • Aloe Bay Provides Alternative Location for Generating Revenue create and identify possible • Opportunity for Mixed-Use Development solutions for the town to enhance • Revenues: Sales, Lodging, Property Taxes; User Fees, Rental Charges, etc. resiliency to future impacts. • Serve Local Community as well as Visitors 4


Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

RELEVANT TOWN PLANS GRANT INFORMATION The Aloe Bay project is part of several combined efforts. The Plan and infrastructure elements of the project will be paid for with federal funding from the Department of the Treasury under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act). The grant is part of the State of Alabama’s RESTORE Act Direct Component funds that promote economic development and tourism.

to attract visitors that provides added revenue to support Town operations and services.” The Aloe Bay area was identified as the location of this village business district. In response to the 2007 Strategic Plan, the Town purchased several parcels of waterfront property on Aloe Bay and began feasibility studies to develop the town center.

In addition to the commercial development goals of the strategic plan, it set out to “Plan and implement an environmentally-sound, integrated strategy for the Island to best capitalize on its innate beauty and bounty of cultural and natural resources in order to promote sustainable DAUPHIN ISLAND STRATEGIC PLAN forms of tourism and create a unique destination for In 2007, the Town of Dauphin Island set out a strategic plan visitors. The natural beauty and cultural heritage Dauphin Island possesses are both major assets that can offer for its shared vision for the next 20-30 years. value-added opportunities to provide sources of revenue On behalf of the people of Dauphin Island, the to businesses and the Town’s operating budget. These Town will lead this small island community resources require detailed planning to guarantee they through the 21st century by preserving the are not over-burdened by tourism activities and that the tourism activities do not grow to the detriment of residents island’s history, culture, and environmental on the Island. Strategies should be considered to balance assets, while planning for a future that capitalizes on its natural resources to promote economic needs with the needs of those who call Dauphin Island home. There are a number of innovative ways economic well-being. of addressing resource use and protection that can be considered to ensure the sustainability of these resources, Recognizing that the Island’s natural assets created by its while at the same time, benefiting from their perceived strategic location and the implications of the economic value to visitors and residents alike. This goal is seen in the decline at the time, the plan set the goal to “Expand Aloe Bay Master Plan with the inclusion of the eco-tourism [through careful planning] commercial development to site planned to the north along Le Moyne Drive and the revitalize the Dauphin Island economy while providing De Soto Avenue boat launch in conjunction with the town affordability to permanent residents through construction center. of a quaint, centralized small-town village business district in the area of Le Moyne Drive with an attractive Island entry

Dauphin Island Strategic Plan (2007)

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Comprehensive Plan (2013)

Master Plan by William H. Phillips, Jr., AIA


Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

DAUPHIN ISLAND COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

Working Waterfront

The recommendations and strategies proposed in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan were formulated in combination with the identified goals of the adopted Dauphin Island Strategic Plan and with the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission’s analysis of the current population and economic characteristics on the Island. Three key goals of the Comprehensive Plan were the foundation to the Aloe Bay Master Plan and function as the overarching goals, objectives and strategies to Aloe Bay.

GOAL: Honor the Island’s cultural heritage by restoring and preserving a working waterfront for commercial fishing, recreational boating, retail, and residential uses compatible with the downtown village design on Le Moyne Drive.

Central Village Business District GOAL: Design and construct a charming, centralized smalltown village business district in the area of Le Moyne Drive with an attractive Island entry to attract visitors that also provides needed resident commercial services and added revenue to support Town operations. Strategic Recommendation #1: Design and implement consistent and development-friendly zoning classifications to enhance local character and promote economic vitality. Strategic Recommendation #2: Create an aesthetically pleasing main entry-way onto Dauphin Island. Strategic Recommendation #3: Develop a mixed-use, centralized village business district with a diversity of retail opportunities to increase the Town’s tax base, to meet resident needs for goods and services, and to attract the interest of visitors and tourists. Strategic Recommendation #4: Advance the idea of a sustainable small-town community.

Strategic Recommendation #1: Design and implement consistent and development-friendly zoning classifications. Strategic Recommendation #2: Develop the concept for a working waterfront design that integrates with design features of the adjacent downtown village setting on Le Moyne Drive and implement this concept. Strategic Recommendation #3: Enhance and encourage commercial fishermen use of a Dauphin Island working waterfront. Tourism & Resource Protection GOAL: Plan and implement an environmentally-sound, integrated strategy for Dauphin Island to best capitalize on its innate beauty and bounty of cultural and natural resources in order to promote sustainable forms of tourism and create a unique destination for visitors Strategic Recommendation #1: Design cultural and naturebased, economically vibrant, and responsible tourism activities. Strategic Recommendation #2: To preserve and promote Dauphin Island’s history and culture Strategic Recommendation #3: Protect all natural and cultural resources by determining user capacity in light of resource vulnerability. Strategic Recommendation #4: Dauphin Island continues to be a more environmentally friendly community by moving away from traditional building and utilities service toward “green” processes.

PREVIOUS MASTER PLANS Since the adoption of the Comprehension Plan, it has been an on-going effort to reach these goals, and Aloe Bay has been the subject of several efforts. Most notably, a master plan by William H. Phillips, Jr., AIA (local architect resident of DI) showing a breakwater and early ideas for the eco-tourism site, and more recently a research project by Matthew Capps (2009, landscape architecture student, Auburn University). Master Plan Research Project by Matthew Capps

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

SITE ANALYSIS Using existing maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, the team created and studied analysis maps to better understand the dynamics of the site. The maps highlight the various aspects of the Aloe Bay Area that relate to site context, land use regulations, and the natural environment. Additionally, the team toured the site to document existing conditions which is included on the next few pages. ZONING • Retail and establishments such as grocery/ The planning area is a mix of Working Waterfront District convenience stores, bait and tackle shops, clothing and Central Business. The site proper is entirely zoned shops, and gift shops Working Waterfront District, which allows a mix of residential and commercial uses. Commercial uses focus on • Covered markets – farmers market, craft market, the “working waterfront” aspect that can create an active seafood market town center, including but not limited to: The planned uses for the site should fulfill the intent of the • Water Oriented – harbors, marinas, boat docks and District written in the zoning ordinance in that launches, boat and watercraft rentals, recreational “[Aloe Bay Town Center] should support and services, water taxis, boat storage

encourage water oriented commercial activities that are essential to the island economy, and provide numerous opportunities for pedestrian and tourist access to the surrounding waterfront.”

• Public Lodging – hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts provided the lowest floor of the building shall contain retail uses, restaurants, or provide public access to the waterfront • Restaurants – bars, pubs, and nightclubs

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BSO Bienville South Overlay District

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SARPC April 2019

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Omega St

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Narvaez St

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Cadillac Ave

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La Vente St

Levert St

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DPOD Dune Protection Overlay District

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

FEMA FLOOD ZONE The entire site and most of Dauphin Island is within AE - Base Floodplain Elevation with much of the bay and surrounding area having additional storm wave hazard. This requires special consideration in regards to development and building code standards.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

EXISTING CONDITIONS Aloe Bay provides a strategic waterfront location with existing boat slips, beach landing, and numerous other maritime businesses that are the historical and cultural core of the Island. The planning area includes the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR) site, which is privatelyowned property along Aloe Bay. The Mobile Jaycees will retain use of the ADSFR, and will engage just as any other stakeholder to discuss potential opportunities. The site proper consists of waterfront property along De Soto Avenue between Aloe Bay Landing and Le Moyne Drive, with existing commercial businesses - most notably the Island Golf miniature golf course providing local entertainment. Existing structures and boat docks will need maintenance or replacement to withstand increasing storm hazards. To the south along De Soto Avenue is the Circle K convenience store and Shell fuel station as well as a block of public services consisting of the post office, police department, fire station, and public works office.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Introduction & Background

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PARKS & OPEN SPACE

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Aloe Bay Landing Park is a public park offering waterfront picnic tables, fishing, and shoreline launch for kayaking. Being positioned in the middle of De Soto Avenue, it may serve the future of Aloe Bay between town-owned and privately owned property. Its beach walk-in access should remain as new boardwalks are developed. Adjacent to Aloe Bay is Green Park a privately owned open space located on Le Moyne Drive. It has become a place to enjoy heritage oak trees, and quiet passive recreation. The Aloe Bay planning effort is also looking at the natural area to the north of Aloe Bay, accessed by El Dorado Avenue from Le Moyne Drive, as an eco-tourism site to create a unique destination for visitors to appreciate Aloe Bay’s natural beauty.

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Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo site

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Boat docking along Aloe Bay looking east toward Le moyne Drive

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View looking south toward the entire site

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Aloe Bay Landing sign

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Aloe Bay Landing Park looking towards Pelican Pub and boat slips

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View from Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo toward site

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Natural area to the west of Aloe Bay along De Soto Avenue

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2.

Planning Process

This chapter outlines the planning process, which included a virtual public engagement campaign. The results of the public engagement and community input are summarized in this chapter. They serve as the foundation to the master plan concepts presented in the subsequent chapters.

PLANNING PROCESS PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

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Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

2007 STRATEGIC PLAN

PLANNING PROCESS The consultant team took a “Designing in Public” approach to the planning process which yields a hands-on, immersive and visual experience and a better plan.

Town Center envisioned 2012 RESTORE ACT

Secures funding 2020 PLANNING BEGINS

Town engages consultants to begin work on Aloe Bay

PUBLIC KICK OFF The events on June 25, 2020 represented the start of the planning process for Aloe Bay. During these public events, the planning team asked the public questions to help understand why Aloe Bay is important for the community and what their vision is for the future. Three different times were chosen to provide the most opportunity for the public to attend. This set the groundwork for the planning team to work closely with the community to help design the future of Aloe Bay through other important public participation opportunities over the next several months.

TAKING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT ONLINE It was decided early on that the in-person public engagement part of the planning process would need to transition to a hybrid online format to accommodate full public participation while maintaining the necessary social distancing and other precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Public Virtual Design Charrette took place January 18, 2021 through January 22, 2021. In order to ensure equal access to those unable to participate online, a one-night in-person open house was hosted by the Goodwyn Mills Cawood consultant team on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

VIRTUAL DESIGN CHARRETTE During the charrette, a series of meetings were held to openly engage the community in conversation oriented toward design and programming. The meetings were led by Dover, Kohl & Partners and included presentations from Goodwyn Mills Cawood and Randall Gross Development Economics. The consultant team presented initial findings in short films, gathered feedback through online forms, led stakeholder meetings, and worked on potential design and policy solutions for the Aloe Bay area. The goal during this time was to identify key priorities and to build consensus on a vision and direction for the future of the Aloe Bay Town Center.

PUBLIC PROJECT KICK OFF JUNE 25, 2020

8:30 AM | 1:30 PM | 6:00PM ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO SITE

VIRTUAL DESIGN CHARRETTE JANUARY 18, 2021

DAY 1

6:30 PM CHARRETTE KICK-OFF

JANUARY 19, 2021

DAY 2

11:00 AM STAKEHOLDER MEETINGAREA RESIDENTS 12:00 PM VIRTUAL STUDIO 2:00 PM STAKEHOLDER MEETINGPLANNING COMMITTEE

Participant at the Public Kick Off offering their visions for Aloe Bay

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Participants listening to presentation at the Public Kick Off

5:00 PM OPEN HOUSE


DAY 3

Aloe Bay Master Plan

11:00 AM STAKEHOLDER MEETINGBUSINESS IN ALOE BAY 2:00 PM STAKEHOLDER MEETINGCIVIL/ SOCIAL ORG 4:00 PM SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOP 2:00 PM VIRTUAL STUDIO

DAY 4

JANUARY 21, 2021

11:00AM STAKEHOLDER MEETINGPOA 12:00PM VIRTUAL STUDIO 2:00PM STAKEHOLDER MEETINGPUBLIC ENTITIES 4:00PM DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES WORKSHOP 6:00PM VIRTUAL STUDIO

DAY 5

The Plan

JANUARY 20, 2021

JANUARY 22, 2021

6:30PM WORK IN PROGRESS PRESENTATION

PLAN DRAFTING AND REFINEMENT SEPETEMBER 2021

PRESENTATION OF THE PLAN PLAN COMPLETION

The Dover Kohl and Partners team worked on potential solutions to the themes and concerns that emerged after their preliminary analysis. To begin, each member of the planning team studied specific areas along Aloe Bay to illustrate how the Town might resolve community concerns and improve the overall quality of life. Key topics studied included water access, street design, and place-making, including the idea of creating a "gateway" to the town. The planning team held virtual Stakeholder Meetings and Open Virtual Studio times to learn how current efforts, concerns, and future goals might be included as a part of the civic master plan. Stakeholder meetings were designed to engage specific groups to address their concerns and hear their specific insights as the plan developed throughout the charrette week. Throughout the virtual design charrette, designers, planners, and engineers from the consultant team worked on draft illustrations, maps, diagrams, programming, and policy recommendations for Aloe Bay and its surrounding neighborhood. The public was invited to join the Open Virtual Studios to check-in on the team's progress and ask questions. The consultants were able to share their screens with the participants and open a video chat to answer questions. Online Engagement In addition to Stakeholder Meetings and Open Design Studio times when people were able to meet online to discuss their concerns and aspirations for the area, the project website operated as a hub for communication and stakeholder engagement. Numerous online tools including surveys, polls, and mapping exercises were used to communicate the community members' preferences for the area. The results from this engagement and each of the exercises is described in more detail throughout this chapter. In-Person Engagement Not everyone has equal access to online platforms. In an effort to engage everyone, the same engagement exercises that were available online were printed and set up in an Open House format at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in the evening of the second day. Hand Sanitizer, face coverings, and space for social distancing was provided as people came to offer additional input. The consultant team were available at stations to actively engage with the community, answer questions, and take notes with participants during conversations as they came through the Open House. Work-in-Progress Presentation The virtual design charrette culminated in a “Work-in-Progress” presentation on Friday, January 22, 2021 to summarize the events, engagement results, preliminary designs, and confirm the path for the master plan. The team presented initial design concepts for the public to review and discussed how these ideas were incorporated into the draft plan. Using live polling, the team was able to get immediate feedback on the draft design concepts and allow the public to ask questions about the ideas presented.

ONGOING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Following the Virtual Design Charrette, the public continued to engage in the planning process by participating in surveys and reviewing materials on the project website. (www.aloebay.org)

15


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT The engagement portion of the planning process was made available in-person and through an online website allowing people to participate from the safety of their homes. The public was able to learn about the project, read a summary of the ongoing efforts and view the films of past presentations on the Aloe Bay website. Outside of the scheduled meetings, participants were able to take part in the planning process through the Engage page. From there, they could take a quick poll and complete surveys.

240+ Virtual Attendees

150+ In-Person Attendees

5,800+

5,050+

Website Visits

42,000+

Trackable Media Impressions

Film Views

10

Mobile device view of the project website: www.aloebay.org/charrette-hub

Films

An in-person meeting took place during the charrette to solicit feedback using physical versions of the digital exercises as well as open forum conversation, and surveys. COVID-19 safety measures were in place.

16


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

WHO PARTICIPATED

45+1133182 5+8852 45+ 6+2425639 30++21272713 30 The majority of those who participated on the website were residents or property owners of Dauphin Island.

WHO PARTICIPATED: 2%

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY WAY OF GETTING AROUND?

2%

8%

5%

I live on Dauphin Island (Full Time)

8%

I live on Dauphin Island (Part Time)

31%

45%

I work nearby (Full Time)

I own property/business there I am an advocate

3%

11%

Other

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED OR WORKED IN THE AREA? 6%

Less than 1 year

7%

5% 24%

39%

1 to 5 years

6 to 15 years 15+ years

25%

I don’t live or work in the area

6%

HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO TO ALOE BAY (ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO SITE, DE SOTO AVE)?

I live near here

13%

2%

7%

85%

31%

Bike/ Scooter Golf Cart

Personal Car Walking

WHY DO YOU VISIT ALOE BAY (ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO SITE, DE SOTO AVE)?

Ranked in order of most votes 1. Water Activities 2. Walking around and people watching 3. Shopping 4. Live there 5. Dining 6. Entertainment 7. Work there 8. Bird Watching 9. Biking 10. Post Office

Every day or most days About once a week

Occasionally (couple times a month)

27%

21%

Rarely (couple times a year) Never

17


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan WHAT CAN MAKE ALOE BAY EVEN BETTER?

1. Better Water Access/More Water Activities 2. More restaurants 3. More shops 4. Great civic space 5. Additional housing 6. Better streets Also mentioned: golf cart parking, live music, boardwalk, and access to nature. WHAT TYPES OF PLACES ARE MISSING FROM DAUPHIN ISLAND? COULD ALOE BAY BE A GOOD LOCATION FOR THEM? Dauphin Island needs a defined “town center” for people to gather and hangout that has food, drinks, and entertainment without losing the small town charm.

Many of the responses stated they wanted something but not at the expense of losing the Island’s charm. Most like the Island as it is, but want to improve upon the already great water access and activities.

WHAT ARE ALOE BAY’S GREATEST STRENGTHS? HOW CAN THIS PLAN IMPROVE UPON THEM? “Natural beauty. You can’t improve upon it but you can create an area that works and still preserves most of it.” “Community. Small town feel, yet a popular tourist spot”

“Water water water!! Lots of easy water access and excellent hard packed waterfront land”

“It’s central location and visibility to all persons visiting the island”

“It is unspoiled, uncrowned and undeveloped”

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE AT ALOE BAY?

Ranked in order of most votes. While people want new things to do like dining and entertainment, there is also a strong vote towards protecting the natural assets of Aloe Bay which must be balanced. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Beautiful natural largely uninterrupted shorelines Active/working waterfront Natural ecologies being explored by the local community and visitors Accessible family fun Maintain architectural language of the island Public board walk Venue event space Waterside dining Public facilities Small vessel amenities (motorized or non-motorized) Public open space (active and passive) Local business opportunities

Dr. Rob Brown, with Goodwyn Mills Cawood, presented as part of the Virtual Design Charrette some sustainability strategies in terms of Green Infrastructure (GI) and Low Impact Development (LID). Based on his presentation, participants were asked: CONSIDERING EACH OF THESE GI/LID PRACTICES COULD WORK BASED ON SOIL/SITE CONDITIONS ON DAUPHIN ISLAND, WHICH DO YOU PREFER FOR ALOE BAY?

WHICH STYLE OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT WOULD YOU PREFER TO SEE AT ALOE BAY?

Permeable Pavement Parking Lots 0% Cisterns for Irrigation & Vehicle/Boat Washing 0% Green Roofs 0% Permeable Pavement Walkways/Sidewalks 40% Bioretention / Bioswales 60%

Permeable Pavers 80% Pervious Concrete 0% Porous Asphalt 0% Plastic Grid Pavers 0% Concrete Grid Pavers 20%

18


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

PRELIMINARY DESIGN SCENARIOS In order to get the conversation started on what people wanted to see at Aloe Bay, the design team created three preliminary design scenarios to show three very different strategies for the Master Plan. After watching a brief video that explained the three preliminary design scenarios for Aloe Bay, participants were asked...

WHICH SCENARIO DO YOU PREFER? MAIN STREET

The Main Street Scenario focuses on making De Soto Avenue a small town main street with parking behind shops and restaurants and a large public dock on the bay. Pros: ■ ■ ■ ■

Retains existing buildings and businesses Provides a walkable commercial street Allows for extra dock space along water Buildings elevated out of the floodplain

■ Modest scale ■ Will require new form-based regulations

40%

Cons:

THE LIVING SHORELINE The town center in this scenario is set back from the waterfront allowing more open space between the bay and the buildings. Pros: ■ ■ ■ ■

Living shoreline and dedicated green space Human-scale buildings Connected pathways Buffer from flooding

■ Less development ■ Requires coordination between property owners ■ Infrastructure investment

45%

Cons:

TWO DISTRICT CENTER The town center in this scenario consisted of two distinct districts (mixed-use center and fishing village) connected along a waterfront boardwalk ■ Town center consisting of two distinct districts ■ Extension of parks from waterfront across De Soto Avenue ■ Public waterfront Boardwalk ■ Walkable De Soto Avenue ■ Retains many existing buildings Cons: ■ Larger buildings on raised platforms ■ Some existing waterfront structures replaced ■ Entails considerable costs

15%

Pros:

19


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

COMMUNITY IMAGE SURVEY

This survey is used to determine what the participants wanted to see and avoid. The highest scoring images are highlighted in yellow.

CIVIC AND OPEN SPACE

Which types of civic and open spaces do you feel are most appropriate for the Aloe Bay area?

Dog Park

Boardwalk

34%

38%

Public Plaza/ Esplanade

41%

Waterfront Passive Park

21%

Urban Boardwalk

10%

28%

31%

21% 80%

Neighborhood Square

Civic Building

20

Pavilion

Playground/ Active Park

Natural Edge Boardwalk

62%

35%

17% Amphitheater

Small Vessel Launch


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

MOBILITY AND TRAILS

Which types of mobility and trails do you feel are most appropriate for the Aloe Bay area? Private Operated Freebie Shuttles

48%

Separated/Protected Mobility Lane

0%

Ride Hailing Services and Pick Up Zones

Golf Carts

28% Trolley

25%

7%

Shared Bicycles, E-Bikes, E-Scooters

10%

0%

66%

Multi-Use Path

Conventional Vehicular Lanes

3% Conventional Mobility Lane

41%

Shuttle

Shared Electric Mopeds

21%

58%

Nature Trail

21


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

COMMUNITY IMAGE SURVEY, CONTINUED

This survey is used to determine what the participants wanted to see and avoid. The highest scoring images are highlighted in yellow.

COMMERCIAL Which types of commercial buildings do you feel are most appropriate for the Aloe Bay area?

3% Waterside Dining

Mixed Used Town Center

0%

10%

Hotel/Resort

Open Air Market

17%

55%

Small Cottage Shops

Bed & Breakfast

35%

Multi Level Mixed Use

83%

86%

66%

Local Restaurant

45%

31% Outdoor Dining and Merchandising

17%

Corner Store

Entertainment

22

Neighborhood Commercial Center


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

HOUSING Which types of homes do you feel are most appropriate for the Aloe Bay area?

69%

21%

41% Accessory Dwelling Unit/ Granny Flat

Duplex

3%

Mixed-Use Apartments

0%

41%

38% Live/ Work and Mixed-Use Multifamily

Raised Single-Family Homes

Live Work Townhomes

7%

Quadplex

Single-Family Home

38%

Cottage Homes

Townhomes

0%

3%

Waterfront Homes

17%

Small Multi Family Building

23


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

ALOE BAY “IN THE FUTURE” The following word cloud and survey quotes provided guidance for the plan and were generated from surveys and polls conducted throughout the week. During the Kick Off Presentation, participants were asked to type in one word that came to mind about the Aloe Bay area “in the future.” The more respondents used a particular word, the larger that word appears in the word cloud. Additionally, on the project website, the public was able to elaborate more in their survey responses about what they would like Aloe Bay to be in the future.

IN THE FUTURE, I WOULD LIKE ALOE BAY TO BE...

...Developed with boutique hotels and restaurants with sustainability (solar, let it be an example of a great business practice)

...An open space with bike racks and an accessible shoreline for watching the waterfront , fishing and birdwatching.

A working water front experience, something like a small Maine lobster town

Dauphin Island needs a defined “town center” for people to gather and hangout that has food, drinks, and entertainment without losing the small town charm. The Crown Jewel and Theme of the Island, offering a huge ADA uninterrupted cypress boardwalk and dining.

24

A working water front experience, something like a small Maine lobster town ...Dauphin Island’s front porch, where locals hangout but also where visitors get a better since of what Island life is all about.

...An island oasis to celebrate nature and friends.

...The concentrated epicenter that give visitors their first impression of our beautiful island. Our sweet birdhouses are beautiful, let’s build on that feeling and expand around the corner.

...A fun inviting area for people of all ages. More open green space

...A destination place which can be reached by boat or car and is advertised online, Chamber of Commerce, etc. as a fun, welcoming place to enjoy great seafood, shopping (including open air markets,) play area on beach with small kiddie playground/beach volleyball/corn hole, etc. Also offer high end “Boutique Shops,” which may include spa for hair/nails/ massage.


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

WORK-IN-PROGRESS SURVEY This survey was used to determine which of the concepts developed during the charrette and presented at the Work-inProgress presentation the public liked and should continue to be developed as part of the Aloe Bay Master Plan. WHICH IS THE RIGHT AESTHETIC FOR ALOE BAY?

63%

REFINED, STYLISH, “COASTAL LIVING” MAGAZINE, STUCCO, PASTELS

37%

RUSTIC, RUGGED, FISH CAMP, RAW WOOD

FISHING VILLAGE

21%

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS PROJECT IDEA? These project ideas will be further explained in later chapters.

Like It Not sure yet. Need more info.

79% - Like It!

Don’t like it.

Transform

No Opinion

73% - Transform

67% - Like it! 21%

66 +20113

DO YOU THINK THE PLAN IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK? 3%

11%

75% - Like It!

NEW ROUNDABOUT

Remain 18%

12% 21%

BOUTIQUE LODGING

SHOULD THE CIRCLE K BE ENCOURAGED THROUGH ZONING AND INCENTIVES TO REMAIN OR TRANSFORM INTO LODGING AND A CORNER STORE?

66% YES

20%

Yes Probably Yes Maybe - Need more info No 25


26


3.

Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

The Plan

This chapter looks at the overall vision for Aloe Bay. The subsequent chapters will go into the plan’s Big Ideas and concepts in more specific detail.

BIG 5 IDEAS ILLUSTRATIVE PLAN PHASING PLAN POTENTIAL PROGRAMMING DIAGRAMS

27


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

Big 5 Ideas

These Big Ideas serve as the general vision for the Plan. As physical development may vary from the Illustrative Plan, these ideas will be a guide for what happens in the future at Aloe Bay.

1. NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE RESPECTFUL OF CONTEXT Dauphin Island is a quiet, laid-back, low-scale, funky town for fishing, vacations, and living. When crossing the “bridge to paradise,” one begins to breathe easier. New development should not do anything to change that, it should maintain a calm environment with minimal traffic. Public spaces and community owned sites can help keep community feel. The development of Aloe Bay Town Center should have the “fishing village” feel the community loves.

2. ADD DESTINATIONS THAT SERVE LOCALS PRIMARILY…AS WELL AS VISITORS Destinations should be useful to people living on the island. Future destinations might be a fish market, place to watch the sunset, or a variety of restaurants from small to unique (like hook-to-table) to upscale (but not too pricey) for special occasions on the Island. This should also be the destination for a working waterfront which might offer oystering, fishing, and angling, and other services like a fish market and convenience store for boaters. The Town Center should be tied into the strong leisure and sport fishing base by offering sporting goods and rentals for kayaks and bikes. New development can serve local needs not available elsewhere on the Island like an urgent care. In addition to serving local needs, Aloe Bay Town Center can be a place for visitors to come stay at a small lodge or bed & breakfast, but large hotels are not appropriate. Visitors can buy locally owned and made items at art galleries, specialty apparel, jewelry, or book stores, or pop-up temporary retail and food trucks for small business entrepreneurs. In order for people to come to the town center and comfortably go between these many new destinations, there will be a need for safe, comfortable, and interesting streets for walking and biking. The plan should enable pedestrians, cyclists, and golf carts.

28


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

3. ENCOURAGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND BUILD THE TOWN’S TAX BASE The town’s revenue is primarily property and sales taxes and commercial revenue generators are necessary to diversify the local economy and reduce the dependency on outside aid after storm events. The plan should spur business attraction, retention, expansion, and entrepreneurship in the town center which will lead to an increase in ownership, while not over developing the town center. Revenue generated can support needs to upgrade infrastructure (stormwater/sewer, water, and utilities). Build a town center with multiple attractions that support one another which includes access by boat with places to dock them.

4. INCREASE ACCESS TO NATURE AND BUILD SUSTAINABLY The plan should focus on the environment as well as the economy by increasing access to nature and building sustainably. Access to nature can be provided by boardwalks along the northern estuaries, the De Soto waterfront, and kayak/blue way trails. This can be done in conjunction with Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium, and government research of coastal ecology and natural environment. This should include an eco-tourism center to promote the ecology and environment of the regional through sustainable tourism. There should be protection for oystering activities because they provide economic benefits as well as ecological benefits (filtering and cleaning water). The town center should be built for storms and turbulent seas. This means there should be ‘green infrastructure’ to address stormwater and flooding.

5. SEEK A BALANCE BETWEEN CULTURE, COMMUNITY, COMMERCE, AND NATURE The main concern the planning team heard during the charrette was to keep the small town charm and waterfront authentic. This is a close-knit community that wants to see new opportunities for culture, community, commerce, and nature balance. No one Big Idea should dominate. Aloe Bay should continue to be relaxed even as it becomes a lively place with multiple destinations. Access to nature and the environment should be kept in mind with all decisions. The public wants to see more art and culture. Aloe Bay should be a place that brings the community together to celebrate its natural beauty.

Each of these Big Ideas will be explained and illustrated with concept renderings in the following chapters.

29


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

ILLUSTRATIVE PLAN A vision for the future of the Aloe Bay Town Center The Master Plan for Aloe Bay Town Center is focused on a phased approach that addresses short term interventions to meet the needs of the community and then how those can attract more economic development to create a great destination. An early step should be to create a fishing village on town property paired with waterfront industry which is at the root of the community. A Fish Market and Eco-Tourism Center may be key components of the area. As the demand and attraction to Aloe Bay peaks, the town may choose to relocate town services from Aloe Bay to a more central location along Bienville Boulevard near Town Hall or elsewhere on the Island, making space for new shops, with residences or lodging above. The town should plan for and expect that, in time, private property owners may choose to develop lots between Aloe Bay Landing and the boat launch to meet the expanding needs of the growing town center. Beyond that, additional redevelopment could occur in neighborhoods surrounding Aloe Bay as the local private market reacts to the activity in the town center.

BOAT LAUNCH

BOARDWALK TO GRAVELINE BAY

ALOE BAY

WEST VILLAGE

ALOE BAY LANDING

FISHING VILLAGE

DE SOTO AVE

ALABAMA POWER SUB STATION

LACKLAND ST

LEVERT ST

VEHICLE AND TRAILER PARKING

CHAUMONT AVE

30


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO

ILLUSTRATIVE LEGEND New Building New Open Pavilions

LE MOYNE DR

FUTURE COMMUNITY CENTER

Existing Building Alleys & Parking Blocks Streets Boardwalk Primary Parks Secondary Open Space Water Multi-use Path Trees/Landscape

GREEN PARK

0

100’

200’

Scale: 1” = 200’

31


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

PHASING PLAN EXISTING

EXISTING

DE SOTO AVE

LE MOYNE DR

The existing site consists of a few restaurants, retail, and entertainment businesses, with one block of civic uses including a post office, fire department, police station and public works. Aloe Bay Landing provides beach access to the water. There are many empty parcels and opportunity for improvement.

ALOE BAY

PHASE 1 (SHORT TERM)

PHASE 3 (NEXT TERM)

32

SHORT TERM (1) MID TERM (2)

DE SOTO AVE

ALOE BAY

DE SOTO AVE

LE MOYNE DR

This phase proposes completing the final opportunities on the former civic sites (Public Works and Trash Disposal) on the island in exchange for mixed use development that fits the needs of the town center, increasing public parking, and improving neighborhood connectivity.

ALOE BAY

NEXT TERM (3)

The next phase should complete build out of the Fishing Village with more retail and restaurants, boat slips, and waterfront industrial. At this point, a new breakwater is proposed to help with bottom land maintenance. More infill development is expected on the former civic site (Fire Station).

DE SOTO AVE

LE MOYNE DR

PHASE 2 (MID TERM)

ALOE BAY

LE MOYNE DR

The initial interventions at Aloe Bay should focus on providing critical infrastructure and continuous public access (along town owned waterfront property) as well as new uses that will bring the community together. The plan focuses on providing a Fish Market with “Hook-to-Table” Restaurants around public gathering spaces, the new Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center at the main intersection, and lodging. This EcoTourism Center will provide information about greater Dauphin Island, its ecology, and opportunistic revenue. Lodging should occur on the current site of the police station and this phase should include the relocation of all civic uses on this block to other locations on the island. This phase also shows the boat ramp and associated parking that are currently in progress. (See the Appendix for additional information.)

PLANNED COMMUNITY CENTER


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

PHASING TIMELINE AND ELEMENTS Phase Timeline1

Phase Elements

1

1-2 years (2022-2023)

Public Elements: Boardwalk, boat docks, bulkhead, De Soto Avenue streetscape (landscaping, on-street parking, infrastructure improvements), Le Moyne Drive streetscape (landscaping, roundabout) [FUNDING IN PLACE FOR THESE ACTIVITIES, See the Appendix for additional information]

2-4 years (2023-2025)

Public/Private Elements: Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center. Fish Market/Event Space with Open Pavilion, “Hook to Table” Restaurant(s), Mixed-Use & Boutique Lodging, Relocation of Municipal Services

3-5 years (2024-2026)

Public Elements: Boardwalk expansion, continuation of bulkhead, boat docks, Lackland Street streetscape (infrastructure improvements, on-street parking, landscaping), Marina, Breakwater

5-6 years (2026-2027)

Public/Private Elements: Mixed-Use Space and Retail, Miscellaneous Restaurant / Snacks / Food & Beverages, Waterfront Uses (Charter / Marina Services / Oyster Processing)

7-8 years (2028-2029)

Public Elements: Chaumont Streetscape (infrastructure improvements, on-street parking, landscaping), Chaumont Connection to Le Moyne Drive, Expansion of Boat / Other Parking, La Vente Streetscape (infrastructure improvements, on-street parking, landscaping)

9-10 years (2030-2031)

Public/Private Elements: Mixed-Use Spaces

2

3

Recommended target timeline based upon design, construction and funding of individual elements.

BREAKWATER

1 / 4 M il e ( ±

WEST VILLAGE

BOARDWALK TO GRAVELINE BAY

ALOE BAY LANDING

ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO

INDIAN BAY

ILLUSTRATIVE LEGEND

FISHING VILLAGE

Site Proper Planning Area

DE SOTO AVE

Pedestrian Walk Shed

PLANNED COMMUNITY CENTER

KEY ST

LE MOYNE DR

LACKLAND ST

LEVERT ST

ALABAMA POWER SUB STATION

DE SOTO DR

ALOE BAY

5 mi

n. w alk

)

1

Lot Lines

New Building New Open Pavilions

CHAUMONT AVE

Existing Building

PHASE 4+ (LONG TERM) It should be expected that private property in the immediate area will continue to develop and improve through each phase and into the future. As the Town Center becomes a draw to new visitors and users, there will be a need for more housing, services, and infill development in the immediate area. Walkable street improvements should continue toward Bienville Blvd and adjacent streets as properties develop to provide multi modal connections for all into Town Center.

GREEN PARK

Alleys & Parking Blocks Streets

CADILLAC AVE

Boardwalk Primary Parks Secondary Open Space Water

BIENVILLE BLVD

Multi-use Path Trees/Landscape 0 ALABAMA AVE

500’

1000’

Scale: 1” = 400’

33


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

POTENTIAL PROGRAMMING This describes just one way Aloe Bay Town Center development could occur and the types of buildings and uses to come. Sites Considered to Remain

Mid / Next term - Phase 2 & 3

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Pelican Pub Aloe Bay Landing United States Post Office Ship & Shore Supplies

Waterfront Use (Oyster Processing) Mixed-Use Space and Retail Waterfront Use (Charter Services) Cold Snacks / Food and Beverage Mixed-Uses Space Mixed-Uses Space

Projects In-progress

Short Term - Phase 1 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

The ground level area under the boardwalk of the Fishing Village is assumed 25% limited use acess for retail or restaurant, or ‘pop-up’ uses and 75% parking. Other new buildings not labeled are other opportunities for miscellaneous shops and housing on privately owned property. Alternative mixtures or combinations of program shown here are to be expected with proposed development. Flexibility of uses should be accommodated in any modifications to future land regulations / ordinances (zoning, development, etc.).

Long Term - Phase 4+

6. Community Center 7. Boat Ramp & Launch 8. Vehicle & Boat Trailer Parking

Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center Fish Market with Open Pavilion Public Open Space with Open Pavilion “Hook to Table” Restaurant(s) Mixed-Uses & Boutique Lodging

27. Art/Maker Gallery 28. Book Store - Focused on Estuary & Environment 29. Health & Personal Services 30. Lodging & Active Lower Floor Uses 31. Restaurant 32. Six Live/Work Dwelling Units

20. Six Cottage Shops around a shared park plaza (Personal Services Use) 21. Sporting Goods/Kayak/Bike Rentals 22. Bait & tackle Shop (Apparel & Accessory/Boating) 23. Restaurant with Open Pavilion 24. Boat Shop 25. Art/Maker Gallery 26. Lodging

LEGEND Town Owned Property Site Proper Planning Area ALOE BAY

Lot Lines

1

New Building New Open Pavilions FISHING VILLAGE 2

7 24

3

23 22 21

17

16

15 14

12 11

Existing Building 10

Alleys & Parking

9

Blocks

DE SOTO AVE

28

27

26

25

Streets

32

13

4

13

31

30 29

18 19

5

LE MOYNE DR

20

LAKELAND ST

LEVERT ST

8

Boardwalk

6

Primary Parks Secondary Open Space Water

CHAUMONT AVE

Multi-use Path Trees/Landscape 0

500’

Scale: 1” = 300’

34

1000’


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

DEVELOPMENT HEIGHT EXISTING

LEGEND Boardwalk 1 Story

LE MOYNE DR

DE SOTO AVE

2 Story 3 Story 4 Story (55 feet max)

PROPOSED

DE SOTO AVE LE MOYNE DR

An important consideration for new development at Aloe Bay will be building at least two feet above Base Flood Elevation, which is roughly 8 feet above the existing street grade (Min. BFE 12 ft EL.). In order to facilitate movement between shops, the master plan shows a continuous raised platform (or some type of decking) with shared, centralized stairs and ramps for access. Structures are developed on top of the raised platforms at one or two stories; similar in height to structures developed on the west end of the Island. Boutique Lodging and Mixed uses are taller to allow commercial uses at the decking level with residential or lodging on floors above. All heights shown are within the current 55-foot height maximum required by town regulations.

DEVELOPMENT SETBACKS ONLY ADDRESSING THE WATER

50+ SETBACK DE SOTO AVE

PROPOSED

3

1

2 1 DE SOTO AVE

2

4

LE MOYNE DR

Groundfloor active uses under the raised platform address the sidewalk along De Soto Ave. Some limitations may apply due to flood potential. 2 In some areas the setback is used as public space. 3 Open pavilions bring activity close to the water while main structures maintain the setback. 4 Buildings setback on the raised platform creates space for outdoor dining with a view.

EXISTING

LE MOYNE DR

The plan proposes development that addresses both the waterfront and the street with active uses. Existing structures are set far back from streets with parking in front. This configuration limits site optimization. Raising proposed development allows for parking below buildings, set closer to the street and on-street parking; while boardwalks connect people to the water. This will require zoning accomodations.

35


Aloe Bay Master Plan The Plan

36


4.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

Community Design & Placemaking This chapter looks at how the overall design of buildings, streets, and public spaces can work together to make “Great Places”

BIG IDEA COMMUNITY CHARACTER FISHING VILLAGE CONNECTING TO THE WATERFRONT BEST PRACTICES

37


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

Big Idea

NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE RESPECTFUL OF CONTEXT So often, when life becomes overwhelming, the cure can be a charming place to retreat and disconnect in order to reconnect with life in the proper order. Dauphin Island provides residents and visitors a beautiful place to withdraw from the hectic pace of the rest of the world, with quiet leisure activities such as spending a weekend fishing with friends or walking the shore with family. The Town Center in Aloe Bay should enhance these calming, family-friendly characteristics of Dauphin Island.

Activity At Multiple Levels & Fronts Dauphin Island’s Town Center has numerous unique challenges and possibilities. The primary site needs to create frontages both toward the water, and along De Soto Avenue. At the same time, buildings need to be elevated off of the street level to place them above the flood zone. Examples exist in the area today of buildings that activate the ground level of elevated buildings with play areas, bars and music venues, bike rentals, or ice cream shops. This ground level area can also be used to provide much needed parking for the Town Center. However, in order to make the Town Center and De Soto Avenue a pedestrianoriented district, it is important to ensure the street level along De Soto Avenue has active uses to engage passersby.

Aloe Bay has long existed at the bridge to this paradise, in which life feels easier and enjoying the little things becomes the biggest task to complete. The Town Center should simply magnify the existing sense of community, and strive to make it more evident that Dauphin Island is the place to be. Local markets, natural edges, boardwalks, and waterside dining are a few of the ideas that would help A second layer of activity should be created on an elevated boardwalk at the finished floor height that connects achieve this goal. individual buildings together. This upper level of activity Building Design will allow people to wander from one building to the next Buildings should be designed to a human scale and without having to walk up and down stairs each time they constructed with materials or have the appearance of enter or leave a building or business. This elevated level of materials that respects the community’s character and activity should include shade elements such as awnings, remain true to its identity. At the same time, building codes trees and landscape if possible, and shopfront windows, require finished floors to be elevated while the ground so people can browse and see all the Town Center has to level must be able to withstand flooding. Care should offer. be taken to create sturdy ground levels that provide an The water frontage is what makes the Town Center location activate edge along the street, while upper habitable floors unique from all other parts of the island and distinct from exhibit the charm of the fishing village for which Dauphin other communities. It is a public space where people Island has been known. Although popularity of the island can enjoy views of the water while meeting with friends, may naturally increase with new development, if the Town sharing a meal, and enjoying the company of others. It Center respects its context, then the small, laid back, funky also provides another way to get to the Town Center from charm of Dauphin Island will always be felt. around the island by boat or other water craft (canoes, kayaks, etc.). Docks and boardwalks along the waterfront will connect the Town Center to the water.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

Welcoming Public Spaces

WHAT IS IMPORTANT?

Dauphin Island’s Town Center will be a center of mixed uses and shared activity —places to gather, shop, work, socialize and more. A key component in public spaces is that they feel open and available to all. An essential distinction of a vibrant, mixed-use district is the whole public space is designed as an ensemble.

There are many design considerations when developing a town center ranging from the street layout to the color of a new building. Those that are most important and have the greatest impact on the community are those related to urban design – the design of the streets and public spaces and how buildings relate to those spaces.

The ensemble includes elements for cars (such as streets and parking), public components (such as trees, sidewalks and lighting) and private elements (such as shopfronts, awnings, and colonnades). These elements should be coordinated to create a unified outdoor space, just as rooms are designed to achieve a unified, comfortable space within a building. The perceived height of a building should be designed in proportion to the street or public realm. The preferred building to open space ratio can range from 1:1 to 1:3 which creates a sense of enclosure and can feel like an outdoor room. This is important, because the public realm —the space between buildings— becomes the public’s living room and the height to width ratio creates that essential quality of safety and enclosure. This height to width ratio should be considered both across streets (like De Soto Avenue), and between buildings across the elevated deck.

Going Forward The Town should leverage their ownership of land to ensure the Town Center meets the needs and desires of the community before development occurs. The Town Center should be functional and attractive. New buildings and additions to existing buildings should address all public spaces including the street, the raised boardwalk, and the waterfront. Likewise, streets themselves should have certain elements such as travel lanes, on-street parking, street trees, street furnishings (benches, lighting, trash receptacles, etc.), and sidewalks. Development standards can be used to ensure the town center is developed in accordance to the community’s vision. Build-to lines, regulated front and back orientations, and street trees all lead to an improved design.

Fronts and Backs Buildings and lots have fronts, sides, and backs and how these relate to one another form the character of a place. Fronts of buildings ideally face the fronts of other buildings, and sometimes face the sides of buildings. However, the front of a building should never face the back of another. Streets Streets should be designed as public spaces as well as thoroughfares for cars. Street lighting and trees are vertical elements that help to define the public realm while also making a pedestrian feel safer and more comfortable. Trees add a sculptural quality and interest to the streetscape. Building-to-Street Relationship The physical and functional relationship between buildings and public spaces are essential to creating safe, comfortable, and attractive places. Building design can create a walkable frontage along a street, a waterfront, or an upper level boardwalk that are lined with storefronts including doors and windows to activate the spaces and provide natural surveillance. Parking Parking is necessary, but by locating it: a) under deck and boardwalk levels away from the street, b) in midblock locations, or c) spreading it out along the street or in interstitial areas, it can be a secondary element versus the dominant image of the Town Center. This will prevent parking from being the eyesore we tragically see in so many other places.

39


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

COMMUNITY CHARACTER Dauphin Island provides an “island escape” and new development should be respectful of that. The lovely little island is gaining popularity and seeing increased tourism and additional residents thanks to its windswept beaches, coastal cottages, world-class boating and fishing experiences, and wildlife viewing at the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and Estuarium. As development pressure on the island continues to grow, new buildings should reflect the local building vernacular because that vernacular, or “architectural language”, shows ‘know-how’ regarding climate and local culture. Building Designs should pay close attention to local practices regarding shape, materials and colors, roof pitches, eave lengths, window-to-wall ratios, and the socially significant relationship of buildings to their site and street. However, with additional environmental pressure (hurricanes, sea level rise, etc.) resiliency should be integral as part of the Town Center architecture. More ideas on resiliency are described in Chapter 7. Additionally, it should be noted that the world’s most beautiful places, while different from each other, also tend to be aesthetically consistent. This consistency is evident in the plan renderings. The buildings share the same architectural language in the effort to achieve a distinctive sense of place. And when it comes to height, scale, and massing, the local building tradition reflects the culture of the island as a lowkey, beach community. Before new development occurs at Aloe Bay, the Town should consider what the architectural language of the Town Center may be.

Two ideas on aesthetic are shown on the right and many ideas on aesthetic are presented throughout this document. However, considering there is no “magic charm button” to recreate the Dauphin Island character, it should not be left to age, time, and the weather to determine architectural language. Considering legal control of form goes beyond the pages of this book, it is of significant importance for the town to define this item carefully in the various codes, ordinances, regulations, and/or deed controls for the Town Center.

1

A COASTAL FEEL

2

ECOTOURISM-APPROPRIATE DESIGN

3

4

Coastal places do not have uninterrupted street walls, they are known for individual buildings sitting in a landscape that offers bay views between structures with used interstitial spaces, because land is precious on an island. Long porches and screened-in verandas facilitate an experience of ocean breezes and birdsong while still providing a shady place to sit.

AESTHETIC CONSISTENCY Dauphin Island has a mix of rustic natural wood and occasional masonry with neither dominating. Roofs tend to be gabled or hip-style. Windows and doors tend to be vertically-proportioned.

ISLAND SCALE AND HEIGHTS Island places are different from urban places when it comes to the height of buildings. Two-and threestories predominate and taller structures tend to be located only at key intersections.

Historic River Walk, Wilmington, NC

Bristol, RI

Key West, FL

Jean Lafitte, LA Fisheries Market

Jean Lafitte, LA Fisheries Market

Jean Lafitte, LA Fisheries Market

40


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

Above: The Fishing Village with an aesthetic that speaks to the working waterfront structures already on site that looks rustic, rugged, like Fish Camp, and uses lots of raw wood.

Above: The Fishing Village with an aesthetic of refinement and fortitude that can withstand a storm using solid materials like block and stone. It can look stylish like a Living Coastal magazine.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

FISHING VILLAGE Bringing together the working waterfront and bayside destinations to create new development at Aloe Bay’s Town Center

The design for De Soto Avenue includes amenities recommended by the public organized in a way that fronts both the bay and the street and is laid out to create a classic American Main Street which is lifted above the ground to minimize damage from storm waters. 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Street-oriented buildings face De Soto Avenue and all perpendicular streets. Wide sidewalks, street trees, and street furniture line the street. Parking is provided on the street and under raised buildings.

3

Boardwalks, docking, and pavilions which all have publicownership and public-access. The boardwalk works as an extension of the island’s bayfront trails. Public spaces are mixed with privately owned or operated facilities.

1

New shopping, dining, recreational and educational opportunities. Accommodations for parking and access for multiple modes of transportation, including automobiles, golf carts, and bicycles.

2

7

42

7


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

Rendering View

4 4

3

5

3

5

1 1

1 6

2

7

e

De Soto Avenu

43


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

CONNECTED TO THE WATERFRONT ON MULTIPLE LEVELS One of the most important elements to the plan is continuous connectivity from adjacent neighborhoods and the natural areas through the town center. A boardwalk will provide this vital connection and access to the water from the town center. Universal access (ADA) is

an important consideration for equal access to the many active levels of the town center, and can be resolved through thoughtfully placed ramps and other access features. To design appropriately for base flood elevation requirements and limited groundfloor uses, it is critical

Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC

Parking / Waterfront access under the boardwalk or podium

44

Flow Through Decking

Fernandina Beach, FL


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

to provide opportunities for activation on multiple levels; while parking, service, and secondary activation occurs on the groundfloor below the raised podium and deck levels. The precedent below (Galveston, Texas) shows how main street limited commercial uses may exist and even hide parking; while in the back, parking should be tucked under. Open spaces and pavilions between boardwalks and fishing village uses will accommodate pop-up retail or fish market

stalls, further activating the public realm. Open pavilions should also serve public uses (i.e. picnics, birthdays, or special events). The design of the Fishing Village area creates a place for everyone to connect to the community character and waters of Dauphin Island through Aloe Bay.

LODGING, RESIDENTIAL, OR OFFICE ABOVE

RESTAURANTS WITH PATIO DINING

LIMITED USES PARKING HIDDEN

Beachtown, Galveston, TX

45


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

BEST PRACTICES

Activated Shopfronts A series of incremental shopfront elements are illustrated here demonstrating how each layer of activity positively contributes to the overall function and composition of walkable commercial streets like De Soto Avenue. Street lighting and trees are vertical elements that help define the public realm while also making the pedestrian feel safer and more comfortable. Trees add a sculptural quality and interest and shade to the streetscape. Street lighting adds to the sense of safety but can also add to the aesthetic of the streetscape with hanging flower pots or banners with branding that helps build the identity of the town center. On-street parking allows easy vehicular access to the area. It also creates a generous buffer between pedestrians on the sidewalk and moving traffic. Adding benches, trash/recycling bins and planters is a simple way to transform a street into a place; these components combine to prompt the pedestrian to linger next to the retail shops. Although the finished floor elevation is raised above the street, the ground level should be activated along De Soto Avenue. Small shops, a lobby with an elevator and interior stairs, or bike or watercraft rentals can occupy the street level. The important factor is that the businesses can easily move inventory to allow the ground level to “wash away” in case of storm flooding. Providing space on the sidewalk for restaurant dining is another method for activating the public space. Extending sidewalk dining into the on-street parking zone, also known as a “parklet”, quickly and affordably maximizes retail opportunities.

46


Aloe Bay Master Plan Community Design & Placemaking

1

Street-oriented architecture and wide sidewalks are essential “building blocks” of the street space. In addition, on-street parking or protected bike lanes can help to separate people walking from moving vehicles.

4

Awnings protect pedestrians from the weather.

7

Adding an outside display zone close to the street will increase retail visibility.

2

Canopy street trees provide shade, softening, and visually define the public space.

5

Appropriately-scaled signage and adequate lighting contribute to the street ambiance.

8

Parklets that extend into the on-street parking area are an easy way to gain more dining capacity and activation.

3

Street furnishings or additional landscape helps to transform a sidewalk into a place to pause.

6

Sidewalk dining activates the public space.

9

Street lamps allow social and commercial activity to continue into the night. In addition, the spill lighting from shop windows adds to the warmth and safety of the pedestrian zone. 47


5.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

Land Use

This chapter looks at what uses should be encouraged at Aloe Bay and how those uses can come together to make a vibrant town center for everyone.

BIG IDEA WORKING WATERFRONT USES LIMITED GROUNDFLOOR USES FLEXIBLE SPACES

49


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

Big Idea

ADD DESTINATIONS THAT SERVE LOCALS PRIMARILY; AS WELL AS VISITORS [...A NARRATIVE OF COMMUNITY VISION] In order to create a beautiful town, designs should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Any new spaces created should serve the community and enrich the traits true to their character. All new destinations should be useful for the people living on the island. For example, considering the area will be popular for many people who are passionate about fishing and seafood, a fish market and a fishing store would benefit the locals and provide the necessary elements to enjoy these activities. People would be able to shop for their fishing equipment as well as support local business. In the marina, people would grab a drink at the bar after a long fishing day or walk the shore with their families. Key landmarks around the Town should also be implemented to create a sense of identity for locals. Visitors in the area would be able to feel what it’s like to live in Dauphin Island. A Sunday afternoon at the Town center would be memorable for everyone. Serving food at different restaurants, exhibiting local art and featuring native artists, having the kids run down the slide while the parents enjoy a picnic at the green. That is a place people would want to visit and stay at. Uses ranging from different types of restaurants, retail shops, neighborhood / waterfront services, and natural sceneries, would serve the community to increase the functionality and attraction of the area. Visitors would feel welcome with retail stores offering local apparel, jewelry, or accessories. Providing places around the waterfront to taste the richness of the food particular to the region would not only attract more people but would help build the character of the Town. A Vibrant Mix The Aloe Bay Town Center will provide opportunities to live, work, play, and learn within one complete environment. These varying uses will benefit collaboratively from proximity to each other, in turn, adding convenience and ultimately fiscal value to one another. Collaborative environments are created in communities where people can interact in both organized and informal ways. The plan for the Aloe Bay Town Center promotes a vibrant mix of places, housing, businesses, and recreation through a carefully crafted, yet flexible, plan. The Aloe Bay Town Center will not just be a one size fits all community. The community will meet the needs of a diverse population, with a range of lodging and dwelling types and amenities for all ages and demographics. There will be housing in and near the Town center, mixed with retail and places to work and enjoy views of the water. The plan acknowledges there are many kinds of places and ways to live. There will also be different types of places to have businesses. There will be places that can incubate small entrepreneurs and their greatest new small idea

50


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

that just might be the next big thing. Other locations will be right for business where an established operator can come in and work with what they have already figured out elsewhere. The uses of building forms may change over time, in response to the progression of the needs of Dauphin Island. Across the neighborhood, live-work and live-make spaces can develop, providing a venue for small businesses and cottage industries to grow. Recreational opportunities include a park and green space system as well as connectivity to the larger Dauphin Island shared-use path and bike lane on Bienville Blvd. Shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues can take place along the raised boardwalk along the water. Space is allocated for new greens, plazas, and pavilions, which along with the proposed community center and public parks, will provide public spaces for people to gather freely, creating an opportunity for community growth. In addition to a mix of land uses, there will be a mix of building types to provide a visually vibrant palette along the street. By including a mix of building types, rather than buildings designed just for present needs, these buildings can adapt to future needs. For example, a live-work row house with a 14-foot floor-to-ceiling ground floor may serve as housing now, but adapt to a small business later. This also creates a more visually interesting street and sparks curiosity fostering more walkability. Just one attractive building can draw people driving along the Dauphin Island Bridge into the Town center and become a landmark for wayfinding. Also, different buildings help create a sense of place - as businesses may change, the image of the blue corner store next to the yellow cottage will remain in people’s memories which they will share with their friend, social media, etc., and the appreciation of this place will grow.

a quarter mile radius of where the local residents are, people can have the options to access these locations on foot or by bike. This can promote walkability and reduce vehicle miles traveled for residents. New building construction, according to local building codes, are required to have the lowest floor elevated no lower than two feet above base flood elevation. The buildings in areas with low elevations have limited uses on the first floor. The ground floor in these cases can be activated with temporary uses such as street vendors and small portable businesses that are flexible to move and relocate; often called ‘pop up’ retail. Update land development regulations Land development codes, zoning, and other regulations should reflect and encourage development that is in line with this narrative of the community’s vision for the Aloe Bay Town Center and immediate area. Whether by adjusting the existing code, creating new overlays, or creating form-based standards; the narrative should be explored and entitled relative to the plan document. It is important to note that not all of Aloe Bay is expected to look the same. The characters will vary by site and locations. The buildings on the waterfront should be publicly inviting and create a more human scale. Some areas can allow larger footprint buildings to accommodate a different development type (relative in scale), while there are other places that should allow small, more incremental type development and buildings. The code may reflect nuance details expressed in the vision but should also allow for flexibility to ensure development is not inhibited, but the right kind of development is accomodated and encouraged.

New uses which are currently missing should also be incorporated into the future design. Uses such as doctor’s office, urgent care, and personal services are essential to people’s everyday life. If these uses can be placed within

51


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

WORKING WATERFRONT USES A working waterfront supplies the lifeblood of a coastal community, enriching the regional economy and cultural traditions. The waterfront of Dauphin Island used to support the livelihoods of fisherman and seafood farmers. The shifting economies have reduced the presence of the working waterfront. Most of the prime shore front now is occupied by residential and commercial structures that may benefit from a waterfront location but do not depend on it. The cherished cultural traditions are fragile in the face of the current changing ecosystems. From the virtual design charrette, there is a strong desire from the community to protect the waterdependent businesses and establish a working waterfront. The Fishing Village and West Village sections of Aloe Bay incorporate important aspects of a working waterfront such as a marina, boat ramp, small-scale processing structures, and mixed-use space for other opportunities.. These facilities provide the necessary infrastructures for commercial fishing and seafood farming.

1

Waterfront Use (Charter/ Marina

2

Waterfront Pavillion

3

Outdoor flexible space

4

Marina

5

Waterfront Use (Oyster Processing)

6

“Hook to Table” Restaurant(s)

7

Licensed Charter pickup and drop-off (with associated parking)

52

Services)

6 5

4


Rendering View

3

1

2

7

53


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

LIMITED GROUNDFLOOR USES New buildings located near Aloe Bay are required to have the lowest floor elevated no lower than two feet above the base flood elevation. The buildings in areas with low elevations have limited uses on the first floor. The ground floor in these cases can be activated with temporary uses such as street vendors and small portable businesses that are flexible to move and relocate. The ground floor can accommodate parking, and at the same time, create a welcoming street level frontage. Small, temporary and non-permanent, shops and vendors at the ground level can hide the parking in the back. The rendering shows an example of a possible new infill building to the south side of De Soto Avenue. The upper levels function as a boutique hotel and the ground floor is activated with outdoor seating for a cafe or icecream parlor. 1

Boutique lodge

2

Entry portal for lodging

3

Ground floor possible uses

54


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

1

2

3

55


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

FLEXIBLE SPACES An outdoor multi-functional space that provides transitional and temporary uses can be a way to incubate local small businesses and craftsmen. AN OUTDOOR MULTIFUNCTIONAL GREEN SPACE Considering changes happen incrementally, the large undeveloped areas facing the waterfront will not be able to transform overnight. Turning some vacant areas into multifunctional spaces is a tactical design strategy that activates underutilized areas. These spaces can support a variety of functions—market, food trucks, outdoor dining, special events, etc. and these can provide opportunities to connect and support the entrepreneurial community. The outdoor space can also work as a culinary incubator with some facilities such as a shared outdoor kitchen. The green space shown in the rendering is enclosed with buildings and structures. This creates a comfortable human-scaled outdoor room. There is also a visual link that can connect people to the future planned waterfront board walk. Maintaining public access to the waterfront and green space where people can gather and socialize is important for creating a strong sense of community.

56

1

2


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

1

Boat shop

4

Chickee hut

2

Vendor/food truck

5

Open Pavilion

3

Outdoor flexible space

6

Restaurant

6

5 4

3

57


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

BEST PRACTICES

Land Use Precedents Pop-ups

Pacific City pop-up, Huntington Beach, CA

Pop-Up Bar

Food Kiosk, NYC

Coffee Stand, NYC

Bryan Park Holiday Shops, NYC

Bryan Park Holiday Shops, NYC

Pike’s Market, Seattle, WA

Bryan Park Holiday Shops, NYC

Bryan Park Holiday Shops, NYC

CONTAINER CONCEPTS®

Container Cafe, Malaysia

Pop-up for Product Launch

58


Aloe Bay Master Plan Land Use

Boutique Lodging Beaufort Inn, Beaufort, SC

Beaufort Inn - Cottage Rooms

Beaufort Inn - Communal Space

Seattle, WA Pier Open Pavilion

Seattle, WA Pier Market Pavilion

Seattle, WA Pier Overlook

Sidewalk Dining

Historic River Walk dining, Wilmington, NC

Pocket Park, San Francisco, CA

Ponce City Market, Atlanta, GA

Ampitheatre, Seaside, FL

The Wharf, Miami, FL

Boardwalk Pavilions Outdoor Dining

Outdoor Entertainment Venues

59


6.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

Economic Development

This chapter looks at how the development of Aloe Bay Town Center can diversify the local economy and contribute to the fiscal sustainability of the Town.

BIG IDEA CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS MARKET POTENTIALS POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS LONG TERM REDEVELOPMENT IDEAS

61


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

Big Idea

ENCOURAGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND BUILD THE TOWN’S TAX BASE The town should be able to sustain itself economically and generate revenue with the new retail, restaurant and tourism industry opportunities that will emerge with the master plan for Aloe Bay. Through urban planning, commerce can be encouraged by creating places in which people can enjoy an afternoon shopping, eating, playing in the water all within the Town Center. Beautifully designed places create business attraction. Sales will be encouraged by creating new spaces for local merchants to sell their various products. Since the town’s revenue is primarily coming in from lodging, property and sales taxes, commercial revenue generators are necessary. Projects such as the working waterfront uses create a synergy between local resident industry and the type of unique destination that will attract visitors to come to Dauphin Island. The multiple destinations built would support each other mutually. Still, a balance will be necessary between what areas will become commercial and what areas will not. Public and private zones will be clearly defined in order to respect the lifestyle of current residents. Public parks, such as Aloe Bay Landing, and new public plazas will remain free and open to everyone, not just those willing to spend money at the surrounding shops. This is not just an opportunity for shops at Aloe Bay Town Center but with the new boardwalk and docks, charter boat tie ups and other boating industries from around the Island can benefit from the prosperity of Aloe Bay. The proposed Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center planned near the intersection of the Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue will draw people in as they come off the bridge to the Island. The center can be used to not only point to all the eco-tourism opportunities around Aloe Bay, but the whole Island and south Mobile County. There would be different incentives for businesses to be retained, such as creating opportunities for high revenue on sales during weekend town activities and local festivities. Currently, the site benefits from high traffic and revenue during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo events, but as the area gains popularity, there is an opportunity for more branding and marketing of its 62

own unique events. As other businesses see how local businesses are thriving, many other business opportunities for expansion will arise. During the virtual design charrette, the public expressed concern about the economic viability of new businesses during the current global pandemic when they had already seen so many businesses close. This plan uses a phased approach to grow incrementally with demand, and as seen in the Land Use chapter, provides opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow new businesses through temporary and flexible spaces. The limited use ground floor areas can provide lower rents for small businesses to test new ideas, and as they become more established, they can think about new spaces as they are developed and the area grows. The phasing plans look first at redeveloping town-owned property, but as these developments thrive, it’s assumed the private property to the west will follow suit. As people invest in Aloe Bay, it will attract not only businesses but also people interested in living on the island. With the new plan for Aloe Bay Town Center, the town will become prolific in its economy, as more people will be attracted to the area and opportunities to invest in the area would increase. Why Is Economic Development Important All this investment in Dauphin Island makes it essential to upgrade infrastructure, such as stormwater, roads, sidewalks, emergency response services, etc. This goes back to the very reason for creating the Aloe Bay Master Plan.

Two of the most common questions we keep hearing are: “why is this project happening?” and “why is it so important to the Town?” The idea to create a town center at Aloe Bay goes back many years of recognizing the dependency on outside aid after storm events. It was emphasized in the Dauphin Island Strategic Plan developed soon after the devastating impacts of Hurricane Katrina. Town leadership acknowledged the town could only be sustained into the future by diversifying the local economy in a physically sustainable location. The importance of Aloe Bay as


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

related to the plan is to “honor the Island’s cultural heritage by restoring and preserving a working waterfront for commercial fishing, recreational boating, retail, and residential uses” in a location which has been historically more safe from storm impacts. The primary objective of the Strategic Plan to “identify and maintain diverse and imaginative revenue generating activities to support community services” is why the success of Aloe Bay is imperative to the longterm sustainability of the Town of Dauphin Island. Leveraging Tourism for Economic Growth During the virtual design charrette, many long-term residents were concerned that growth and tourism might mean losing the Island’s local charm. It’s important to note there is an important symbiosis between local residents and tourism. Globally, governments are and have been using tourism as an economic development driver for decades. There are a few reasons for this approach. The first is areas without exportable goods or resources, but with natural or man-made assets, tourism represents a viable basis for economic sustainability, growth, diversification, and competitive advantage. Pre-existing culture and natural assets can be introduced to a wider audience, who in turn, tell others about their experiences and begin a process of developing positive economic feedback loops. The second reason is tourism provides opportunities for income growth without advanced educational qualifications, whether as tour guides, craft makers or employees in tourism establishments. While college-level jobs do exist in such an economy, the wide existence of jobs that do not require a college degree makes it a particularly attractive economic development approach in areas without a high density of college graduates. Additionally, senior citizens who are looking to supplement their retirement income may find local and seasonal jobs that do not require a lot of new training or expertise. Finally, because tourism employment is often in small businesses with local ownership, it provides local economies with a versatile self-employment option both directly working with tourism and indirectly through tourism servicing businesses. In an ideal version of this strategy, the vast majority of the economic benefits remain local, provide meaningful employment and ownership opportunities to area residents, and encourage families and young people to remain in place. Thus, a dynamic economic niche grows and expands, providing additional demand for business support services along with its growth. Return on Investment Analysis As part of the final conclusion of the Aloe Bay Master Plan, a Projected Annual Fiscal Return Analysis was completed. The purpose of this analysis was to determine Aloe Bay’s “indicative” net fiscal benefits on an annual basis as an alternative source of revenue to help diversify the Town’s fiscal base. This analysis was provided as a separate report to the Town Council.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS The Current Market Conditions section in this chapter abbreviates the market findings. For the full report please refer to the appendix. This section provides an overview of the Dauphin Island economic and demographic base as context for understanding the market potentials for development at Aloe Bay.

ECONOMIC BASE Dauphin Island relies on tourism for its jobs, income, and tax base. Accommodation services directly account for nearly 20% of all jobs on the island, but more than one in three private sector jobs. Indirectly, the tourism economy impacts nearly every sector from construction to real estate, retail, recreation, and professional services. Government is the largest employer on Dauphin Island, but these public sector jobs include not only the Town and local schools, but also state and federal agencies employing hundreds in marine and environmental services. Several research and laboratory facilities are located on Dauphin Island, including those operated by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the U.S. FDA Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, and the Alabama DCNR Marine Resources Division. Dauphin Island Sea Lab also operates the Estuarium, an educational facility oriented to the unique sea life and natural habitats of Mobile Bay.

COMMUTING PATTERNS Of people working on Dauphin Island, the largest number live in Zip Code 36523 (Coden), followed by Dauphin Island (36528) itself. Other workers are commuting primarily from Theodore, Irvington, west Mobile (36608), Grand Bay, southwest Mobile (36695), Tillmans Corner, Bayou La Batre, and south Mobile (36605). The residence of Dauphin Island workers is summarized below by zip code. Overall, nearly 90% of Dauphin Island workers are commuting from someplace off of the island. EMPLOYEE COMMUTING PATTERNS, 2010-2020 2010-2020 Change Zip Code

2010

2020

Number

Percent

36523-Coden

49

87

38

77.6%

36528-Dauphin Is

34

54

20

58.8%

36582-Theodore

40

43

3

7.5%

36544-Irvington

76

38

-38

-50.0%

36608-Mobile West

17

25

8

47.1%

36541-Grand Bay

18

22

4

22.2%

36695-Mobile SW

26

22

-4

-15.4%

36619-Tillmans Cnr

15

17

2

13.3%

36509-Bayou La Batre

19

15

-4

-21.1%

36605-Mobile South

10

15

5

50.0%

36693-Mobile Skyland

26

14

-12

-46.2%

36609-Mobile Jax Hts

8

13

5

62.5%

36604-Mobile GA Ave

8

11

3

37.5%

36526-Daphne

13

8

-5

-38.5%

Other

125

122

-3

-2.4%

TOTAL

484

506

22

4.5%

Commuting (89.3%)

450

452

2

0.4%

Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census and Randall Gross / Development Economics

64


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

DEMOGRAPHIC BASE

EXISTING HOUSING SUPPLY

Dauphin Island, as a resort vacation destination, has a complex mix of part-time and full-time residents as well as weekend and occasional tourists. Demographic trends are estimated based on the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey estimates for 2019.

Dauphin Island had an estimated 2,115 housing units in 2020. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 2,060 units in 2019, but this number has been adjusted up based on a variety of inputs. HOUSING UNITS IN DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2019-2020

DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS, DAUPHIN ISLAND AND MOBILE COUNTY, 2010-2019 2010-2019 Change Factor/Area

2010

2019

Number

Percent

Population Dauphin Island

1,238

1,324

Mobile County

408,620

413,210

86

6.9%

4,590

1.1%

Age 65+ Dauphin Is

20.8%

35.6%

0.15

71.1%

Mobile County

12.6%

16.7%

0.04

32.5%

Households Dauphin Is Mobile County

Factor Housing Units Occupied-Annualized Vacant-Annualized Owner-Occupied Occupied Vacant Rentals Occupied-Annualized Vacant-Annualized

ACS-2019 Adjusted Percent 2,060 2,115 100.0% 1,510 1,551 73.3% 550 564 26.7% 533 564 100.0% 518 548 97.1% 15 16 2.9% 1,527 1,551 100.0% 992 1,008 65.0% 534 543 35.0%

Note: ACS is American Community Survey 2019 Estimates; Annualized by RGDE. Adjusted is Based on Local Input.

582

585

3

0.5%

153,302

155,946

2,644

1.7%

Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Re/Max Realty and Randall Gross / Development Economics

Of this total number, about 564 or 26.7% are owneroccupied year-round and 1,551 (73.3%) are primarily used as investment properties or for vacation homes. The vacancy rate for owner-occupied units is estimated at 2.9%, with about 16 homeowner units vacant at any given time. This share is consistent with homeowner vacancy rates in many other communities. The vacancy rate for rental units is estimated at 35.0% on an annualized basis, although occupancy is much higher during the summer high season. Overall, Dauphin Island has an average annualized vacancy rate of about 26.7% for all housing. An understanding of occupancy is important for determining demand for retail businesses and services on the island.

Median Household Income Dauphin Is

$66,514

$87,596

$21,082

31.7%

Mobile County

$48,065

$49,639

$1,574

3.3%

Note: Income in 2019 Dollars (adjusted for Inflation). Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census and Randall Gross / Development Economics

According to the Census, Dauphin Island had a total resident population of 1,238 in 2010, which increased by 86 or 6.9% to 1,324 by 2019. Based on the Census data, about 35.6% of the island’s resident population is aged 65 or over, compared with 16.7% in Mobile County as a whole. The senior share on Dauphin Island appears to have increased by 15% in just nine years, from 20.8% in 2010 to nearly 36% in 2019. Dauphin Island has about 585 households (which do not necessarily equate to housing units), an increase of 3 since 2010. The county gained about 2,640 households or 1.7%. Median household income was estimated at $87,600 in 2019, an increase of nearly one-third after adjusting for inflation, since 2010. An increase of retiring baby boomers with higher incomes may explain the rapid increase in both seniors and incomes on Dauphin Island since 2010. 2020 CENSUS: In August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of the Census released preliminary results of the 2020 Census. The official population at that release was reported at 1,778.

TOURISM FLOW Dauphin Island has an existing visitor base generated by diverse markets including but not limited to beachgoers and leisure travelers, professional anglers and recreational fishing groups, birders and nature enthusiasts, heritage tourists, research scientists, boaters, educational groups, golfers and resort visitors, and others. However, the predominant tourism niche is represented by vacation homeowners and renters who visit to relax and avoid the crowds of nearby Gulf Coast beach towns.

65


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

Attractions and Events Several tourism anchors (other than beaches) on Dauphin Island generate or capture regular attendance in the thousands. Several of the attractions and events are unique in many ways to Dauphin Island and therefore serve as regional or even national destinations, as discussed below. • The Estuarium is a major aquarium-based attraction operated by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab that attracted 85,800 visitors in 2019, prior to closures due to the COVID Pandemic. The 16,700 square-foot Estuarium focuses on the unique natural environment in the Mobile Bay estuary and offers hands-on as well as static exhibits and aquaria. Attendance has increased at an average annual rate of 2.3% since 2012 (up until the Pandemic), prompting the Sea Lab to increase investment in the Estuarium facilities and exhibitions.

for migrating birds. The largest of these is the 164-acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary which, along with several smaller sanctuaries, is promoted by the non-profit Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary (DIBS). DIBS also helps acquire properties adjacent to reserves in order to protect surrounding transition zones. The trail system within the Audubon Bird Sanctuary is designated as part of the National Recreation Trail system. The 11-acre Shell Mound Park offers Native American heritage sites as well as birding opportunities. Goat Tree Reserve provides opportunities for observing the island’s unique natural heritage. Several reserves with a total of 33 acres are held on private land, including Tupelo Gum Swamp, Gorgas Swamp, and the Steiner Property. The 35-acre Sea Point Saw Grass Marsh and Shell Mound Park are maintained by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

• Fishing Charters. Nearly 40 in-shore and deep-sea • Fort Gaines. The historic Fort Gaines was established fishing charters operate on Dauphin Island, but not all 200 years ago and played a crucial role in the Civil War of these charter companies are based on the island. Battle of Mobile Bay. The fort offers tours, experiences, Together, these companies have a total capacity to and events, attracting about 49,100 visitors in 2019. accommodate 126,000 visitors. Most of the charters Fort Gaines has been designated a National Historic currently operate out of Dauphin Island Marina, just Landmark but is also under threat from storm damage across Le Moyne Drive from the Aloe Bay development and erosion at its location on the far eastern edge site. of the island. For these reasons, the fort has been • Marine Research & Conservation Agencies. As noted designated as one of the most endangered Civil War previously, several marine and seafood research, sites in the country by the Civil War Preservation Trust conservation, and regulatory agencies operate from and one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places Dauphin Island. Among these are the Dauphin Island by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Despite Sea Lab, the U.S. FDA Center for Food Safety & its significance, the site has seen declining attendance Applied Nutrition, and the Alabama Department of over recent years. Overall, attendance has been Conservation & Natural Resources’ Marine Resources falling by an average rate of 3.6% per year. Given the Division. When these research, regulatory, and importance of this site to American history and to the conservation entities are considered with the island’s island’s heritage tourism base, it is critical every effort birding and fishing resources, Dauphin Island is a be made to raise awareness of the issues impacting significant hub for environmental resources. the site’s survival. • Other Events. The island hosts a number of other • Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR). The events, some of which attract destination visitors, ADSFR is regarded as the largest fishing tournament including the Gulf Seafood Gala, the Dauphin Island in the world, attracting an average 3,000 anglers Art Trail, Tri the Gulf Triathlon, Dauphin Island Native and 75,000 visitors to the island each year. The American Festival, and others. tournament, operated by the Mobile Jaycees, is

• Isle Dauphine. Isle Dauphine (owned by the Dauphin Island Property Owners Association) offers golf, beach and resort facilities that are available to property owners and open to the public. The facility also hosts • DIBS Bird Sanctuaries. Dauphin Island has a long various public and private events that draw visitors to history of attracting birding and other nature hobby the island. The club’s Art Deco clubhouse facilities are enthusiasts from around the country. Much of an attraction in themselves because of their unique that heritage is today relinquished to several small architectural heritage. sanctuaries that help preserve remaining nesting areas approaching its 100th anniversary. The 3-day event is sanctioned by the Southern Kingfish Association and awards up to $1.0 Million in cash and prizes each year.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

MARKET POTENTIALS This section is a summary of residential, lodging, food, waterfront industrial, and other potential uses... RESIDENTIAL Housing demand on Dauphin Island was examined based on the absorption patterns, demographic forecasts in source markets, and other indicators for the niches identified above. Potential at Aloe Bay was considered as a sub-set within the island’s overall demand, although there would be some increased penetration rate within target source market niches due to the appeal of a walkable “town center” environment and associated amenities. This analysis forecasted short-term potential for up to about 12 full-time residential units priced in the $300,000 to $390,000 range. There is additional potential for 95 to 100 long-term rentals priced in the $650 to $2,250 per month range. There would also be potential for about 15 to 20 investor and second home units within the next five years, priced in the $280,000 to $370,000 range. The island has had absorption of about 14 investor units per year, and it is assumed that Aloe Bay would conservatively capture at least 20% of investment sales. RESIDENTIAL POTENTIALS, ALOE BAY, 2026-2030 Market Sources Full-Time Residents (Buyers) Long-Term Rentals Investors/Weekly Rentals (Includes 2nd Homes) TOTAL

Dev. Units 5-12

Price Range $330-$390,000

95 16

$650-$2250/mo* $280-$370,000

base in support of restaurants and other retail activities that are desired by current residents. Overall, housing potential at Aloe Bay would total 116 to 123 units by 2026, priced in the $280,000 to $390,000 range for sale or $650 to $2,250 range for long-term rentals.

LODGING The lodging market analysis identified potential for up to about 120 lodging rooms at Aloe Bay. This lodging demand would be generated by a variety of market sources, including, but not limited, to those looking for a quiet alternative to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach or a weekend stay, convention off-site events, weddings and social events, research and association/corporate meetings, and eco-tourism. LODGING POTENTIALS, ALOE BAY, 2026-2030 Source Markets "Quiet Alternative" & Weekenders Growth Convention Off-Sites Weddings -Beach & Boat/Other Research/Assn/Corp Meetings Eco-Tourism TOTAL

Roomnights 32,083

Rooms 88

2,517 632 5,489 324 4,015 45,060

7 2 15 1 11 123

Sources: Randall Gross / Development Economics

116-123

$280-$390,000

Sources: Randall Gross / Development Economics

There are several concepts for residential products that have grounding in the market findings which could be considered. These concepts in no way represent a recommendation for development at Aloe Bay itself but could represent an opportunity for infill residential development in areas surrounding Aloe Bay. As noted earlier, residential development surrounding Aloe Bay could help strengthen the resident and seasonal household

Importantly, this demand does not accommodate beach tourists other than those who are already visiting neighboring beach communities and may take a one or two-day detour to Aloe Bay. Most of the demand would be generated by those looking for a quiet alternative to the hectic beach traffic at Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and surrounding Gulf Coast beaches, which is consistent with the market base for existing house rentals and lodging on Dauphin Island.

67


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

RETAIL Within this competitive framework, Aloe Bay is assumed to include a destination mix of retail, restaurants, entertainment, and visitor attractions that help to secure its capture of market demand. Aloe Bay would then have potential for up to about 170,000 square feet of retail business space, or 164,000 square feet of net new retail uses after accounting for existing retail and restaurant businesses in the study area. This net new demand includes 49,000 square feet of convenience, 51,000 square feet of shopper’s goods, 36,000 square feet of eating & drinking space, 21,000 square feet of entertainment use, and nearly 7,000 square feet of personal services space, as summarized in the following table. Convenience retail demand includes about 10,300 square feet of specialty food potential, with a focus on fish and seafood sales. Aloe Bay has potential to become a destination market for such specialty food sales based on its positioning on the coast with opportunities for sales of fresh catch above and beyond existing sales operations. Convenience store potentials also include about 5,500 square feet for health and personal care sales, which would help fill a gap in the supply of pharmacies on the island. There is also potential for increasing grocery store capture by about 8,700 square feet, insufficient perhaps to support another grocery store but representing an opportunity for diversifying and upgrading product lines in the existing grocery operation on the island. Shopper’s goods potentials include about 5,500 square feet in apparel stores, 2,800 square feet in jewelry stores, and about 2,000 square feet for shoe stores. There is

also some demand for non-department store general merchandise, hardware, and bookstore sales. The Aloe Bay area could capture up to about 7,200 square feet for gift and novelty store sales, 5,700 square feet for sporting goods, and 4,000 square feet for hobby, toy, and game stores. About 6,400 square feet in potential for miscellaneous retail stores (e.g., sewing/handcraft, pet stores, etc.) is also forecasted at Aloe Bay. While there is potential for limited-service restaurants forecasted (about 8,500 square feet), there is even more potential for full-service restaurants (20,600 square feet), drinking places (4,600 square feet), and snack establishments (2,300 square feet for donut, ice cream, coffee, and similar shops). As noted above, there is also potential for about 21,000 square feet of entertainment venues and 7,000 square feet of personal services business (e.g., hair or tanning salons, tailors, shoe repair, etc). These more detailed findings are summarized by specific type of establishment in the full report within the Appendix. Recommended Tenant Mix Based on the findings of the retail market analysis, a business mix is recommended that would be best suited towards maximizing the destination potential for Aloe Bay and capturing potential in the market. An understanding of residents’ needs and preferences also helped guide these recommendations to the extent that the market supports them. It is important to note that, while there may be demand within certain categories, the amount of demand is sometimes insufficient to support the typical floor plate for a business operating within that particular category. Such stores are not recommended for inclusion in this mix.

SUMMARY DESTINATION RETAIL POTENTIAL BY USE ALOE BAY, 2021-2026/7 Gross Demand (SF) Type of Good Convenience Shoppers Goods Eating/Drinking Limited Service Full Service Entertainment Personal Services TOTAL

2021 46,798 45,993 33,923 7,598 19,903 19,258 6,254 152,226

Note: Potential net of existing/planned commercial space. Source: Randall Gross / Development Economics

68

2026/7 52,423 51,085 37,652 8,571 22,121 21,260 7,373 169,794

Existing Uses

Warranted Demand

3,162 504 1,550 1,550 504 5,720

49,261 50,581 36,102 8,571 20,571 21,260 6,869 164,074


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

RECOMMENDED RETAIL MIX, ALOE BAY Type of Business Seafood Market/Specialty Food Misc. Convenience/Liquor Health/Personal Care Apparel & Accessory/Boating Hand Crafted Jewelry Art/Maker Gallery Shoes Books/Estuary Environment Gifts/Souvenirs

Square Feet 10,400 8,100 5,000 6,500 2,700 3,000 1,800 2,400 6,200

Hobby/Toys/Games Sporting Goods-Kayak/Bike Breakfast/LS Restaurants Full-Service Restaurants/Music Drinking Establishments/Music Ice Cream/Snack/Coffee Personal Services TOTAL

3,800 5,700 7,500 19,000 8,600 2,500 6,000 99,200

There could also be some limited-service restaurants such as a café serving breakfast foods, as well as ice cream / coffee shop. Boating Supply/Convenience: An 8,000 square-foot store would offer convenience goods, liquor, and boating supplies to anglers, charter boat operators, commercial fishing operations, local residents, and tourists at Aloe Bay. Health & Personal Care: A small 5,000 square-foot pharmacy or health goods store would be operated at Aloe Bay and oriented to the needs of local residents as well as visitors. Coastal Recreation Sporting Goods Store: A 5,700 squarefoot sporting goods store would be oriented to kayakers, bicyclists, and boaters, possibly offering repair services in addition to retail goods for recreation-based visitors and residents.

“Eco-Tourism Center” and Dauphin Island Ecology Gift/ Bookstore: A bookstore is recommended with a focus on Dauphin Island, Gulf Coast, and Mobile Bay ecology. Such a business might operate out of an “Eco-Tourism Center” oriented as an anchor education facility as another destination for visitors that houses exhibits, lectures, and information about coastal ecology, conservation, and Source: Randall Gross / Development Economics research activities on Dauphin Island. Local institutions Aloe Bay Fish Market: A specialty seafood market of 10,000 such as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab have expressed an to 12,000 square feet is recommended as an anchor for interest in exploring the concept of an Eco-Tourism Center the Aloe Bay development because of the market support and may be able to access resources for its operation. The for such a concept as well as the opportunity it holds for bookstore and/or gift store could serve as one source of driving destination marketing and branding for Aloe Bay. earned income to support such operations. Such a market would offer fresh seafood caught off of Art/Maker Gallery: Aloe Bay would provide an excellent Dauphin Island’s and Gulf Coastal waters. Ideally, seafood location for exhibition and sales space to accommodate sold in this market would also be served in a high-quality, local and regional artists through an art gallery, perhaps fresh seafood restaurant associated with the market as operated by the Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council well as for informal café-style dining. The market would a local organizationas an adjunct to its existing operations. offer stalls leased to and/or operated by commercial fishing Importantly, Aloe Bay may provide more exposure for local operations who (ideally) would be based on Dauphin Island. artists to greater numbers of destination travelers, boaters, Full-Service Restaurants & Bars with Live Music: The destination draw would also be generated by up to about 20,000 square feet of full-service restaurants, some offering live music, along the Aloe Bay waterfront. As noted above, at least one full-service restaurant would be associated directly with the Fresh Seafood Market and would offer “fresh catch” from coastal waters. The live music component would help Aloe Bay capture some of the entertainment potential that exists through tourism as well as resident-generated demand. Drinking establishments would also offer live music as part of the business mix.

charter patrons, and others.

Apparel and Accessories: About 10,800 square feet of space is recommended for clothing and accessories, jewelry, and shoe retailing as part of the Aloe Bay experience. However, it is highly recommended that such activity be “curated” to ensure that the quality and merchandising strategy helps strengthen the Aloe Bay brand, rather than distract from it (such as through a collection of “t-shirt shops”). Similarly, gifts, hobby, and other shops should be curated to guarantee an overall high level of quality.

69


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

WORKING WATERFRONT An “Opportunities Assessment” was conducted for waterfront industrial activity at Aloe Bay. This assessment was not intended as a full market analysis to forecast the site’s economic potential for development. Rather, the assessment examined existing conditions and identified opportunities for a “working” waterfront based on comparable waterfronts, information gathered from interested parties, seafood yields and charter/commercial fishing operations, and uses that would be compatible with and expand upon the destination tourism potentials for Aloe Bay as a whole. Importantly, consideration was also given to Dauphin Island’s “sister” community of Bayou La Batre and their efforts to attract employment-generated marine industrial uses.

Oyster Farms: There are two commercial oyster farms on the island. One of these operations is seeking space at Aloe Bay to house cleaning, sorting, and prep activities. The Auburn Shellfish Laboratory is housed at Dauphin Island and provides consulting services to support this nascent local oyster industry. Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo: As noted in the lodging section of this report, Aloe Bay already hosts the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a major fishing event that has occurred annually since 1929 and attracts an average 75,000 spectators and 3,000 anglers over the three days of the event. The ADSFR often includes live music and other festival events.

Existing Industrial Waterfront Use Dauphin Island already has an active waterfront, anchored by the Dauphin Island Marina. Among the active uses at Dauphin Island are fishing charters, commercial fishing fleets, oyster farms, and a major annual fishing event. Dauphin Island Marina services most of this existing business. Fishing Charters & Tours: The island hosts at least 28 regular deep-sea/offshore and inshore fishing charters. These charters offer a range of services and generally receive high marks for quality and value-for-money from reviewers. Many of the charters ply waters and generate business beyond Dauphin Island. In addition to fishing charters, the island also offers several coastal tour options, including dolphin cruises, “eco-tours,” and other specialized group tours. Commercial Fishing Fleets: In addition to the charter business, there are also at least 25 commercial fishing fleets using Dauphin Island ports with a total haul averaging 1.1 million pounds or about 3.1% of Alabama coastal landings and with a value estimated at $2,097,300. (By comparison, Bayou La Batre had total landings of 32 million pounds with a value of $63 million in 2018). Despite the popularity of Dauphin Island waters for commercial fishing, only eight of these fleets are actually based on the island. One or more of the existing fleets supplies a fresh seafood restaurant on the island. There is only one registered commercial buyer on the island, AB Seafood, which currently limits the development of an industry on Dauphin Island.

70

Dauphin Island Marina: The Dauphin Island Marina offers 90 wet slips, 140 dry slips, and 25 trailered boat slips. Facilities include boat storage, dockside fueling and oil, bait & tackle shop, and dining (at the Captain Snapper’s Marina Bar & Grill). Slip prices range from $7 to $9 per foot plus power (A & B docks) and $250 to $300 per month plus power (C docks). Transient slips are $1.75 per foot, per night, with 30-day rental rates (wet) at $16 per foot, per month. The marina charges $45 per month for storage sheds. Dry slips are priced at $12.50 to $14.00 per foot, per month. Development & Program Opportunities Several opportunities were identified that would help strengthen the overall destination potential for Aloe Bay, including a “working waterfront” component. The opportunities for several of these concepts could rely on the implementation of dredging and water treatment remediation.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

Since there is only one registered buyer on the island, the introduction of an active seafood market could help attract more commercial fishing operators to house on Dauphin Island, since a local, high-volume market could potentially be created for fresh fish and seafood products. The orientation of such facilities would not be meant to compete with Dauphin Island Marina, but rather, to provide a second stop for commercial operators and to attract more commercial fleets to base themselves on the island. Ultimately, the objective is to grow destination business for Dauphin Island Marina and Aloe Bay together, for the benefit of both. Marine Ice & Fuel Supply: As a draw for potential fishing fleets, charter boats, or pleasure craft, it would be useful for Aloe Bay to offer ice and fuel supply (as it once did). Such supply could form part of the retail services offered by a “boat supply” and convenience store operation as supported by the Retail Market Analysis. Clean Oyster Grading & Sorting: There is an operator vying to occupy existing or potential new waterfront sites at Aloe Bay in order to conduct oyster cleaning, grading, and sorting operations. Such operations would not only generate some fiscal revenue to the Town but also help create an active “working” waterfront use that helps in packaging Aloe Bay for destination tourism. Even if the operation is small, its presence helps secure the concept of Aloe Bay as a place where consumers can shop for, eat, and watch waterfront activities relating to fresh seafood. Because the oysters are farmed and not caught directly from the sea floor, they will not generate the smells or uncomfortable conditions commonly associated with oyster cleaning operations. There may also be opportunities for “hands-on” participation for visitors in the cleaning or sorting activities.

Land/Sea Eco Tours: There are already some eco-tours offered by companies operating at Dauphin Island Marina. But there will also be opportunities to blend more land and sea eco-tourism including birding and trails through Dauphin Island’s wetlands. Aloe Bay can become the nexus for such land and sea tours, offering access to both. The concept of the Eco-Tourism Center could also become a hub for such activity, blending lectures, research, meetings, and exhibitions with eco-tours both by land and by sea. Kayak & Paddle Boat Rentals: Associated with the ecotourism element could be opportunities for kayak and paddle boat rentals at Aloe Bay. Again, such rentals could be hosted at or operated by the Eco-Tourism Center, as another source of earned income to support its operations. Marina: There is the opportunity for developing another full marina with wet slips on the island, to be located at Aloe Bay. The marina would further activate the waterfront. The concept would be to diversify and expand the destination market base for slips on the island. The availability of some slips could also be associated with lodging facilities (See Lodging and Meeting Market Analysis) built near the waterfront or elsewhere in the Aloe Bay area.

Commercial Docks / Fish Market: The Aloe Bay docks would offer short-term storage for commercial fishing and charter operators which, as with the oyster operations, help create “working waterfront” activity including unloading and cleaning of seafood catch in support of the Aloe Bay Fish Market concept (see Retail Market Analysis) and associated fresh seafood restaurants. Some packing would also occur in support of direct sales at the Fish Market, but Aloe Bay would not serve as a hub for commercial seafood packing, which already exists at Bayou La Batre.

71


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Based on the market analysis by Randall Gross Development Economics, the following potential program is applied to the plan as a study to meet the market potential at full build out of the area based upon phases. It should be noted that residential dwelling units within the working waterfront zone was not favored during the virtual design charrette and therefore the residential component is assumed to be met through infill development of the surrounding area.

POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM1

Commercial SF

Dwelling Lodging Bldg Units3 Units4 Ht Fl5

Phase Bldg # Type of Business

Ground2 BFE +122

1 1 1 1

1 2 2P 3

Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center Fish Market/Event Space Open Pavilion (Commercial use) Hook-to-Table Restaurant(s)

2125 2000 2000

8500 8000 1000 8000

0 0 0

0 0 0

B+1 B+1 +1 B+1

1

3P

Open Pavilion (Commercial use)

-

1000

-

-

+1

1

4

Mixed-Use & Boutique Lodging

1650

6600

0

40

B+3

1

5

Mixed-Use & Boutique Lodging

1650

6600

0

40

B+3

2

6

Waterfront Use (Oyster Processing)

2125

3000

0

0

B+1

2 2

7 8

Mixed-Use Space and Retail Waterfront Use (Charter/ Marina Services)

2125 2125

2800 2800

0 0

0 0

B+1 B+1

2

9

Restaurant / Snacks / Food & Beverages

2125

3000

0

0

B+1

3

10

Mixed-Use Space

4000

16000

0

0

B+1

3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5

11 12 13 14 15 15P 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Mixed-Use Space Personal Services (x6) Sporting Goods/Kayak/Bike Rentals Bait & tackle Shop (Apparel & Accessory/Boating) Restaurant Open Pavilion (commercial use) Boat Shop Art/Maker Gallery, Hand Crafted Jewelry Lodging (Commercial ground level + partial boardwalk level) Art/Maker Gallery, Hand Crafted Jewelry Books/Estuary Environment Health & Personal Lodging (Parking ground level + commercial boardwalk level) Restaurant Live/Work Townhomes (x6) Total Development Potential Total Market Potential (Source: RGDE)

3400 1500 550 900 900 2600 2100 8500 525 525 Parking Parking Parking 43,425 165,6506

13600 6000 2200 3675 3675 1750 2600 2100 2125 2100 2100 3500 7000 2500 122,2256

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 6 11 116-123

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 0 0 12 0 122 123

B+1 B+1 B+1 B+1 B+1 +1 B+1 B+1 B+3 B+1 B+1 B+2 B+2 B+2 2 Max. 4 Fls

The potential development program is based off of the full build out of the planning area which includes privately owned property. Phases 1-3 focus on property currently owned / managed by the Town of Dauphin Island 2 Ground refers to development at existing street grade below required 12’ above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and would be limited in use. BFE +12 refers to development built on a second-floor or lifted boardwalk at the required protected height. 3 Dwelling units assume a unit size of 600-750sf with the exception of noted live/work townhouses. 4 Lodging units assumed ground or BFE +12 levels devoted to lobby/communal use space, and room size of 300sf 5 Building Height notes “B” for ground level or below boardwalk plus levels at BFE + 12 and above. Total heights below 55’ per ordinance. 6 Square footage total does not include lodging units or dwelling units at BFE +12 1

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

ILLUSTRATIVE LEGEND Site Proper Planning Area Pedestrian Walk Shed Lot Lines New Building New Open Pavilions Existing Building Alleys & Parking Blocks Streets Boardwalk Primary Parks Secondary Open Space Water Multi-use Path Trees/Landscape 0

500’

ALOE BAY

ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO

1000’

Scale: 1” = 400’

3P WEST VILLAGE

BOAT LAUNCH 16

15P

15

14

ALOE BAY LANDING

13

9

8

7

FISHING VILLAGE 6 3

2P

2

1

20

19

18

17

12 12

24

5

23

4

22 21

10 11

LE MOYNE DR

ALABAMA POWER SUB STATION

LACKLAND ST

LEVERT ST

BOAT STORAGE LOT

COMMUNITY CENTER

DE SOTO AVE

CHAUMONT AVE GREEN PARK

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS: MARKET CONCEPTS AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

The following provides a review of the findings from the Market Analyses conducted to determine the potential for development at Aloe Bay. SUMMARY OF MARKET FINDINGS

DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES

The market analyses and opportunity assessments identified broad-based potential for a variety of uses at Aloe Bay that could be integrated as a mixed-use working waterfront and destination “town center” for Dauphin Island. These include the following:

There are several key public objectives that inform the overall development program and concepts for Aloe Bay. These public objectives are tied to funding mechanisms, stakeholder buy-in, and ultimately to the successful implementation of the Aloe Bay project.

Use Fish Market (Anchor) Retail Shops Restaurants / Entertainment Eco-Tourism Center Residential (MR & Affordable)** Working Waterfront Industrial Lodging / Hospitality Marina Kayak / Blue Ways, Trails

Amount

Units

10,000 – 12,000

Square Feet

61,600 27,600

Square Feet Square Feet

1,500 - 5,000 116-123 15,000

Square Feet Development Units Square Feet

123 Opportunity Opportunity

Lodging Units Slips Access

**It should be noted that the residential market findings are considered for ‘off-site residential development’ and better suited for infill sites away from the waterfront. Development of housing within walking distance of Aloe Bay would help strengthen market support for restaurants and other amenities desired by permanent residents. But development of such units on the bay itself would reduce destination activity and distract from the public access that is desired by the community.

The market analyses support a total development program of up to an estimated 423,800 square feet of development including retail, restaurants, entertainment, education, residential, industrial, and hospitality building uses. However, this total amount of development is not necessarily the optimal amount recommended for Aloe Bay, which is also a function of physical development parameters and community stakeholder preferences.

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Fiscal Diversification It is critical to understand that the Town of Dauphin Island is facing increased vulnerability caused by a variety of factors outside of the Town’s direct control. Among these factors are increasing hurricane and regular storm activity, as well as oil spills, and rising sea levels, all of which cause impacts detrimental to the Town’s tourism industry, livability, and fiscal health. As an example of these factors, the Town experienced a cumulative impact of $1.5 to $2.0 million in damages from multiple storms in 2019 which required public infrastructure repair, clean-up, and recovery. This amount constitutes a serious impact on the Town’s budget, which is only $4.0 million total. The Town cannot sustain multiple years of such impacts without raising taxes or finding new revenue sources. As such, an important objective for Aloe Bay is to help the Town diversify its local revenue base by providing an alternative location for generating revenue. Aloe Bay presents an opportunity for mixed-use development that would generate revenue in the form of sales, lodging and property taxes as well as user fees, rental charges, and other income. Local Community Needs There are also objectives relating to the needs of permanent local residents, workers, homeowners, and regular seasonal guests. In order to generate the kinds of income that would help the Town diversify its revenue base, there will be a need to establish a visitor destination


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

at Aloe Bay. However, this destination should also serve the needs of local residents, who have expressed a desire for more full-service dining options and public amenities including water access but also a preference for low-scale development and a laid-back atmosphere at Aloe Bay. Again, in order to gain market support for restaurants and other amenities, there will be a need to leverage demand generated by tourists and other destination visitors. Stakeholders identified the following preferences with respect to development at Aloe Bay: • • • • • • • •

Keep it Small Scale Maintain Local Character Maximize Public Access to Water Serve Local Residents More Seafood/Restaurants Restore Working Waterfront/Local Heritage Emphasize Local Ecology/Environment Include Green Space, Public Space

The Gibson Inn in Apalachicola, Florida is an example of the boutique lodging that could be developed around Aloe Bay.

Because of the presence of boutique lodging rooms, more visitors and meeting participants will now be able to stay overnight on the island and support its unique local restaurants and businesses. The presence of lodging rooms would also help the island attract Overall Marketing & Development Concept more meetings and events, which in turn The overall concept envisions a mixed-use waterfront help generate revenue to local nonprofits, development around Aloe Bay. The waterfront would be institutions, and community-based activated through public access and a boardwalk, alongside organizations. “working” waterfront uses, outdoor dining, and live music. De Soto Avenue would emerge as a “main street,” with shops, restaurants, boutique lodging, and public amenities in a walkable environment adjacent to the waterfront. Key Elements In addition to the boardwalk and public water access for boating, the development would be anchored by the Aloe Bay Fish Market and an Eco-Tourism Center, both of which would help strengthen the destination visitor potential for Aloe Bay. The Fish Market would accommodate direct sales from commercial fishing operations to restaurants and consumers. The Eco-Tourism Center would promote the various research activities on Dauphin Island that are focused on coastal ecology and estuary habitats. The center would host lectures, exhibits, bookstore, and programming oriented to the island’s ecology and specific research projects. Restaurants along De Soto Avenue and the boardwalk will offer live music, and some might include “hook to table” or “net to table” options (a coastal variation of the popular “farm to table” theme). Retail shops would offer high-quality merchandise for residents and visitors, while a boutique lodging establishment would offer high-quality services and would be integrated with the walkable commercial streetscape.

A “Working Waterfront” would include commercial fishing docks for charters and commercial fishing, along with marina slips, fuel, and boating services. Oyster cleaning and sorting would generate active seafood production activity on the waterfront itself, while kayak rentals would allow visitors to explore Dauphin Island ecology through blue ways connecting to wetland trails. Public festivals and events would be programmed regularly at Aloe Bay, accommodated in green spaces that open onto the boardwalk and waterfront.

Dockside oyster cleaning and sorting is an example of working waterfront activities that could happen at Aloe Bay.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

KEY ELEMENTS EXPANDED ALOE BAY FISH MARKET CONCEPT The Retail Market Analysis identified potential for a destination fish market that would include stalls operated by multiple commercial fishing operations for direct sales to residents, visitors, and restaurants in the area. The Fish Market concept would also include a restaurant component that would open onto the boardwalk and offer live music, event space, and fresh catch of the day. A “downstairs” element might include a more casual “hook -to- table” area for charter participants and pleasure craft, as well as take-out from the Fish Market for picnic-style dining. Ultimately, the concept is to create a communityoriented gathering place and destination for visitors that offers a market for Dauphin Island’s commercial fishing operations.

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Components of the facility would include 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of enclosed space for permanent and temporary fish market stalls, a fish & tackle shop, and office space to accommodate management operations and potentially for overflow charter and commercial fishing operators. The Fish Market would be situated adjacent to the commercial boat docks, ideally at an anchor location of Aloe Bay near the intersection of Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue. A 5,000 to 10,0000 square-foot fresh seafood restaurant with live music and outdoor event space would be located on the top level of the building adjacent to the boardwalk and with a view of Aloe Bay. As noted above, casual fresh-catch picnic-style dining along with parking areas would be accommodated on a lower level.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

ALOE BAY ECO-TOURISM CENTER CONCEPT Another anchor concept is proposed as the “Eco-Tourism Center,” which is meant to create a destination attraction on the waterfront, showcase the local research capacity on Dauphin Island and provide access to eco-tourism assets in the region. Rather than competing with the Estuarium, the Eco-Tourism Center is meant to complement and promote the island’s other environmental education and research facilities, programs, sites, and eco-tourism opportunities. This 1,500 to 5,000 square-foot facility would offer visitor exhibit space as well as lecture and “demonstration” space to develop interest in local research and explore Dauphin Island’s unique environmental resources. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab might have a “teaser exhibits” and scheduled demonstrations at the Eco-Tourism Center to

provide a “taste” of its much larger exhibits to entice Aloe Bay visitors further into the island to explore that facility. Other components of the Eco-Tourism center could be an art gallery which might offer space for local artists and those focused on the local environment in their work. A bookstore and outdoor café opening onto the boardwalk would further activate the waterfront and provide another destination for unique books and merchandise focused on Dauphin Island’s ecology. Docking would allow for kayak rentals and direct access into the bay for local blue way and wetland ecology tours. The docks at the Eco-Tourism Center would also provide access for research vessels to allow visitor tours or serve as assets. A central location for ticketing to the various facilities and activities that take place on Dauphin Island and the surrounding region.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

WORKING WATERFRONT CONCEPT The “working waterfront” component of Aloe Bay was an important element identified by stakeholders for re-establishing an “authentic” place on the island that celebrates the island’s local heritage while appealing to residents and visitors alike. The concept builds on existing uses both on Aloe Bay and on activity at Dauphin Island Marina to create a diverse and exciting waterfront with industrial, commercial, and recreational activity. The concept also contrasts with (but also complements) Bayou La Batre, which is more oriented to heavy industrial activity. Access and facilities at Aloe Bay are meant to support the local fishing industry in part by enhancing the destination market for local seafood and promoting direct access, services, and support for fishing and charter boat vessels. The components of the working waterfront include marine ice, fuel supply, and industrial services like cleaning and maintenance. The concept also includes clean oyster grading and sorting, which will not only generate a direct source of local seafood but also an active use that can appeal to visitors interested in seeing authentic waterfront seafood activity. The oyster farming would occur nearby on the island but would be brought to the Aloe Bay waterfront for cleaning, sorting, and grading done partly by hand. Because the oysters are farm raised, the prospective oyster company has promised the operation would be free of the smells and detritus associated with seabed oyster harvesting.

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The concept also includes commercial docks for fishing and tour charters as well as for commercial fishing fleets. The Fish Market would serve as an anchor for the working waterfront, offering commercial fishing operators a venue for direct sales of fresh catch. As such, fishermen would have a ready market for their product. Eco-tours (land and sea), kayaking and boat rentals, and a marina with wet slips would further diversify the mix of uses on the waterfront.

1

ACTIVATE THE WATERFRONT

2

BOAT DOCKING

Waterfront boardwalk and pavilions will give people the opportunity view and spend time along the water. Split level boardwalks would help separate industry-necessary movement from leisure and recreational activities.

Boat slips along the waterfront allow for a variety of uses and vessel sizes.

3

RELATED USES

4

MARINE INFRASTRUCTURE

Marin services such as supplies, bait/tackle, fuel, or other necessities should be dockside. Other uses such as oyster processing and charter services should be accessible to the waterfront.

Future docks and access should accommodate the loading, unloaded and movement of fresh seafood.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

1 3

3 2

Waterfront / Marine Industrial uses are an anticipated and accommodated as part of the overall plan. Flexibility should be considered for these uses as the overall phased development of Aloe Bay takes shape. Existing uses should remain active as new uses are integrated into the waterfront. Overall infrastructure of Aloe Bay should focus on the variety of working waterfront components that could take place, including by not limited to, oyster processing, seafood deliver to local restaurants, charter services, eco-tourism, etc.

2

1 2

4 4

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS:

MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE & OPERATING MODELS Strategic recommendations for management and financial structuring as an input for implementation of the plan. A development management structure and operating models are recommended to help guide implementation of the concepts developed in the previous section and the master plan for Aloe Bay. A general development and management structure is recommended, informed in part by the findings of a fiscal impact assessment. Specific operating models are provided for key anchor concepts including Aloe Bay Fish Market, Eco-Tourism Center, and Working Waterfront. In addition, a management and marketing model for the island’s Meeting Venues are also proposed in support of the meeting market leveraged in part by lodging and amenities that would be established at Aloe Bay.

OVERALL DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE A concept for development of Aloe Bay has been thoughtfully master planned, as described throughout this report. In order to achieve development of Aloe Bay as close as possible to the community’s vision in this plan, logic suggests that a master developer be selected to phase and implement projects in collaboration with the Town and its funding partners. A master developer will work with the Town to either acquire or assemble properties (including those already controlled by the Town), create a development framework plan, and implement infrastructure rollout in appropriate phases. The master developer may also subdivide parcels for development by sub-developers for commercial, hotel, or mixed uses as needed.

MASTER DEVELOPER MODELS A master developer model can be achieved through recruitment of an experienced, private development entity or through creation of a quasi-governmental development authority or similar agency. In larger communities, or where the County is directly involved, an existing industrial development authority or similar agency can play a lead role. Where that type of authority does not exist in a smaller community, it is advisable to recruit a private, highly experienced development entity to take a lead development role. 80

There is a difference between a “contract” developer and a developer-investor. The Town should be careful to recruit an entity that will achieve its objectives without requiring the Town to seek further investment in commercial development. Many times, developers will offer contract development services (and sometimes, ongoing management services) on behalf of the community but are not willing to make the primary equity investment themselves. Dauphin Island will most likely require the developer to have a primary equity position and bring any necessary partners, rather than just being paid for contract development work on behalf of the Town. Where the developer has a primary equity position, they are more likely to conduct thorough due diligence and guide the development to meet key thresholds for return-oninvestment.

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Regardless of which type of master developer model is selected, it is recommended the Town of Dauphin Island create a professional position of Development Manager or similar title with the role of managing the development process at Aloe Bay on behalf of the Town. The Development Manager would work with funders and various partners to coordinate funding for public infrastructure to leverage private development and investment interest. The Development Manager would also oversee the process for recruiting a master developer or coordinating with appropriate development authorities to sub-divide and create “pad” sites for development. The recruitment process would include identifying potential master developers and drafting and distributing a Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/ RFP) for Developers. The Development Manager would lead the negotiation processes with potential master developers or investors on behalf of the Town of Dauphin Island. This would ensure the Town has direct representation in any negotiated development contract. The Development Manager would also act as the de facto “economic development” director for the Town, assisting the development entity with marketing


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

and recruitment of Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island for potential tenants and operators. The Development Manager, by virtue of their relationship with local stakeholders, would also help recruit the organization or commercial fishing entities to operate the Fish Market and associated assets. Similarly, the Development Manager would work with the various partners to form the collaborative entity that would construct, operate and program the Eco-Tourism Center.

LEVERAGING TOOLS The Town would have at its disposal several mechanisms for leveraging private development and investment interest. First, the Town has access to federal and state grant funding for infrastructure improvements, some of which would be owned and maintained by the Town. Second, the Town already has control of several key parcels on the Aloe Bay waterfront, so it can use land as a negotiating tool and, where required, an incentive for development. The Town can also use regulatory authority and incentives geared toward leveraging development at Aloe Bay, such as through accelerated planning and permitting approvals for proposals that conform to the approved conceptual master plan.

ALOE BAY ECO-TOURISM CENTER CONCEPT Based on initial discussions with institutional stakeholders, a possible operating model is emerging that would be built on a collaborative partnership to operate the facility. This partnership might include institutions and agencies such as Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Outdoor Alabama Marine Resources Division, Auburn University, the Town of Dauphin Island, Alabama Seafood Commission, Chamber of Commerce, and the variety of other organizations operating on Dauphin Island. Operating funds would be generated through earned income including bookstore and café sales, kayak rentals, and tours; as well as through grant funding leveraged by the institutional partners from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PADI Foundation, South Mobile County Tourism Authority, and others.

WORKING WATERFRONT CONCEPT

Infrastructure and elements that tie the various components of the waterfront together would most likely be owned and managed by the Town of Dauphin Island. Such elements The Town may also have access to other tools including include the boardwalk, lighting, landscaping, green space, and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help fund infrastructure, public dock facilities. The Fish Market might own and operate structured parking, or other improvements to help leverage its own commercial fishing docks aside from its own facilities. private investment. Such fiscal tools, however, should be guided by a strict return-on-investment analysis to ensure that The Eco-Tourism Center and operate docking for kayaks, the Town still achieves its objectives of fiscal diversification as paddle boats, and research vessels. Otherwise, the Town would own and operate most other waterfront infrastructure quickly as possible. and amenities. There is the possibility the Town might, for ALOE BAY FISH MARKET CONCEPT example, own and operate a marina with wet slips available primarily for day storage while visitors are attending events There are several possible models for development and operation of the Aloe Bay Fish Market concept. One approach or going to Aloe Bay and other island shops, restaurants, and attractions. In this way, the Town’s marina operations would incorporate the Fish Market into the broader mastermight mirror operation of public parking facilities that are planned project implemented by a private development incorporated into the development. entity. A local non-profit comprised of a board led by local stakeholders could be charged with operating the facility. The Responsibilities assigned to the Town of Dauphin Island non-profit would raise capital funds through grants, capital could include the following: Utilities and right-of-way campaigns, and from the Town itself; with operations funded (Streets), bulkhead and boardwalk infrastructure and marina through memberships, rentals, retail & restaurant revenues, maintenance (Public Works), public safety (Police and EMS), and boat dock user fees. But another alternative operating and construction regulation (Building). The Town might also model places control with the commercial fishing operations provide funding assistance to Dauphin Island Fire & Rescue to that stand to benefit from it. The latter model reduces ensure that organization has sufficient resources to protect potential exposure and risk to the Town and its community Aloe Bay. It would also be recommended the Town appoint partners but will likely require more up-front effort to identify a Development Director to oversee planning, development, and recruit equity partners and commercial operators. marketing, and investor recruitment to Aloe Bay. This There is likely to be some overlap among the stakeholders in professional position might be created with a sunset provision both operating models, with commercial fishing operators to expire once Aloe Bay has reached a self-sustaining level. participating in both.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

MEETING SPACE POTENTIALS Strategic recommendations for management and financial structuring as an input for implementation of the plan. DAUPHIN ISLAND MEETING VENUES OPERATING CONCEPT

• The Estuarium, for hosting weddings, corporate and social events. Accommodates 150 (seated banquet), 200 cocktail, and 300 floor and decks. • The Schooling Room, for hosting children’s birthday parties and other events. Accommodates 75 seated banquet (25 U-shaped), and 100 cocktail. • Richard C. Shelby Atrium and Auditorium, for board meetings and corporate seminars. The Auditorium accommodates 200 theater style, 130 seated banquet (44 U-shape), 200 cocktail, 52 conference, and 86 classroom. The Atrium accommodates 100 to 125 seated banquet and 175 cocktail. • Galathea Hall, for meetings. The 1,152 squarefoot venue accommodates 32 theater style, 25 U-shaped, and 25 hollow square. DI Sea Lab already attracts groups like the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) to hold off-site tours and meetings on Dauphin Island during their

Dauphin Island has several existing meeting venues and sites available for local and destination meetings and events. The Town is also constructing a new Community Center that can house a variety of meetings and events. The Market Analysis identified potential for a destination meeting market that could be leveraged by overnight accommodation at Aloe Bay. There will be a need to coordinate and market the island’s various meeting venues in association with the lodging facility in order to optimize the potential for all of these facilities and to generate income for their operations and revenue in support of the Town’s fiscal objectives. Several operating and marketing models are recommended below. Meeting Markets The potential overnight Dauphin Island meeting market is generated by diverse sources including convention “off-site” meetings and events, weddings and social events, destination research & association/corporate MEETING AND EVENT MARKET board meetings and retreats, and others. The Market Analysis identified potential for the island to capture at Events Attendance least 72 overnight meetings (those that require overnight Source Markets Per Year Days Average Total accommodation), yielding about 120 event days per year. Overnight Meetings Attendance at these meetings and events could approach 5,300 or more. In addition to overnight meetings, Aloe Bay’s Convention Off26 45 39 1,013 amenity value could also help the island capture a larger Site Meetings & share of the day meeting market generated by local and Events regional sources. The island should capture at least 115 Weddings/Social 37 55 109 4,027 to 120 one-day meetings and events per year generated Events by Mobile-area sources outside of Dauphin Island. These meetings and events yield 164 event days and nearly 1,000 9 18 32 290 Destination Rein attendance. The meeting market potential generated search/Assn/Corp from these sources for Dauphin Island is summarized in the Meetings following table. Sub-Total 72 119 5,330 Existing Meeting Venues Day Meetings & Events The island’s existing venues should be able to accommodate Mobile Area 45 45 22 990 many of these potential meetings and events. Many of the island’s existing venues are summarized below. Local Dauphin N/A N/A N/A • Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The Sea Lab has five Island meeting and event venues plus catering services to Sub-Total 45 45 990 accommodate research and corporate meetings, as TOTAL 117 164 6,320 well as weddings and social events. Venues include the Source: Randall Gross / Development Economics following: 82


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

• •

conventions in Mobile (CERF hosted a 5-day event in Mobile that attracted 1,500 people). The Sea Lab has also hosted the Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meeting, the Forever Wild Alabama Land Trust board meeting, and others. The introduction of a high-quality boutique lodging facility at Aloe Bay would greatly enhance the ability for Dauphin Island Sea Lab to attract more substantial research meetings on a regular basis. Isle Dauphine. The ca 1957 (International Style) Isle Dauphine is operated by the Dauphin Island Property Owners Association (DIPOA) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a private facility, Isle Dauphine provides access to members of DIPOA for parties, golf events, meetings, and social events. Access to the clubhouse and on-site restaurant are also provided to the general public for meetings and events on a fee basis. The ground floor of the clubhouse has event space with catering and a beach bar available for weddings, receptions, business meetings, and other events. Town Facilities. The Town of Dauphin Island maintains two facilities that could be used for meetings and events. • The Town Hall for Dauphin Island is sometimes available for public events. • Dauphin Island Community Center. The Town is constructing a new 13,000 square foot community center, located at 412 Le Moyne Drive, within a block of Aloe Bay. This facility will include a stage, catering kitchen, restroom facilities, and two meeting rooms with capacity for 100 and 350, respectively. The Dauphin Island Foundation participated in funding the facility, along with public and private interests. The facility is meant primarily to accommodate local contests, performances, meetings, and social events. Fort Gaines. The Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board (DIPBB) operates historic Fort Gaines, which can accommodate up to 2,000 people for major events as well as smaller groups for weddings and social events. DIPBB charges $1,450 for event use of the public portions of the facility. Cadillac Square. DIPBB also operates Cadillac Square, which can accommodate events including “corporate picnics, oyster roasts, & community and family events.” The park can accommodate larger gatherings of up to 500 people and DIPBB charges $50 as a minimum rental rate. Public Beach & Pier. DIPBB maintains the Public Beach and Pier, with a rental fee of $200, depending on the size of events. Restaurants. Various restaurants on Dauphin Island can accommodate small gatherings including parties,

receptions, and social events. Places like Dority’s offer an entertainment stage and other amenities. • Churches. Several churches on the island accommodate visiting groups for meetings and conferences, social events, and other activities.

OPERATING AND MARKETING MODEL Several of the island’s meeting venues have marketing and management staff housed in their parent organization. Those organizations target certain meeting and event markets that are appropriate to their mission and/or venues. Many accommodate local events, but only a few are equipped to market for meetings and events that might originate outside of Dauphin Island’s existing resident and visitor base. Some organizations, like the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce, market the island for tourism but are not specifically targeting the meeting or conference market. However, the South Mobile County Tourism Authority (SMCTA) is already oriented to marketing Dauphin Island and surrounding areas specifically for meetings, conferences, and tourism. Certainly, given its mission, this organization is best suited to market, promote, and coordinate with venues on the island for meetings and events. Ideally, SMCTA would have the resources to work with the local venues, vacation home managers, and lodging facilities (including Aloe Bay) to coordinate calendars to promote and optimize the island’s resources for meetings and events. Much of SMCTA funding has been generated through the Gulf Seafood and Tourism Fund (BP) or RESTORE Act grants. But there is a need for more consistent local contributory funding to ensure that the organization is properly staffed and has the necessary resources to promote Dauphin Island for the types of meetings and visitor activities that are best suited to the fiscal needs and lifestyle of Dauphin Island. In marketing these opportunities, the SMCTA’s will need to overcome a gap in the meeting market because meeting and event spaces will not be directly located on Aloe Bay or adjacent to the proposed boutique lodging concept. Many meeting planners prefer to house meetings with rooms attached or immediately adjacent, due to the need for efficiency on a tight meeting schedule. Without meeting space on Aloe Bay, the potential overnight meeting market could still be somewhat constrained by this lack of adjacency. Internal transit opportunities around specific events and the marketing of unique facilities around Aloe Bay (and Dauphin Island) for events could help to mitigate the gap for meetings. Nevertheless, the very presence of high-quality boutique lodging rooms on the island will boost opportunities for Dauphin Island Sea Lab and others that might be able to accommodate conference off-sites, board meetings, and similar events. 83


Aloe Bay Master Plan Economic Development

LONG TERM REDEVELOPMENT IDEAS As the Aloe Bay Town Center reaches its full development potential, new vibrant mixed use redevelopment at key locations will start to occur. In such a small town with so much open land, its hard to imagine a future in which developers will be fighting for vacant parcels to develop, but with the long term design of the master plan, it is predicted that low density sites such as the Circle K convenience store and Shell fuel station at the southwest corner of De Soto Avenue and Le Moyne Drive may become a highly sought after location for a new boutique lodge and mixed use development. In order to maintain the active sidewalk of the town center, fuel pumps may be located at the back of new mixed use development, or the fuel station might be relocated all together. This rendering shows one potential scenario with a boutique lodge and other vibrant shopfronts raised above parking, with an attractive enclosure and landscaping to maintain a pleasant sidewalk experience.

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Raised platform with parking hidden from pedestrian

2

Outdoor Shaded Patio Dining

3

Lodging on Upper Floors

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Welcoming steps from both frontages

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Shaded and comfortable sidewalk

6

On-Street Parking for customers

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Proposed mixed use development at the southwest corner of De Soto Avenue and Le Moyne Drive.

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Existing Conditions at the southwest corner of De Soto Avenue and Le Moyne Drive

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7.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

Resilience

This chapter looks at how resilience will play a role in the development of the Aloe Bay Town Center, protecting and highlighting the area’s natural environment.

BIG IDEA ECO-TOURISM SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION BREAKWATER LOW IMPACT DEVELOPMENT

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

Big Idea

INCREASE ACCESS TO NATURE AND BUILD SUSTAINABLY It is undeniable that one of the most beautiful traits Dauphin Island has to offer is its relationship to the natural landscape. The flora and fauna are unique to the Mobile Bay region and have attracted numerous residents and visitors to go out and appreciate it. To enrich its natural characters is one of the primary goals of the plan for the new town center. One of the proposed ideas to accomplish this goal is to build a boardwalk along the northern estuaries and De Soto Avenue waterfront. This would allow major public access to the shore, and it can potentially become a beautiful iconic destination that would enhance the connections between the people and the natural environment in Aloe Bay. Considering the periodic impacts from storms and high tides, facilities would be constructed to higher standard and quality to endure those natural conditions and serve the community for a longer period of time. The ecology and natural environment should be respected in the construction process for new developments. Building techniques such as green infrastructure, obtaining local materials, and low environmental impact designs should be applied during construction to mitigate the negative influences on the natural environment. Green infrastructure should be an integral part of the overall stormwater management system in Aloe Bay due to its ability to filter, clean, and absorb stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure can also be designed as an amenity with additional benefits for wildlife, recreation, and interaction with nature. Mature large trees should be protected, and healthy new trees should be added thoughtfully to create a robust urban forestry. The creation of new green space along the waterfront can help raise awareness regarding water quality. Bioretention areas and rain gardens can be created in strategic locations to collect and treat stormwater before it enters the sound.

Natural environment in Aloe Bay

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

Another idea that emerged from the virtual design charrette process is to increase access to the natural environment. The waterfront can support a variety of different recreational uses, but access and public space near the waterfront are limited. During the charrette, many residents voiced the desire for more public spaces such as docks for fishing and nature trails. Kayaking and boating are also popular activities that require water access. Public spaces and green spaces not only serve an ecological function, but also can be created as an attractive destination. These spaces can potentially enhance the economic revenues of nearby businesses with proper designs that integrate the commercial uses consciously and seamlessly. The coastal ecology is one of the most important things to consider regarding Aloe Bay future developments. It is crucial to protect the oysters and the flora and fauna. The landscape and wildlife could be impacted by lack of knowledge on the native ecology of the area. It is important to educate both residents and visitors on how to take good care of their environmental surroundings. An eco-tourism center could include information on environmental conditions of the area and would not only be a great attraction and source of income but would also help steward the community’s environmental assets. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is another destination that draws people to Aloe Bay. The Estuarium at the Sea Lab highlights the four key habitats of coastal Alabama. The Estuarium also hosts a number of events for the public. The Mobile Bay is the fourth largest estuary system in the United States. There are opportunities for partnership between the Sea Lab and other natural areas in Aloe Bay to talk to the public about important marine issues and provide ecological education.

Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

ECO-TOURISM BOARDWALK Alabama boasts the fifth highest species diversity among the 50 states and the highest of all the states east of the Mississippi River. The beaches and dunes on Dauphin Island are attractive landscapes that drive the economic engine in this area. Aloe Bay is surrounded by wetlands, which is a type of habitat critical to sustaining the species diversity. Marshes are a special type of wetland that are usually treeless and predominantly covered by grasses and herbaceous plants. The marshes serve important ecological functions: they can slow down the surge of a storm and absorb excess nutrients that could harm wildlife. Marshes are home to a variety of wildlife species. Birds, fish and ducks rely on grassy marsh for nesting and food. This valuable ecosystem should be protected. A raised boardwalk allows people to enjoy the marsh areas with minimal impact. The boardwalk offers another way to connect the residents with the unique ecological environment. There are also opportunities to integrate educational signage along the way to raise awareness.

ALOE BAY ECO-TOURISM CENTER Another idea that emerged from the charrette is to create a center in the study area as the ‘home’ for eco-tourism activities on the island. This facility can provide visitors information about the indigenous landscape and ecology. The facility space can be small and intimate. There are also opportunities to partner with Dauphin Island Sea Lab to connect people to the Estuarium, and the myriad of eco-tourism activities in the island and south Mobile County region. Boardwalk precedents

Endangered bird species in Aloe Bay area include red knot, reddish egret and piping plover. Aloe Bay is located on the Mississippi flyway path of migrating birds

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

PROPOSED BOARDWALK A boardwalk has been proposed in the current natural area to the west of Le Moyne Drive adjacent to the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo site. The planning design for this facility is still in progress. El Dorado Avenue is the main entrance to this area. The road is extended to connect to the proposed parking area. A continuous boardwalk path is proposed throughout the site. The path to the west is meandering and ends at the southwest tip of the land. The boardwalk to the south follows a straight line connecting to the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo site and further to the Town Center.

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Proposed boardwalk and water connection

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Proposed parking area

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Proposed boardwalk

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Proposed sidewalk trail connecting boardwalk to Aloe Bay and other areas of town

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION Climate change has been associated with sea level rise and posed potential risks for flooding and structural damages. Sea level rise (SLR) has been a persistent trend observed globally for over a century. Experts refer to SLR as a slow-moving coastal hazard event. Modeling sealevel rise and storm surge dynamics can better inform the placement and protection of critical infrastructure. Coastal wetlands can act as a buffer to storm surge. Protecting and understanding the ability of existing wetlands is an important factor to consider. One common strategy to address anticipated climate risks and subsequent stormwater flooding is to elevate the ground level of a residential or commercial building in areas vulnerable to sea-level rise. There are many strategies of many strategies to minimize the impacts of future conditions such as building elevation and smart use of open spaces.

Resiliency

Resiliency is “the ability to bounce back after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding - rather than simply reacting to impacts” (NOAA)

Future Storm Surge Alabama Coastal Comprehensive Plan: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index. html?appid=470487519df24b9ebb08f89084d6cead

As part of this broader plan developed by the State of Alabama, three flood scenarios of the 50, 100, and 500year event, sometimes known as the 2%, 1%, and 0.2% annual chance events, were modeled under 0.5 m (1.6 Consideration of SLR has been part of the on-going ft) and 1 m (3.3 ft) of sea-level rise. This project used a discussions in Aloe Bay. As the project transitions from static modeling approach, meaning they did not model any conceptual planning toward implementation, decisions on changes in the shoreline, only raised the water level before specific sea level rise considerations will be made based on running the surge modeling. consultation with the Town.

IMPACTS AND INFLUENCES FROM SEA LEVEL RISE In the past 55 years, sea levels around Dauphin Island have risen over 8 inches. The primary concern with rising seas is it exacerbates coastal hazards such as increased erosion rates, greater amounts of storm surge, and more frequent flooding from rainfall. As a coastal community, Dauphin Island has adapted to these hazards; however, it is critical the changes in these hazards be considered in future design to minimize costly economic, cultural, and ecological damages.

UNDERSTANDING FUTURE CONDITIONS There are several existing datasets that can be used to understand how these hazards are likely to change with rising seas and the impact on Aloe Bay.

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Coastal Dynamics of Sea-Level Rise Storm Surge Simulations: http://www.gomsurge.org As part of this NOAA-funded research study, flood scenarios of the 100 and 500-year event, sometimes known as the 1% and 0.2% annual chance flood events, were modeled under 0.7, 1.6, 3.9, and 6.5 ft of sea-level rise. This project used a dynamic modeling approach, meaning they explored how the shoreline would respond to sea-level rise in addition to raising the water level and running the surge modeling. Future High Tide NOAA Sea-Level Rise Viewer: https://coast.noaa.gov/slr/ Currently, there is a lack of detailed data or modeling around how rainwater, or stormwater, flooding will change with rising seas on Dauphin Island. We know that as sea levels rise, the ability of the island to drain rainwater is


Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

decreasing and will continue to do so in the future, but UNCERTAINTY how much and exactly where has not been quantified. This We know seas are rising; however, the amount they will is an area where additional modeling and research could rise is still uncertain. As discussed, it is important the Aloe inform planning and design of future projects. Bay projects and development consider rising seas. Current best practices from across the U.S. recommend using a risk-tolerance approach as a practical approach for dealing PLANNING FOR FUTURE CONDITIONS with the uncertainty. Previous engagement with town There are many ways to consider future conditions in leadership, residents, and property owners indicated that planning and design that span a range of approaches from for these types of efforts there is a moderate amount of how things are built to integrating natural protections. risk tolerance on the island around this issue. Stakeholders For example, because coastal wetlands can act as a buffer did not want to plan for the best case or the worst case to storm surge and absorb floodwaters, protecting and scenario, but something that was in the middle. This would enhancing wetlands is an important approach. Another is translate to using intermediate scenarios of sea-level rise low-impact development, which fosters good stormwater based on the projections that came out in 2017, as seen in management (see Best Practices further in this chapter for the figure and table below. This aligns well with the uses more details). One common strategy to address anticipated outlined for the Aloe Bay project and tracks those same sea-level rise risks and subsequent flooding is to elevate best practices. the finished first floor elevation of a building in vulnerable Another important aspect of addressing the uncertainty areas. The building code does regulate the construction of sea-level rise is to revisit how much sea-level rise to of structures to maximize their capacity to withstand flooding. The lowest floor of a structure must be raised to account for as the science continues to update and we or above the base flood elevation. Dauphin Island includes observe how much seas continue to rise. The National an additional two feet of freeboard (or additional elevation Climate Assessment is mandated by the U.S. Congress to above the current floodplain) to accommodate rising seas. update every four years - this includes updating the sealevel rise scenarios and their probabilities. The scenarios This has the added benefit of keeping insurance rates for here will update later in 2021 and we recommend individuals and businesses lower even as flood maps and including those in the next phases of planning and insurance regulations are updated. implementation.

Showing potential amounts of sea-level rise for Dauphin Island, AL based on the NOAA 2017 projections.

Not all scenarios are equally as likely to occur. Depending on future carbon emissions, different amounts of rise could be more or less likely. This information can be used to assess risk tolerance for specific projects and determine how much sea-level rise to plan for.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

BREAKWATER BENEFITS OF BREAKWATER Breakwaters are erosion-control structures built along or parallel to the shoreline that protect the land from the full force of incoming waves. Early types of breakwater structures were formed by depositing large stone rubble large enough to resist storm wave forces that could disrupt or flatten the mounds. The oldest breakwater was built in the 1st century A.D., during the era of the Roman emperor Trajan. It is a rubble mound breakwater located in Civitavecchia, Italy and is still withstanding today. Two common breakwater types are floating breakwater and caisson breakwater. Floating breakwaters are deck-like structures that “float” above the water. They work best in areas with shallow 6ft waves and soil that cannot support the weight of fixed breakwater rubble mounds. Floating breakwaters do not interfere with fish migration, water flow, or natural sedimentation. Because they are easily

moved and rearranged floating breakwaters, they can become dangerous during strong storms with large waves. Caisson breakwaters introduce concrete elements, such as blocks, vertical walls, and dams. They have become more commonplace in countries where massive rocks are not easily obtainable. Both rubble and caisson fixed breakwaters could provide aquatic habitats and protect from high and fast-moving waves. Stone or rubble dislocated by storm waves can be easily repaired without having to replace the entire structure. Aloe Bay has a history as a place to fish, hunt and gather oysters and other shellfish that grew in profusion in Dauphin Island. Traces of their presence can still be seen today. Breakwaters provide the opportunity to increase ecological diversity through hard structured habitats that function like the oyster reefs, fish, and shellfish habitat historically found in this area.

ADDITIONAL BREAKWATER OPPORTUNITIES TO PROTECT THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT AND ECOTOURISM SITE.

Existing Conditions

Proposed Illustrative Plan for breakwater

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

BREAKWATER CASE STUDIES There are numerous successful applications of breakwater structures around the world. Some project experiments with engineering enhanced habitats for marine life. Others

have integrated a public space component into the design and have made the breakwater an attraction and amenity for the community.

Pier 26, Tribeca, New York

Pier 26, Tribeca, New York

Fishermen’s huts, Cangas do Morrazo, Spain

Abu Dhabi Breakwater

Rockland Breakwater Trail, Maine

Rockland Breakwater Trail, Maine

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

BEST PRACTICES

Low Impact Development INTRODUCTION TO LID

Low Impact Development (LID), or green infrastrucutre, is a sustainable approach to stormwater management that utilizes landscape to retain stormwater on site and reduce runoff volumes through infiltration into underlying soils and evapotranspiration via plants to limit nuisance flooding and demand on drainage infrastructure. The goal of LID is to restore the stormwater flow pattern on a site to a state similar to the pre-development condition. Many LID practices are creative applications of conventional Best Management Practices (BMP). Common LID practices include bioretention, bioswales, permeable pavement, cisterns, green roofs, and constructed stormwater wetlands.

REFERENCE The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published several guides to LID describeing the methods developed and implemented throughout the US. There are also numerous research and documentations from professional organizations, academic projects and nonprofit groups. The tools presented here are not meant to be all inclusive but to show the typical common devices applied in low impact development.

SITE CONSTRAINTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Coastal environments typically have sandier underlying soils, which is great for promoting infiltration and runoff reduction. However, these areas sometimes have shallower water tables. A shallow water table negatively impacts infiltration rates. Typical design recommendations are to allow at least one (1) or two (2) feet of separation between the bottom elevation of the infiltrating surface and seasonally-high water table. Due to a shallower vertical profile, permeable pavement can be implemented when the water table is closer to the surface than bioretention systems. The figure below provides a summary of groundwater table depths based on Geotechnical exploration of this site and potential suitability for bioretention and permeable pavement systems. Based on soil borings, the soil texture in these areas was “sand” and “sand to silty sand” which is ideal for infiltration-based stormwater management practices.

~2 ft

~4 ft

~6 ft GW Depth Bioretention (ft)

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Permeable Pavement

2

None

None

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None

Potential

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Potential

Suitable

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Suitable

Suitable

~3 ft

Approx. water table depth


Aloe Bay Master Plan Resilience

SOURCE: ORIGIN OF RUNOFF PARKING AREA

HARDSCAPE

STRUCTURE RUNOFF

LANDSCAPE AREA

ROOFTOPS

METHOD: STORMWATER TREATMENT THROUGH LID FILTER

Created by sachin modgekar from the Noun Project

INFILTRATE

Created by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project

EVAPOTRANSPIRATION

Created by Shocho from the Noun Project

CONVEY

Created by Iconika from the Noun Project

STORE/REUSE

Created by iconcheese

Created by Mohammedfrom Rabiul Alam the Noun Project from the Noun Project

TOOLS: MANAGEMENT DEVICES GREEN STREET

VEGETATED SWALE

BIORETENTION

PERMEABLE PAVEMENT

CONSTRUCTED WETLAND

TREE PLANTING

INFILTRATION AREA

GREEN ROOF

RAIN HARVESTING

APPROPRIATE DESIGN

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8.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

Mobility

This chapter explores the overall vision for mobility in and around Aloe Bay, with the goal of creating a walkable town center connected to the rest of Dauphin Island.

MOBILITY SNAPSHOT ENHANCING ISLAND MOBILITY WALKABILITY BIKEABILITY PARKING APPROACHING ALOE BAY A GATEWAY AND FRONT DOOR

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

MOBILITY SNAPSHOT When asked during the charrette to describe in one word what their envisioned future of Aloe Bay entails, participants commonly mentioned “Accessible” and “Walkable.” Traveling to Dauphin Island requires a trip along Alabama Highway 193, the only roadway onto the island. Crossing the Dauphin Island Bridge (Gordon Persons Bridge) from the mainland of south Mobile County across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, “one begins to breathe easier.” Once on the island, Highway 193 becomes Le Moyne Drive and serves as the commercial gateway to the island. No longer are you in high speed mode, cruising over the expansive bay, but you have now arrived – things slow down. Bienville Boulevard is the main road on the island, running six miles east to west along the length of the developed portion of the island. Shared-use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists currently exist along Bienville Boulevard and Le Moyne Drive, providing connectivity between neighborhoods and across the island. A slowing down of pace and speed is not only a figurative feeling while on the island, but should be reflected with a transformation of the streets in Aloe Bay Town Center to create comfortable and safe places for walking and biking, as well as the vibrant “main street” for the island. De Soto Avenue becomes Aloe Bay’s “main Street.” Wide sidewalks are lined with shopfronts. The strips of gravel and crushed shell become light-imprint locations for head-in parking and street trees.

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AN INTRODUCTION TO STREET DESIGN Streets can be beautiful places. Buildings and street trees give the space a sense of enclosure while proper proportions and details create a comfortable environment. Streets are also for mobility, providing a right-of-way to travel to where we are going, and in the case of Aloe Bay, this includes getting boats to the new boat ramp. In walkable neighborhoods, including successful town centers, streets must provide a mix of mobility and placemaking. They need to be great addresses and provide access to businesses and residences. They must also be spaces for socializing, commerce, dining, gathering, vending, and celebrating. Streets play a large role in shaping the physical character of a community and the perceptions and memories people have of it. The design of Aloe Bay’s streets, such as the inclusion or lack of sidewalks and street trees, along with how adjacent buildings relate to the street, will help determine if the main street becomes a place where people want to linger and spend time or just pass through on the way to someplace else.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

STREETS IN ALOE BAY TOWN CENTER De Soto Avenue De Soto Avenue today is a narrow two-lane street with wide unpaved areas on either side for parking. As Aloe Bay becomes the town center for Dauphin Island, this street will transform into Dauphin Island’s main street. Blending some new formality of comfortable sidewalks, street trees, and more organized parking with the existing coastal charm and low-impact impervious coastal materials will help create a street unique to Dauphin Island. Le Moyne Drive Le Moyne Drive is the island side of Alabama Highway 193. Its design should welcome those arriving to the island after the long stretch of highway across the bay. The wide right-of-way offers ample room for shared-use paths of generous width on both sides of the street. Street trees should help encourage slower speeds by entering the field of vision of drivers, provide much needed shade for those walking or biking along adjacent shared-use paths or sidewalks, and create a buffer between cars and pedestrians. Neighborhood Streets The surrounding neighborhood streets, such as Levert Street, Lackland Street, Chaumont Avenue, and Cadillac Avenue can also evolve as the town center emerges. Their wide existing right-of-ways can accommodate on-street parking, sidewalks, and green infrastructure. Chaumont Avenue and Lackland Street are two key corridors connecting Aloe Bay to the rest of the community. Lackland Street connects Aloe Bay to Bienville Blvd and its shared-use path along with the Dauphin Island Town Hall and Little Red Schoolhouse. This connection should be strengthened with a new shared-use path connecting the one on Bienville Boulevard to De Soto Avenue.

A GREAT MAIN STREET REQUIRES A LOW DESIGN SPEED

Another important aspect of walkability and public safety involves reduced traffic speeds and the use of traffic calming devices. The speed of vehicles is a critical component of pedestrian safety and comfort. A pedestrian involved in a collision with a vehicle has a 95% chance of survival if the car is traveling at 20 miles per hour; there is a 10% chance of pedestrian survival if the car is traveling at 40 miles per hour. Pedestrian-friendly speeds are typically 20-25 miles per hour and are no more than 30 miles per hour. Furthermore, many of the key design criteria for streets that are safe and comfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as for streets that are beautiful, such as lane widths, tree placement, and curb radii, are dimensions stipulated in the design manuals as factors of speed. With slower speeds, acceptable lane widths decrease and the space between street trees and the curb are reduced. Designing for slower speeds is critical for creating streets that actually encourage motorists to travel at lower speeds rather than relying on signage and posted speed limits alone. The geometry of the street has a much greater effect on motorist behavior.

Above are two examples of how De Soto Avenue could be configured to support the Aloe Bay town center. Both profiles include street trees, wide sidewalks separated by vertical curb, and on street parking.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

ENHANCING ISLAND MOBILITY While the Aloe Bay Town Center and its planning area are only a small portion of Dauphin Island, planning for mobility within, to, and from the town center requires thinking about a larger scale. Mobility systems consist of many interrelated parts which must be considered holistically. Within the town center, the streets must be designed for people, as a place to be. Access must be provided to the shops, waterfront businesses, and boat ramp. Parking will also need to be provided for cars, bikes, and golf carts. To limit congestion and the need for excessive parking, safe and comfortable ways for people to get to Aloe Bay Town Center without driving must also be provided.

PROPOSED MOBILITY IMPROVEMENTS FOR ALOE BAY TOWN CENTER The following concepts and strategies are recommended to help implement the vision for the Aloe Bay Town Center as created during the public design charrette.

1

MAIN STREET De Soto Avenue becomes Aloe Bay’s “main street” lined with shops and parks. Designed for slow speeds, it is easy to cross as a pedestrian, to bike on, and park along. It becomes a place where people want to be.

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A TREE LINED BOULEVARD

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Dauphin Island has shared-use paths along the south side of Bienville Boulevard and east side of Le Moyne Drive. These paths provide a scenic and comfortable way to travel the island.

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WELCOMING FRONT DOOR A roundabout at the intersection of Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Ave signals arrival to Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island from Alabama Highway 193, slowing down traffic and providing places for pedestrians and cyclists to cross.

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CONNECT CHAUMONT AVE Chaumont Avenue is extended from La Vente Street to Le Moyne Drive, completing the street network in Aloe Bay and providing additional access to the town center, reducing the need to drive on De Soto Avenue.

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EXPAND SHARED-USE PATHS The shared-use path network can be extended to connect Aloe Bay to the rest of Dauphin Island. A new path on the west side of Le Moyne Drive and Alabama Highway 193 can provide direct access to the future nature park north of Aloe Bay and south to the commercial node at the intersection with Bienville Boulevard. New shared-use paths along Lackland Street can provide another direct connection from the path along Bienville Boulevard, in addition to the island’s government center. Special attention must be placed on the design of the intersections of the shared-use paths with Bienville Boulevard to provide safe crossings.

Le Moyne Drive is re-imagined as a green, tree lined boulevard framing views towards the Dauphin Island water tower. During peak periods, one lane could be used for parking.

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EXISTING SHARED-USE PATHS

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GATEWAY Gateway improvements should be considered after the Highwya 193 bridge (just off this map) to enhance the arrival sequence to the island, screen water/sewer treatment facility, and buffer uses considered less visually compatible to the Town Center.


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Aloe Bay Master Plan

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WATER TREATMENT

A OR

DO

Mobility

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HUDSON BAY

FUTURE PARK IMPROVEMENT

Lot Lines New Building

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New Open Pavilions

YN R ED

Existing Building Alleys & Parking Blocks

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Streets Boardwalk Primary Parks

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Secondary Open Space

INDIAN BAY

Water Multi-use Path Trees/Landscape 0

500’

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Scale: 1” = 1,000’

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WEST END

ALOE BAY LANDING

ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO

DE SOTO DR

ALOE BAY

FISHING VILLAGE

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DE SOTO AVE

KEY ST

LE MOYNE DR

LACKLAND ST

LEVERT ST

ALABAMA POWER SUB STATION

CHAUMONT AVE

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GREEN PARK

6 CADILLAC AVE

2 BIENVILLE BLVD

5 ALABAMA AVE

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WALKABILITY COMPLETE STREETS “Complete Streets” is a concept for streets designed to enable safe access and mobility for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Where gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian networks exist, effective and safe circulation is hindered.

SIDEWALKS Wide and continuous sidewalks allow for active, safe, and healthy lifestyles. Properly-designed pedestrian networks accommodate persons with disabilities, the elderly, and children. For walking to become a regular, acceptable, and dignified means of transportation in Aloe Bay, all streets should include sidewalks or other types of walkways.

with street trees that have shade-providing canopies or covered with galleries and arcades. The street trees should be planted between the sidewalk and edge of pavement to provide a buffer between traffic and pedestrians. All sidewalks should have a minimum clear zone of six feet, which should be wider along busy shopping or entertainment destinations. The Adopted Dauphin Island Comprehensive Plan states local residential streets are not needed due to minimal traffic – where the different modes can mix on the street. As the Aloe Bay develops, separate spaces for walking will likely be necessary along key streets within the town center.

A comprehensive sidewalk plan should be implemented to prioritize sidewalk investments in the town center and Sidewalks must also be comfortable places to make walking ensure those investments result in a connected network. an inviting means of getting around. They should be lined

Frontage Zone

Clear Path

This is the space between the building façade or property line and the clear path. This space supplements the buildings’ activities and provides a buffer between pedestrians, building appurtenances, and opening doors. It is the location for seating, signs, retail displays, and landscaping.

This is the portion of the sidewalk dedicated to pedestrian travel. It must be accessible and free of physical obstructions to allow for the movement of people. It should be welllit and functional.

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Furnishing/Landscape Zone This space serves many functions. Its primary purpose is to separate the clear path from motorists and provide a location for street furniture and landscaping. This may include street trees, benches, storm water elements, lighting, transit stops, bike racks, and signage, to name a few.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

Sidewalk Toolkit

A special focus should be placed on the design of main street sidewalks, both as a corridor for traveling and as a place for socializing, shopping, and relaxing.

1. STREET TREES & LANDSCAPING Street trees and landscaping provide many natural, physical, and psychological benefits. They add shade in the summer, help shape the street, add character, and provide an opportunity for green stormwater infrastructure.

2. SIDEWALK WIDTH

Street trees and light imprint parking

Sidewalks provide a space for people to travel, gather, relax, meet, and connect with others. Ample room should be provided for people to window shop, relax on a bench, walk side-by-side, and sit outside at a cafe.

3. STREET FURNITURE Public seating should be available for people to rest, linger, and watch the world go by. Private café seating can accompany adjacent businesses and add to the vibrancy of the street. Other amenities should include recycling and waste receptacles and bike racks.

Wide sidewalks accommodate a variety of uses

4. LIGHTING Lighting serves both safety and aesthetic purposes. It should be pedestrianscaled and create a feeling of comfort without being overly bright and contributing to excess light pollution.

5. ACTIVE GROUND FLOORS

Pedestrian-scale lighting

The relationship between a building façade and the sidewalk is critical to creating a comfortable and inviting place. Building entrances should be frequent and the street-level façade designed to be human-scaled, transparent, and interesting to people traveling at a walking pace. 105


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

BIKEABILITY Safe and convenient bicycle facilities connecting Aloe Bay Town Center to the rest of Dauphin Island can offer an enjoyable way to travel and reduce the demand for parking. PLANNING FOR BICYCLISTS Bicycle and pedestrian trails, also known as shared-use paths when the two are together, can be a critical piece of Dauphin Island’s transportation network and for creating connections to Aloe Bay. A shared-use path network can help reduce the number of car trips on the island and allow people to more conveniently access Aloe Bay without needing to drive and find a parking space, helping to reduce the demand for car parking in the town center. Convenient access to shared-use paths also has health implications for nearby residents with research showing those living near shared-use paths tend to exercise more than those living further away. Shared-use paths also provide a way to escape from the home, to experience the outdoors and the wonderful natural environment of Dauphin Island. Expanding Dauphin Island’s Bicycle Network to Aloe Bay The existing shared-use path network on Dauphin Island is a great framework to expand upon to increase access to Aloe Bay Town Center. The Comprehensive

Plan recommends shared-use paths along both sides of Le Moyne Drive and crossings at De Soto Avenue and Bienville Boulevard. These improvements, plus shareduse paths along Lackland Street and refined designs of all intersections that have shared-use path crossings, would go a long way in supporting bicycling as a form of recreation and transportation. To grow the network and ability to travel around Dauphin Island safely on two-wheels, a bicycle network plan should be developed, including a detailed map and design for priority shared-use path connections. For walking and biking to be safe and comfortable, shared-use paths should generally be 12 feet wide, where possible, and no less than 8 feet. In areas of higher use, wider shared-use paths are recommended. Safety and comfort along the shared-use paths should also be improved through the addition of pedestrian-scaled lighting and the planting of native shade trees. Trail-Oriented Development A somewhat recent phenomenon across the country is new homes and businesses fronting and focusing along shared-use paths, or trails, something called trail-oriented development. This is occurring in small

Example of Trail-Oriented Development along the West Orange Trail, Winter Garden, FL

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

towns, such as Winter Garden, Florida, medium sized cities including Madison, Wisconsin, and large cities like Atlanta. Businesses and residences in locations like these place a building frontage along the trail with the trail as the primary access and driving economic force for the development. The trail is the focal element of these developments, in which buildings engage the trail as they would a walkable street with shopfronts and residential entrances.

the town center to this network of shared-use paths and become a “bike friendly” place to be. Scenic walking and biking paths throughout Dauphin Island and its natural areas can be a destination themselves. Bicycle Parking

For bicycling to be a convenient way of getting to Aloe Bay Town Center from the rest of the island, it is important people have a place to safely park their bike once they arrive at Aloe Bay. Ample bicycle parking should be Shared-use paths and trails in neighboring Florida have provided, including sheltered long-term parking for seen renewed vibrancy and economic activity in areas of residents and workers and both public and private parking. cities that embrace the trails. Dunedin, Winter Garden, and To ensure ample secure and convenient bicycle parking, Iverness are just a few examples of towns re-enlivened in bicycle parking regulations identifying the minimum large part due to focusing on their trail network as a quality amount and type of parking should be required in any of life and mobility asset. redevelopment agreement or zoning for the town center. As a growing destination for eco-tourism based on its highquality natural amenities, Dauphin Island would do well to connect Aloe Bay and the future nature park north of

Two-Way Cycle Track Two-way cycle tracks are physically separated cycle tracks that allow bicycle travel in both directions on one side of the road. They can be designed as a protected cycle track, at the street level with a parking lane or other barriers between bikes and vehicles, or as a raised cycle track with the track separated vertically from the roadway. The benefits of a two-way cycle track are that they are attractive to a wide range of cyclists, they reduce the risk and fear of collisions, they allow for contra-flow bike travel on one-way streets, and they can have lower implementation costs. They work best on streets with fewer driveways and cross-streets on one side. Shared-Use Path Shared-use paths are a type of trail designed to provide off-road routes for many different users including cyclists, runners, pedestrians, and manual or motorized wheelchair users. While similar to other recreational trails, these paths are part of a larger transportation system and serve as a supplement to on-street bike lanes, shared roads, and paved shoulders.

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PARKING Parking at Aloe Bay and on Dauphin Island in general is a concern for those living on and visiting the island. This is especially true during the island’s large events and peak holiday seasons. As Aloe Bay transitions into a more vibrant center and the ideas in this document begin to materialize, parking will likely become an increasingly important topic. While parking may seem like a simple issue, its impacts have far reaching effects on the ability of Aloe Bay to become the vibrant center envisioned.

PARKING MANAGEMENT Parking management is a set of programs and regulations that affect the supply, demand, location and price of parking. Parking is currently managed through the Town’s zoning ordinance, which requires businesses to provide on-site parking. Properly managed, the parking system can support economic vitality and make neighborhoods and business districts more livable.

WHAT THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN SAYS ABOUT PARKING: The Dauphin Island Comprehensive Plan recognizes the need for parking alternatives and recommends the creation of two or three small, low impact shared parking facilities.

RECOMMENDED PARKING STRATEGIES The first step to reducing excessive, inefficient, and unattractive surface parking in prime town center locations is to address the root cause: reducing the need for and amount of un-managed surface parking. This can be done by encouraging more people to walk, bike, ride transit, or a take a golf cart instead of driving to Aloe Bay. Several strategies to improve walkability and bikeability are described across this plan, and are necessary steps towards an attractive and vibrant town center. The second step is to address the supply of parking in Aloe Bay with the goal of creating a vibrant mixed-use center supporting the creation of a “park once” environment. In such a place, many trips require only one parking space. The following strategies offer solutions for town center parking at Aloe Bay.

1

REVIEW PARKING REGULATIONS

3

Review and modify, if needed, existing parking regulations to support the town center vision as described in this master plan document and to allow the recommended parking strategies.

2

CENTRALIZED SHARED PARKING Create two or three small, low impact shared parking facilities in locations further from the waterfront. Requiring all parking on-site will consume waterfront areas that could serve much better functions than storing cars. During peak season or large events, shared parking facilities located further from Aloe Bay could help meet the demand for parking. These locations should also function as mobility hubs, served with multiple options for traveling to Aloe Bay, such as bikeshare or perhaps a trolley.

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FEE-IN-LIEU PROGRAM New development will require parking. Instead of requiring all parking to be provided on-site, a fee-in-lieu program can be utilized to support the creation of shared public parking facilities.

4

PROVIDE ON-STREET PARKING On-street parking can add much-needed parking spaces which could count toward parking requirements if regulations allow. Head-in parking on De Soto Avenue can maximize the number of spaces provided and could work with the street’s slow travel speed. Other streets in Aloe Bay also have wide right-of-ways that could accommodate parallel parking on light imprint surfaces.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

5

UTILIZE THE SPACE UNDERNEATH BUILDINGS

8

Parking spaces nearest town center destinations can more likely benefit businesses when they are available to visitors and patrons. Employees of these businesses might also need a place to park while at work, but by occupying the most proximate spaces, turnover rates are low during the day and spaces are not as available for customers. Policies and programs to provide designated parking for employees can ensure there is adequate parking for both patrons and employees.

All buildings in Aloe Bay will need to be elevated to meet flood regulations. Some of the resulting space could be used for on-site parking. These areas could serve as ADA accessible parking or resident parking.

6

IMPROVE PARKING AND MOBILITY WAYFINDING Consistent and clear signage and wayfinding can help direct visitors to areas where parking is available.

7

RESTRICT NEIGHBORHOOD PARKING Restrict on-street parking and truck / trailer parking for visitors in neighborhoods surrounding Aloe Bay to protect the residential character. Clearly differentiate through-street design where on-street public parking is permitted and where it is not.

EMPLOYEE PARKING

9

PARKING FOR OTHER VEHICLES As mentioned earlier, ensuring ample, secure, and convenient bicycle parking is a critical step for encouraging bike use. Similarly, space should be provided for golf cart parking. Golf carts are a popular mode of transportation on the island and take up less space to park than a car or truck.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

EXISTING PARKING CONDITIONS

PARKING ANALYSIS Understanding the potential pool for parking within the Town Center area is a key first step in determining the best strategy for implementing parking recommendations. The map below illustrates the potential parking pool of over 1,200 spaces including surface, on-street, and even potential Public Private Partnerships (P3) overflow parking. The parking assumptions are provided as conservative maximums, meaning inefficiencies for service, access, etc. have been accommodated. All parking within the planning area would be within a 5-minute pedestrian walk shed of the Town Center.

Parking Provided

Ordinance Required1

Market Demand Parking2

Not Assessed

187

193

1 Based upon application of Zoning Orindance requirements to the existing uses. 2 Based upon industry parking ratio standards defined by ITE and ULI applied to existing uses.

Sources: GMC

PARKING CONDITIONS BASED ON POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The table to the right depicts the anticipated parking Parking Ordinance Market Demand 1 2 break down by proposed use. It also provides some Assumption Required Parking3 considerations related to the Town’s ordinance requirement 1,200+ 1,216 939 versus what the market (bank lenders) may demand based on typical parking standards (see Institute of Transportation 1Developed as conservative maximum including estimates for Engineers or Urban Land Institute). It should be noted that inefficiencies such as service, access, etc. 2 Based upon application of Zoning Ordinance requirements to utilizing the previously mentioned recommendations, and the potential development program uses. mobility options such as walking and biking, could help 3 Based upon industry parking ratio standards defined by ITE reduce overall demand for on-site parking. Developing a and ULI applied to potential development program uses. Sources: GMC shared parking policy between uses would also assist the town with lowering parking demands required by ordinance and thereby reduce the spatial pressure and challenges that parking typically presents to urban areas. ILLUSTRATIVE LEGEND Planning Area Potential Parking Area (Town Owned)

150**

Potential Parking Area (Partnership) Potential Parking Area (Future Development) On-Street Parking

152

**potential overflow parking assuming P3 agreement with town

Potential Parking Spaces

170

170

75

140

ON STREET

150 100

110

85 150

50


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

A GATEWAY AND A DOORWAY Special consideration should be given to arrival on Dauphin Island from the Highway 193 bridge and leading up to the main intersection of Town Center at Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue. This area acts as the gateway and front door entry experience to the island. In this case, this stretch of road and intersection needs to provide a fresh and welcoming arrival experience to the community and visitors while also managing traffic. One of the safest ways to manage traffic flow without the use of a traffic signal is through a roundabout.

MODERN ROUNDABOUTS A modern roundabout accommodates traffic flow and capacity while allowing safer conditions for pedestrians. Walkability at a roundabout is increased because traffic speeds are lower as vehicles approach and exit the roundabout, and pedestrians have fewer lanes of traffic to cross at one time. Roundabouts can provide a distinct sense of place because of their unique design and opportunities for urban design. A sculpture, fountain, or tree can be placed in the center of the roundabout, although care must be taken to preserve adequate sightlines.

The use of truck aprons can allow roundabouts to accommodate large trucks (WB-65) or vehicles towing trailers. Pedestrians Roundabouts are designed to achieve a consistent, low vehicle speed (15 to 25 mph) to minimize crash potential. When traffic volumes are light, many gaps are available for pedestrian crossing. When vehicle volumes are high, more vehicles pause at the yield line, allowing pedestrians to cross safely behind the first vehicle. The pedestrian crosswalk should occur one car length back (approximately 20 feet) from the yield line to place the pedestrian safely in view of the second waiting vehicle’s driver. Bicyclists Entering and circulating at 25 mph or less, automobiles can easily share space with bicycles traveling through a roundabout. To traverse the roundabout, the cyclist simply travels through in the vehicle lane just like an automobile. Cyclists who are uncomfortable sharing the road with automobiles may, alternatively, use the sidewalk system as if a pedestrian.

APPROACHING DAUPHIN ISLAND [GATEWAY]

The Le Moyne Drive gateway can be enhanced with pedestrian and bike facilities, trees and landscape, art on blank walls and surfaces, heavy screening of water treatment facilities, and infill development. 112


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

APPROACHING THE TOWN CENTER [FRONT DOOR]

rive yne D Le Mo

Looking south towards Dauphin Island, the approach to Aloe Bay along Le Moyne Drive can be enhanced with rows of regularly spaced street trees and complete street amenities (sidewalks, furnishings, landscape, etc.). 113


Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

Drive Le Moyne

3

2

De

So

to

1

Av en

ue

A Welcoming Gateway: A roundabout at the intersection of Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue signals arrival to Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island while also indicating to drivers to slow down to island speed.

De Soto Avenue 2

3

Le

M

oy n

eD

riv e

The gateway design allows for safer pedestrian and cyclist crossings. The center of the roundabout provides a location to showcase a civic art feature.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Mobility

De

So

to

Av en

ue

e Drive

Le Moyn

Existing conditions at the intersection of De Soto Avenue and Le Moyne Drive

1

Street trees and shared-use paths line both sides of Le Moyne Drive and continue north along Alabama Highway 193.

2

A roundabout at the intersection of Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue can slow traffic, provide a location for a welcoming focal feature, and safely manage greater volumes of traffic without the need for a traffic signal.

3

With the new community center at the southeast corner of this intersection, being able to safely and easily cross Le Moyne Drive along De Soto Avenue becomes even more important. This design provides safe ways to cross each leg of the intersection.

115


9.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Implementation

Implementation

This chapter looks at how to implement the Big Ideas and project ideas of the Aloe Bay Master Plan and how to maintain public engagement throughout the process.

BIG IDEA IMPLEMENTATION

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Implementation

Big Idea

SEEK A BALANCE BETWEEN CULTURE, COMMUNITY, COMMERCE, AND NATURE Dauphin Island will become “the place to be” with the new design of Aloe Bay’s Town center. It will be a destination place which can be reached by the mainland or through its waterways, becoming a welcoming place to enjoy seafood, shopping, beach days, and play dates with the children. If implemented according to the Master Plan, Aloe Bay will have balance between culture, community, commerce, and nature. The new plazas and public spaces allow gathering areas to celebrate the culture in Aloe Bay with special events and festivals. Art exhibitions by local artists in the new galleries on De Soto Avenue will reflect on the vibrant culture Aloe Bay has to offer. From open air market to restaurants with live music, the culture of Dauphin Island will be recognizable through every activity and space. There is nothing like the feeling of a small town, and what makes Aloe Bay a charming place is the sense of place that exists. New developments would not take away from that but rather encourage spaces and activities to steward this trait. The new Community Center will benefit from an adjacent location to the Town Center. Aloe Bay will become the place to run into your old neighbor and friends while walking along the boardwalk, and build new friendships at the restaurants and shops. The Town will have many beautiful places for whenever visitors desire a weekend getaway or residents plan a Sunday brunch with friends. Space for local shops will add to the balanced authentic community that Aloe Bay seeks to include. Providing areas for local commerce will ensure the place stays a close knit community, while enhancing the local economy. From fishing to boutiques, Aloe Bay will offer many a variety of commercial activities from which to choose. This commerce will help support Town revenue streams which will help fund cultural events and spaces, as well as infrastructure improvements to protect the natural environment of the Bay. Last, but not least, the natural ecology will make all things wrap together and contribute to the balanced town Dauphin Island longs to be. The Town owes much of its development and popularity to its natural charm, including the variety of flora, fauna, and landscapes found in the area. It is the Town’s duty to not only respect the environment but protect it and maintain it, educating locals and visitors on how to do so and maximizing areas in which these traits can be appreciated.

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Implementation

CULTURAL PROJECT IDEAS:

COMMUNITY PROJECT IDEAS:

• Art galleries

• Fish Market

• Special events and festivals

• Public plazas and parks

• Wayfinding and banners to create a unique identity

NATURE PROJECT IDEAS:

COMMERCE PROJECT IDEAS:

• Eco-tourism

• Mix of land uses

• Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center

• Working waterfront uses

• Nature boardwalk

• Flexible/maker spaces for small businesses to develop

• Kayak & boat rentals

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Aloe Bay Master Plan Implementation

IMPLEMENTATION A dream without a plan is just a wish. -Katherine Paterson This document is the result of an extensive engagement and planning process. The Town constituents, stakeholders, and many regional, cultural, and local influencers were provided opportunities to shape the plan. Every effort has been given to ensure the most critical ideas to the community are captured in this document. Just the same, there are so many things that a single plan cannot capture. There are matters of enforcement, governance, real estate, market, and community changes that must be considered into the future. However, for any plan to work, action must be taken. In this case, with the best of intentions for the future in mind, several actionable items have been provided here as a guide for implementation. They are:

1

APPROVE AND ACCOMMODATE

2

REFINE PLANNING & GOVERNANCE TOOLS

3

MANAGE THE PROJECT THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION

The plan was developed through an extensive public process in an attempt to achieve the highest level of “buy-in” from the community and Town leadership. In this case, it is safe for all to trust the plan is a reasonable guide into the future. It should be considered for approval formally by the Town Council, or at the very least, receive official acknowledgment by the Town and all jurisdictional authorities that may have control over the future development as the guide to the Aloe Bay Town Center project. Realizing governance, ordinance, and planning will remain outstanding for some time after the approval of this document, the Aloe Bay Town Center will best succeed when all reasonable accommodations are made by Town leadership, local jurisdictional authorities, and stakeholders to the extent practicable. The Aloe Bay Master Plan is a regulatory guide not a prescriptive ordinance. As such, it is expected inherent flexibility be observed regarding uses, plan organization, and community design to accommodate development proposals generally keeping with the Big 5 Ideas and the Master Plan. Based upon adoption of the Aloe Bay Master Plan, updates must be provided for the Town’s development regulations. This should include potential updates to the Working Waterfront and Central Business Zoning Districts as well as creating an Aloe Bay Overlay District. An Aloe Bay Overlay District could be a regulatory tool placed over the existing base zones, which identifies special provisions (i.e., density or height bonuses, architectural requirements, etc.) in addition to the underlying base zone. An overlay district can be used to guide development into consistency with the Master Plan related to recommended uses, flexibility, and growth of the Town Center and immediate areas. The overlay district could also include ‘Form-Based Code’ elements which foster predictable architecture and high-quality public spaces by regulating the physical form of development.

To ensure the successful development of Aloe Bay, it is recommended the Town employ a full time Development Director (or “Economic Development Director”) to oversee project management for the Aloe Bay project. This position, as an employee of the Town or as a contractor, could have responsibility for some or all of the following: developer recruitment and negotiations; Town-owned land sales; facility leases (including pavilions); concession agreements (e.g., for parking and/or marina operations); facilitation of cooperative agreements for the development and operation of an Eco-Tourism Center; facilitation and cooperative agreements for the development and operation of a Fish Market; coordination with development entities on business recruitment; coordination with development entities and planning commission on zoning, land use and master planning; coordination with existing entities on marketing, events, & tourism development. This position may have a “sunset” provision that draws down the position or transfers remaining responsibilities with a more limited role over time. It is assumed there would still be an operating budget in perpetuity allocated to support tourism development, events, oversight, collaborative efforts, etc., in support of the Town’s economic development and tax base.

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4

IMPLEMENT PHASING AND MAINTAIN MOMENTUM

5

CONTINUE TO DEFINE TOWN CENTER IDENTITY

6

CAPITALIZE ON REVENUE GENERATING ASSETS

7

EVALUATE NEED FOR FURTHER PLANNING ADJACENT TO ALOE BAY

8

EXPLORE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

As mentioned in the project introduction, elements of this plan will be executed in through RESTORE funding. The completion of this document concludes Phase I (of the active funding grant). Therefore, it is recommended Phase II (Design and Engineering), and III (Construction) using grant aid be executed to immediately begin leveraging site improvements for the public and to incentivize short and midterm phases of public and private development. To the extents practicable, action should be taken to implement all short term development with the highest priority. A secondary priority should be assumed for midterm and next term development. The prioritization of development outlined (Chapter 3) are goals intended to direct the project on a clear path. Phasing may remain fluid and flexible, responding to market realities while meeting the objectives of the Aloe Bay Town Center. Long term development should not be discounted as contributing in the event development proposals presented to the Town keep within the Town Center vision and meet or exceed revenue goals. It is strongly recommended future grants and public funds be leveraged to add momentum toward full build out of the plan; which ultimately provides the highest surety of revenue generation, cultural success, and economic resiliency.

As efforts begin for the development of Aloe Bay, it is inevitable decisions will be made related to the identity and character of the Town Center and the remainder of Dauphin Island. Two approaches should be considered: (1) allow ad-hoc development to contribute to or influence the “loose and laid back” character of the island; or, (2) develop more detailed regulations or guidances on wayfinding, aesthetics, and design control. Either of these approaches, or a hybrid of both, could be considered by the Town and a recognition of that consideration should be agreed upon by Town Council in the very near term.

Opportunities for revenue generation were discussed over the course of the project. Right of way leasing, metered public parking, boat docking, and temporary uses of public property are opportunities to create revenue for the Town, among others. Balancing the need for revenue opportunities with the hospitable character of the Island, it is highly recommended these be evaluated and action taken in the near term as they fit with the framework of the Town Center vision and future growth. In considering revenue opportunities, the Town may also consider recognizing Town residents by developing an incentives system (i.e., honoring ‘hurricane passes’ or a paid frequent user program) so as not to place the primary burden of public uses on town residents.

Through the planning process for Aloe Bay, several considerations were given to how adjacent neighborhoods, corridors, and Town functions could potentially evolve over time. A more dedicated long-range planning effort should occur for those adjacencies, especially as development efforts begin for Aloe Bay. Examples of these may include: The Village Neighborhood, Lackland Street Corridor, and Le Moyne Drive, but others may be identified by Town leadership or the Planning Commission. It is recommended these plans be in place before midterm phases begin.

Considering the Town has limited funds to develop the project in its entirety, citizens, staff, and leadership should remain open to working and forming relationships with public and private partners. There may also be opportunities to leverage property uses, responsibilities, amenities, access, and other assets without compromising ownership integrity. Town leadership and staff should carefully consider all proposals as to not create undue barriers for entry of private partners and developers who wish to join in the vision of Aloe Bay Town Center with Dauphin Island. 121


10.

Aloe Bay Master Plan Appendix

Appendix PHASE 1 - SHORT TERM IMPLEMENTATION ALOE BAY MARKET ANALYSIS STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS

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PHASE 1 - SHORT TERM IMPLEMENTATION The following projects are recommended as Phase 1 (Short Term Phase) Public Element projects from Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan. It is anticipated projects will be funded under the current Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE ACT) funding. Projects below are not listed in a prioritized order and are expected to be designed and implemented based upon a typical project delivery method. Project

Project Extents

General Project Comments1

Bulkhead Repair or Replacement

Between Aloe Bay Landing An improved bulkhead, whether through repair or replacement, and southeast corner of Aloe Aloe Bay will stabilize the shoreline. It will be an appropriate material and construction technique consisent with the variety of Bay. activities expected on the working waterfront and town center. It will be designed and engineered for appropriate physical and environmental considerations.

Boardwalk

Between Aloe Bay Landing This will be an elevated boarwalk structure above an improved and southeast corner of Aloe bulkhead along Aloe Bay. Current expectations are for a wooden structure varying between 10-20 feet wide that would support a Bay. variety of activities consisent with a working waterfront and town center. It will be elevated to an appropriate height for physical and environmental considerations.

Boat Docks or Slips

Along Boardwalk between Aloe Bay Landing and the southeast corner of Aloe Bay.

Adjacent to the boardwalk will be a floating (or other appropriate installation) wharf, or platform, appropriate for boat docking or berthing that would support a variety of activities consisent with a working waterfront and town center.

De Soto Avenue Streetscape

Along De Soto Avenue between Le Moyne Drive and Levert Street.

This project would have typical streetscape improvements, including, but not limited to: new pavement surface, curb and gutter, drainage infrastructure (with considerations for green infrastructure or low impact development techniques), on-street parking, street trees, amenities (benches, trash receptacles, bicycle racks, etc.), sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and on-street parking. Utility and infrastructure improvements are anticipated to support future development and will be coordinated with the individual providers.

Le Moyne Drive Streetscape

Along Le Moyne Drive between Chaumont Avenue and a location north of De Soto Avenue (dependent upon final scope of work).

This project would have typical streetscape improvements, including, but not limited to: new pavement surface, curb and gutter, drainage infrastructure (with considerations for green infrastructure or low impact development techniques), street trees, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and on-street parking. Current design expectation is for a roundabout intersection; however ultimate consideration for traffic management at the De Soto Avenue intersection will be coordianted with Town leadership and project transportation planner/ engineer. Utility and infrastructure improvements are anticipated to support future development and will be coordinated with the individual providers.

These are anticipated or current expecations for design considerations. Final design decisions will be made during the actual design and engineering of the facility for approval by the town leadership.

1

124


CHAUMONT AVE

DE SOTO AVE

ALOE BAY LANDING

LEVERT ST

PLANNED COMMUNITY CENTER*

CHAUMONT AVE

LE MOYNE DR

* On-going project implementation from alternative funding source

N

DE SOTO AVENUE BOAT PARKING*

DE SOTO AVENUE BOAT LAUNCH*

ALOE BAY

Aloe Bay Master Plan Appendix

LE VENTE ST

LACKLAND ST

125


Aloe Bay Master Plan Appendix

©

ALOE BAY MARKET ANALYSIS

To the Town of Dauphin Island

Prepared August 16, 2021 By Randall Gross / Development Economics For GMC and the Town of Dauphin Island

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INTRODUCTION The following report summarizes findings from market analyses and opportunities assessments completed for the Aloe Bay master plan, on behalf of the Town of Dauphin Island. The market analyses were conducted to forecast the real estate development potential for Aloe Bay, as a basis for master planning and implementation, to understand the fiscal returns from investment in the project, and to inform potential businesses and investors. The first section of this report provides an economic overview and context for the market analysis, including a site analysis and inventory of existing conditions at Aloe Bay. Section 2 of this report examines the visitor market and specifically, the potential for short-term overnight lodging, at Aloe Bay. Without overnight accommodation, it would be difficult for Aloe Bay to optimize its potentials for retail expenditures and tax revenue to help support the Town. Lodging can serve as an anchor for attracting not only leisure travelers but also the island’s “fair share” of the meeting market already generated in part by Dauphin Island’s existing research facilities. Section 3 provides findings on the market potential for residential uses. Section 4 examines the potential for retail, restaurants, and related commercial development that might be leveraged, in part, by the presence of overnight accommodation at Aloe Bay. In Section 5, the opportunities for “waterfront industrial” uses are examined within the context of establishing Aloe Bay as a visitor destination. Based on these findings, an overall development program was recommended and tested with community stakeholder input. Strategic recommendations with respect to development, phasing, marketing, and overall management structure are provided in a separate report.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

128

EXISTING CONTEXT AND CONDITIONS ............................................ 129 LODGING & MEETING MARKET ANALYSIS........................................ 139 RESIDENTIAL MARKET ANALYSIS ..................................................... 150 RETAIL MARKET ANALYSIS ................................................................ 156 WATERFRONT INDUSTRIAL OPPORTUNITIES ASSESSMENT ........ 167 REPORT APPENDIX ............................................................................. 171


Aloe Bay Master Plan Appendix

Section 1. EXISTING CONTEXT AND CONDITIONS This section provides an overview of the Dauphin Island economic and demographic base as context for understanding the market potentials for development at Aloe Bay. Also provided is a Site Analysis, which inventories and reviews the existing physical conditions at Aloe Bay and the factors impacting on the marketability of the site for development of various uses.

Economic & Demographic Base Dauphin Island relies on tourism for its jobs, income, and tax base. Accommodation services directly account for nearly 20% of all jobs on the island, but more than one in three private sector jobs. Indirectly, the tourism economy impacts nearly every sector from construction to real estate, retail, recreation, and professional services.

Government is the largest employer on Dauphin Island, but these public sector jobs include not only the Town and local schools, but also state and federal agencies employing hundreds in marine and environmental services. Several research and laboratory facilities are located on Dauphin Island, including those operated by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the U.S. FDA Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, and the Alabama DCNR Marine Resources

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Division. Dauphin Island Sea Lab also operates the Estuarium, an educational facility oriented to the unique sea life and natural habitats of Mobile Bay. Employment Trends There were more than 500 people working on Dauphin Island in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. That number represents an increase of more than one-third (or about 130 jobs) since 2002. Table 1.

Sector

AT-PLACE EMPLOYMENT TRENDS, DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2002-2018 2002-2018 Trend Number Percent

2002

2010

2018

Agriculture

-

-

-

-

N/A

Extraction

5

-

-

(5)

-100.0%

Utilities

8

7

17

9

112.5%

Construction

9

11

4

(5)

-55.6%

Manufacturing

37

6

11

(26)

-70.3%

Wholesale Trade

23

20

-

(23)

-100.0%

Retail Trade

29

42

42

13

44.8%

Transport & Warehouse

9

38

37

28

311.1%

Information

-

-

1

1

N/A

Finance & Insurance

2

1

6

4

200.0%

Real Estate

6

22

37

31

516.7%

Prof/Sci/Tech

2

7

4

2

100.0%

Management

-

2

-

-

0.0%

Administration

12

12

-

(12)

-100.0%

Education

86

124

102

16

18.6%

4

-

4

-

0.0%

Recreation/Entertain

33

23

25

(8)

-24.2%

Accom/Foodservice

84

39

97

13

15.5%

-

4

4

4

N/A

27

126

115

88

325.9%

376

484

506

130

34.6%

Health Care

Other Government TOTAL Sources:

U.S. Bureau of the Census and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

The island has added some employment in government (including the aforementioned research facilities), real estate, transportation, and a few other sectors including a few jobs in accommodation & foodservice. At the same time, the island has lost employment in manufacturing and wholesale trade (like much of the country during recent years) as well as in administrative services and, recreation & entertainment services. The numbers of jobs in each of these

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industries is so small that a change in just one business can greatly impact on the Island’s entire sector. Mobile County overall added more than 14,000 jobs (8.6%) between 2002 and 2018, for a total of approximately 177,400. The county lost employment in agriculture and extraction industries, utilities, information services, and real estate, administrative services, and a few other sectors; but gained jobs in manufacturing, transportation & warehousing, professional and scientific services, management, health care, and accommodation services. The largest gains have been in health care (8,500 jobs), accommodation & foodservice (3,800), transportation (1,300), manufacturing (1,200), and professional & scientific services (1,100). A summary of the county’s employment trends is found in the Appendix of this report.

Dauphin Island comprises less than one percent of Mobile County’s total employment, averaging 0.3%, with the exception of government (1.8%), recreation (1.7%, down from 2.5% in 2002), and real estate (1.2%). Dauphin Island comprises of just 0.6% of the county’s total accommodation and foodservice employment and 0.2% of its retail trade. COVID Pandemic Impacts The Pandemic has clearly had a negative impact on the Dauphin Island and Mobile County economy. Much like the rest of the world, Mobile County saw unemployment skyrocket as businesses were shuttered to avoid transmission of the virus and under orders from State and local agencies. Mobile County’s unemployment rate increased from 3.5% in March 2020 to 14.2% just one month

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later. Since that time, unemployment has gradually decreased to a seasonallyadjusted rate of 5.2%, still higher than one year ago but continuing to decline. With increasing numbers of people being vaccinated, businesses have reopened and confidence in the economy has increased. Within Dauphin Island, businesses report a mix of impacts, with some businesses actually having seen an increase in sales during the Pandemic as vacationers have left urban areas for Gulf Coast beaches. However, the island’s sales tax collections fell by about 36% from the previous year as businesses were shuttered for several months in 2020.

Mobile County Unemployment Trends. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Commutation Patterns Of people working on Dauphin Island, the largest number live in Zip Code 36523 (Coden), followed by Dauphin Island (36528) itself. Table 2.

Zip Code

2010-2020 Change Number Percent

2010

2020

36523-Coden 36528-DAUPHIN IS 36582-Theodore 36544-Irvington 36608-Mobile West 36541-Grand Bay 36695-Mobile SW 36619-Tillmans Cnr 36509-Bayou La Batre 36605-Mobile South 36693-Mobile Skyland 36609-Mobile Jax Hts 36604-Mobile GA Ave 36526-Daphne Other

49 34 40 76 17 18 26 15 19 10 26 8 8 13 125

87 54 43 38 25 22 22 17 15 15 14 13 11 8 122

38 20 3 -38 8 4 -4 2 -4 5 -12 5 3 -5 -3

77.6% 58.8% 7.5% -50.0% 47.1% 22.2% -15.4% 13.3% -21.1% 50.0% -46.2% 62.5% 37.5% -38.5% -2.4%

TOTAL

484

506

22

4.5%

Commuting (89.3%)

450

452

2

0.4%

Sources:

132

EMPLOYEE COMMUTING PATTERNS, DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2010-2020

U.S. Bureau of the Census and Randall Gross/ Development Economics


Aloe Bay Master Plan Appendix

Other workers are commuting primarily from Theodore, Irvington, west Mobile (36608), Grand Bay, southwest Mobile (36695), Tillmans Corner, Bayou Le Batre, and south Mobile (36605). The residence of Dauphin Island workers is summarized below by zip code. Overall, nearly 90% of Dauphin Island workers are commuting from someplace off of the island. A total of 471 Dauphin Island residents reported being employed in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Among those residents, 54 (11.5%) both lived and worked on Dauphin Island, with the remaining 88.5% commuting out for work or otherwise working elsewhere. Aside from the island itself, Dauphin Island residents work in Theodore (9.7%), Brookwood-Carlen-Dauphin Acres (5.5%), Jacksonville Heights (3.4%), Downtown Mobile (3.2%), West Mobile (3.2%), Southwest Mobile (3.2%), Coden (3.0%), Park Place/SpringHill Avenue (3.0%), Bayou Le Batre (2.7%), and other locations. Business Base The island’s business base was assessed, based on field reconnaissance and a building-by-building inventory, with information collected from interviews with businesses and from County assessment records. This analysis inventoried a sample of about 60 businesses on Dauphin Island, including about 30 retail businesses, 10 office-based businesses, and the rest a mix of industrial & marine service businesses, religious and civic institutions, accommodation facilities, recreation venues, museums, schools, and research facilities. Altogether, these non-residential buildings have total area of about 221,800 square feet, including abut 6,100 square feet of vacant building space. Retail/commercial is the predominant non-residential use, followed by government and research facilities, marine industrial uses, civic & religious institutions, and educational uses including the school and the estuarium. There is very little non-government office use on the island, except for several finance, insurance, and real estate businesses. The full inventory is summarized by primary use in the Appendix of this report.

Demographic Base Dauphin Island, as a resort vacation destination, has a complex mix of part-time and full-time residents as well as weekend and occasional tourists. Demographic trends are estimated based on the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey estimates for 2019.

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Table 3.

DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS, DAUPHIN ISLAND AND MOBILE COUNTY, 2010-2019

Factor/Area

2010

2019

2010-2019 Change Number Percent

Population Dauphin Is

1,238

1,324

86

6.9%

408,620

413,210

4,590

1.1%

Dauphin Is

20.8%

35.6%

0.15

71.1%

Mobile County

12.6%

16.7%

0.04

32.5%

582

585

3

0.5%

153,302

155,946

2,644

1.7%

Mobile County Age 65+

Households Dauphin Is Mobile County Median HH Income Dauphin Is

$

66,514

$

87,596

21,082

31.7%

Mobile County

$

48,065

$

49,639

1,574

3.3%

Note:

Income in 2019 Dollars (adjusted for Inflation).

Sources:

U.S. Bureau of the Census and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

According to the Census, Dauphin Island had a total resident population of 1,238 in 2010, which increased by 86 or 6.9% to 1,324 by 2019. The island remains a small share (0.3%) of the total population base for Mobile County. Based on the Census data, about 35.6% of the island’s resident population is aged 65 or over, compared with 16.7% in Mobile County as a whole. The senior share on Dauphin Island appears to have increased by 15% in just nine years, from 20.8% in 2010 to nearly 36% in 2019. Dauphin Island has about 585 households (which do not necessarily equate to housing units), an increase of 3 since 2010. The county gained about 2,640 households or 1.7%. Median household income was estimated at $87,600 in 2019, an increase of nearly one-third after adjusting for inflation, since 2010. This compares with a much more modest increase of 3.3% countywide over that same period. An increase of retiring baby boomers with higher incomes may explain the rapid increase in both seniors and incomes on Dauphin Island since 2010.

Site Analysis A Site Analysis was conducted to inventory existing uses within the study area and across the island as a whole, and to assess the key factors impacting on the marketability of the study area for various types of development. Key

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findings were also summarized in terms of the overall strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for development of Aloe Bay. Location Aloe Bay is the name promoted for the mixed-use town center development to be constructed over time adjacent to Aloe Bay, situated on the northeast side of Dauphin Island, Alabama. The area covered by this Market Analysis includes land on the south side of Aloe Bay, between De Soto Avenue and the shore, but also extending to include City-owned parcels on the south side of De Soto Avenue. Le Moyne Drive forms the eastern boundary of the study area. The Market Analysis also examined adjoining areas for development to the extent that their incorporation could enhance the destination potentials and value of redevelopment around Aloe Bay. Access and Exposure The Aloe Bay area is accessed directly on De Soto Avenue from Le Moyne Drive. Le Moyne Drive is directly connected to Dauphin Island Parkway (or AL-193) as the only land access to the island from the mainland, although there is ferry service from Fort Morgan. Dauphin Island is accessible to Bayou La Batre and Coden, about 18 miles away along SR188. Mobile is Alabama’s 4th largest city and is the economic hub for south Alabama. Mobile’s southern suburbs (e.g., Theodore) and Interstate 10 are located about 23 miles away. Downtown Mobile is about a 45-minute drive or 36 miles from Dauphin Island. Dauphin Island benefits from access to the Gulf Coast, with white sandy beaches and warm gulf waters for swimming, boating, and other forms of water recreation. Several of the region’s most popular beach communities are located nearby. Gulf Shores is a major vacation resort destination on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are accessible from Dauphin Island via ferry to Fort Morgan, just seven miles (or 45 minutes) away. Further east lie Pensacola and Florida’s popular Gulf beaches. To the west, Mississippi’s Gulf Coast (including Pascagoula and Biloxi) are less accessible as there is no direct ferry service or bridge connecting them to Dauphin Island. As such, Pascagoula is about an hour’s drive (56 miles) via Grand Bay even though much closer (28 miles) as the crow flies.

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The Aloe Bay site has excellent exposure from Le Moyne Drive, which serves as the main “gateway” into Dauphin Island and connects to the island’s primary “spine” road, Bienville Boulevard. So, nearly all island-bound traffic passes the site in route to beaches and beach houses, parks and historic sites, government facilities, and commercial activities on Dauphin Island. Gateways As noted above, Le Moyne Drive serves as a gateway onto Dauphin Island. While the Aloe Bay site is located near the bridge, there are several uses that are visible to those driving onto the island before they reach the site. Among these uses are the Dauphin Island Marina and Indian Bay Yacht Club (on the east) as well as housing, a water treatment facility, mobile home park, and the site of the Alabama Deep Sea Rodeo on the Aloe Bay side (west). Some of these uses are obviously compatible with the destination waterfront theme envisioned for Aloe Bay. However, the water treatment facility and mobile home park are uses that are not compatible with this vision. At a minimum, there may be a need for better buffering of certain less-compatible uses like treatment plants and mobile home parks in addition to overall landscaping and gateway improvements that enhance the overall destination visitor experience. Existing Uses The Aloe Bay area comprises of a mix of waterfront industrial, storage, commercial, government, and residential uses. One 1,000 square-foot commercial building had been occupied by Hippie Fish and the Sun-Kissed Hair Salon as this work began. An older industrial building and site have been envisioned as an oyster cleaning opportunity, while another industrial building already houses some oyster operations. The Island Time minigolf facility is located at the main intersection of Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue, across from the Circle K Gas and Convenience Store. The U.S. Post Office is situated on La Vente Street, just off of De Soto. Pelican Pub & Dockside Seafood Restaurant occupies the 1,550 square-foot building located at 1102 De Soto Avenue. Southern Drawl Charters operates out of a 1,000 square-foot building at 1104 De Soto. Anchor Real Estate is located at 1119 De Soto and Dauphin Island Police at 1017 De Soto. There are a few other industrial, beach rental, and storage facilities scattered along the waterfront in this area. Some of the land in

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the study area is relatively under-developed and under-utilized, although there are also opportunities for reuse and rehabilitation of some of the existing industrial buildings and structures, which lend an air of authenticity to the “working waterfront.” Surrounding Uses Located just west of this area is a small residential neighborhood and wetlands, adjacent to Jeremiah Denton Airport. Having a county-owned airfield located within walking distance of the Aloe Bay site could provide amenity value for corporate and private travelers wishing to visit Aloe Bay. Commercial uses and a park line both sides of Le Moyne Drive to the south and connecting to Bienville Boulevard. The Town’s planned new community center will be situated within a short walk of the site at Le Moyne Drive and Chaumont Avenue, adjacent to the Dauphin Island Baptist Church and St. Francis Episcopal Church, forming a small civic node near Aloe Bay. Physical Characteristics The Aloe Bay site benefits from direct access to Aloe Bay channel for boating and marine recreation. Natural areas buffer the site to the north and west, while the eastern edge is bounded by parking and docking for the Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo and six condominiums with boat sheds. As noted above, much of the land along the south side of the bay along De Soto Avenue is underdeveloped. Some of those underdeveloped sites are owned by the Town. There are several older industrial buildings that provide authentic character to the site, even if disused or in need of rehabilitation. Boardwalks are in the process of being rehabilitated along the waterfront. Otherwise, the area has few aesthetic treatments such as tree cover and landscaping, signage, sidewalks, or pedestrian accommodation. Perceptions Dauphin Island is well-located along the Gulf Coast to attract boaters and other recreation visitors as well as beach tourists. Even so, the island has a more “laid-back” reputation than neighboring beach communities like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, which welcome partying Spring Break crowds to massive highrise condominium developments. The nearby waterfront community of Bayou La Batre is oriented more to heavy industry. In contrast, Dauphin Island is quiet, lower-scale, and caters to visitors, many of whom are attracted by the island’s natural environment and estuary wildlife in addition to the slower, more serene atmosphere.

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Strengths and Challenges Several observations have been made based on these existing conditions associated with the potential strengths as well as challenges for redevelopment. Among the strengths associated with the site are the island’s “laid-back” reputation, which helps to set Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island apart from the many other high-density beach environments along the Gulf Coast. The site itself offers waterfront sites, many of which are public or community-owned, which helps ensure a greater measure of control over the type and scale of development that may occur there. The island already has a strong leisure and sport fishing base, which creates a built-in market for certain uses and activities at Aloe Bay. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Estuarium, Audubon parks, and government research facilities also set the island and Aloe Bay apart as a destination for those interested in coastal ecology and the marine environment. The impacts of global warming and the BP oil spill have heightened an awareness of the island’s fragile natural resources. The island and areas adjacent to Aloe Bay offer various experiential and educational opportunities associated with the natural environment. Among the challenges to development at this site as, as noted before, some “gateway” uses including sewer treatment facilities and mobile homes that distract from the amenity-rich environment that will be needed to retain and attract destination visitors. While the site has good exposure for those already visiting Dauphin Island, it is isolated from the region’s main tourism drivers and traffic generators, which lie to the north and east of Dauphin Island. The site itself is separated from some of the island’s main attractions, including the Estuarium, which is located at the extreme eastern edge of the island. Properties located between De Soto Avenue and the water are relatively constricted and shallow for development. However, site planning may be able to design around such issues and take full advantage of the waterfront.

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Section 2. LODGING & MEETING MARKET ANALYSIS This section summarizes the findings from a market analysis to determine the potential for development of short-term lodging at the proposed Aloe Bay development on Dauphin Island. The presence of short-term lodging would help diversify the island’s visitor market and fiscal base and would help accommodate overnight stays for meetings generated by Dauphin Island’s several research facilities. The lodging market analysis examined regional lodging market indicators and trends, inventoried and assessed existing lodging facilities and the vacation home market, forecasted potential market demographics and target visitor base, integrated input from a meeting & event demand analysis, forecasted room nights by segment, assessed the competitive framework, and forecasted the potential for “boutique” lodging facilities as well as resort drivers as part of the mixed-use concept for Aloe Bay Harbor, in terms of lodging rooms, pricing, site amenities, and other factors.

Tourism Flow Dauphin Island has an existing visitor base generated by diverse markets including but not limited to beachgoers and leisure travelers, professional anglers and recreational fishing groups, birders and nature enthusiasts, heritage tourists, research scientists, boaters, educational groups, golfers and resort visitors, and others. However, the predominant tourism niche is represented by vacation homeowners and renters who visit to relax and avoid the crowds of nearby Gulf Coast beach towns. As such, the island is dependent on seasonal visitation and there is a need to diversify the market and strengthen the island’s fiscal base to accommodate meetings and other year-round programming. Attractions and Events Several tourism anchors (other than beaches) on Dauphin Island generate or capture regular attendance in the thousands. Several of the attractions and

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events are unique in many ways to Dauphin Island and therefore serve as regional or even national destinations, as discussed below.

1

140

The Estuarium is a major aquarium-based attraction operated by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab that attracted 85,800 visitors in 2019, prior to closures due to the COVID Pandemic. The 16,700 square-foot Estuarium focuses on the unique natural environment in the Mobile Bay estuary and offers hands-on as well as static exhibits and aquaria. Attendance has increased at an average annual rate of 2.3% since 2012 (up until the Pandemic), prompting the Sea Lab to increase investment in the Estuarium facilities and exhibitions.

Fort Gaines. The historic Fort Gaines was established 200 years ago and played a crucial role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. The fort offers tours, experiences, and events, attracting about 49,100 visitors in 2019. Fort Gaines has been designated a National Historic Landmark but is also under threat from storm damage and erosion at its location on the far eastern edge of the island. For these reasons, the fort has been designated as one of the most endangered Civil War sites in the country by the Civil War Preservation Trust and one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 1 Despite its significance, the site has seen declining attendance over recent years. Overall, attendance has been falling by an average rate of 3.6% per year. Given the importance of this site to American history and to the island’s heritage tourism base, it is critical

Wikipedia page: Fort Gaines (Alabama).


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every effort be made to raise awareness of the issues impacting the site’s survival. •

Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. The ADSFR claims to be the largest fishing tournament in the world, attracting an average 3,000 anglers and 75,000 visitors to the island each year. The tournament, operated by the Mobile Jaycees, is approaching its 100th anniversary. The 3-day event is sanctioned by the Southern Kingfish Association and awards up to $1.0 Million in cash and prizes each year.

DIBS Bird Sanctuaries. Dauphin Island has a long history of attracting birding and other nature hobby enthusiasts from around the country. Much of that heritage is today relinquished to several small sanctuaries that help preserve remaining nesting areas for migrating birds. The largest of these is the 164-acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary which, along with several smaller sanctuaries, is promoted by the non-profit Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary (DIBS). DIBS also helps acquire properties adjacent to reserves in order to protect surrounding transition zones. The trail system within the Audubon Bird Sanctuary is designated as part of the National Recreation Trail system. The 11-acre Shell Mound Park offers Native American heritage sites as well as birding opportunities. Goat Tree Reserve provides opportunities for observing the island’s unique natural heritage. Several reserves with a total of 33 acres are held on private land, including Tupelo Gum Swamp, Gorgas Swamp, and the Steiner Property. The 35-acre Sea Point Saw Grass Marsh and Shell Mound Park are maintained by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Fishing Charters. Nearly 40 in-shore and deep-sea fishing charters operate on Dauphin Island, but not all of these charter companies are based on the island. Together, these companies have a total capacity to accommodate 126,000 visitors. Most of the charters currently operate out of Dauphin Island Marina, just across Le Moyne Drive from the Aloe Bay development site.

Marine Research & Conservation Agencies. As noted previously, several marine and seafood research, conservation, and regulatory agencies operate from Dauphin Island. Among these are the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the U.S. FDA Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, and the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division. When these research, regulatory, and

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conservation entities are considered with the island’s birding and fishing resources, Dauphin Island is a significant hub for environmental resources. •

Other Events. The island hosts a number of other events, some of which attract destination visitors, including the Gulf Seafood Gala, the Dauphin Island Art Trail, Tri the Gulf Triathlon, Dauphin Island Native American Festival, and others.

Isle Dauphine. Isle Dauphine (owned by the Dauphin Island Property Owners Association) offers golf, beach and resort facilities that are available to property owners and open to the public. The facility also hosts various public and private events that draw visitors to the island. The club’s Art Deco clubhouse facilities are an attraction in themselves because of their unique architectural heritage.

Existing Lodging Market Conditions The existing lodging market on Dauphin Island is oriented primarily to seasonal home rentals rather than overnight (short-term) lodging accommodations. There are approximately 1,550 rental housing units on the island, with an annualized occupancy of 65.0%. This number includes about 350 condominium units as well as houses that are rented as vacation homes. There are only two dedicated lodging facilities, with a total of 41 rooms: the 31-room Gulf Breeze Alabama Motel built in 1972 and the 10-unit Dauphin Island Harbor House B&B, built in 1958. Based on available data, lodging occupancy averages nearly 78% during the summer high season (April to August) and falls to an average 55% during the shoulder seasons in fall (September/October) and spring (February/March). Winter sees occupancies as low as 20% on average. Rates reflect the seasonality of the market, with lodging priced as low as $84.00$110.00 per night during winter, increasing to $124.00-$189.00 per night during the high season. The average group size in local lodging facilities is 5.5 persons. Based on the average group size and overall occupancy rate, the island is estimated to accommodate about 311,200 overnight visitors generating 375,500 room nights per year. Most rentals on the island are booked on a weekly basis. As such, it is sometimes difficult to find single night, full-service accommodation on the island. The lack of overnight accommodations has left institutions like the Dauphin

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Island Sea Lab to schedule use of its dormitory-style housing for students and visitors who might otherwise stay in a hotel. Weekenders and other short-term visitors often stay off of the island in Mobile or Baldwin counties.

Lodging Demand & Site Potentials Short-term lodging potential at Aloe Bay would be generated by a diverse set of market niches including Gulf Coast beach & recreation tourism, meetings & convention “off-sites,” weddings and other events, and eco-tourism. A summary of findings on the market base and site potentials for each of these lodging niches is discussed below. Alabama Gulf Coast Beach & Recreation Visitor Markets Mobile County and Baldwin County attract an estimated 6,880,000 tourists per year for beach vacations as well as boating and other recreation-based tourism. Alabama attracts beach vacationers from across the U.S., Canada, and beyond. Still, the majority of visitors originate in southern and midwestern markets including Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, and others in the region.

The vast majority of visitors are drawn by the beaches and are not necessarily deterred by the crowds, traffic, and high-density development. However, there is a visitor niche along Alabama’s coast that prefers a quiet, more natural getaway. Dauphin Island has attracted its share of this visitor niche for weekly rentals, but there are others who might only need overnight and weekend

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accommodation. Many of these visitors may be staying in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or elsewhere along the Gulf Coast and would take short side trips to interesting places like Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island. Surveys indicate that about 10.3% of area visitors take side strips (such as by ferry) to Dauphin Island at least once during their stay in Baldwin County. For the purposes of this analysis, it was determined that even a very small share of these Baldwin Countyvisitors to Dauphin Island making the choice to stay overnight in Aloe Bay would generate significant lodging room demand. There would need to be sufficient destination attraction at Aloe Bay to capture these overnight stays. Table 4.

BEACH TOURISM LODGING POTENTIALS, ALOE BAY, DAUPHIN ISLAND

Factor AL Coast Beach Visitors

Visitors

Hotel Guests

5-Year Growth

6,880,489

1,876,702

87,761

Visit Dauphin Island

709,220

Aloe Bay Capture

103,207

28,151

7,898

Number in Party

4.24

3.14

3.14

Length of Stay

4.64

3.58

3.58

112,947

32,083

2,517

N/A

88

7

Roomnights AB Room Demand Source:

Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Based on this analysis, this small share of Gulf Shores visitors to Dauphin Island would generate sufficient demand to support 85 to 90 lodging rooms at Aloe Bay on an annualized basis. However, it should be noted that much of that room demand would be generated during the high season or, to a lesser extent, during the shoulder seasons. A sub-set of this demand includes boaters and anglers who form part of the coastal recreation market. Demand was determined and growth forecasted through 2026 in part based on source market growth factors and local penetration rates. Birmingham, for example is a market of about 1,090,000 with a growth rate f 0.3% and a penetration rate of 14%. Growth in the various source markets will yield increased demand for another 5 to 10 rooms at Aloe Bay by 2026/7. These source market growth assumptions are summarized in the Appendix. Meeting Markets Aloe Bay could attract overnight meeting visitors to Dauphin Island. In fact, several organizations have noted that their existing meeting market is hampered because of the lack of overnight accommodation. The meeting market would be generated from several sources, including local research and government

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facilities, convention off-sites, and association/corporate boards and retreats, among others. Research & Association/Corporate. Existing research institutions and government agencies on Dauphin Island and in Mobile Bay sponsor meetings that generate demand for overnight accommodation. There are also associations, particularly environmental advocacy organizations, and businesses that will generate some demand for board, committee, and other small meetings with a need for some overnight accommodation. Based on input from a variety of local and regional organizations and agencies, there is likely to be conservative demand for at least one research conference and eight to ten board meetings or retreats per year during initial marketing phases at Aloe Bay. The underlying assumption is that Aloe Bay will offer significant amenity value and high-quality full-service accommodation. Table 5. DESTINATION RESEARCH & CORPORATE MEETING POTENTIALS, ALOE BAY Factor

DI Sea Lab

Govt

Regional/ Corporate

TOTAL 1

Conferences

1

-

-

Board/Retreat/Meetings

3

2

3

8

Total Attendance

166

44

80

290

Lodging Room Nights

183

35

106

324

1

0

1

2

Annualized Room Demand Sources:

Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Area Associations, and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

These meetings will have total attendance of about 300, yielding about local 320 room nights and annualized demand for 2 to 4 lodging rooms at Aloe Bay. Of course, during a larger conference or meeting, there could be a need for 30 to 100 rooms over a 2 to 3-day period. Convention Offsites. Both Mobile and Gulf Shores host a number of regional and national conventions that bring hundreds and thousands of people to the area each year. It is not intended that Dauphin Island host large conventions. However, Aloe Bay has the opportunity to capture “off-site” events during conventions hosted in Mobile or Gulf Shores. In fact, Dauphin Island has already hosted off-site convention events in recent years, so this potential does exist. Based on an analysis of conventions held in both Mobile and Gulf Shores, it was determined that there would be several niches (such as environmental organizations) with a higher probably of scheduling off-site events in Dauphin Island. Attendance at those 30 to 40 offsite events captured at Aloe Bay would total about 1,300 to 2,000 per year, but only a portion of those events would yield overnight lodging room demand, generating about 630 to 1,200 room nights.

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Annualized demand for off-site event lodging rooms is conservatively estimated at 2 to 3 rooms. But again, during an event, there could be a need for 12 to 30 rooms over a 1 to 2-night period. Table 6.

OFFSITE CONVENTION & ASSOCIATION MEETING LODGING POTENTIAL

Factor

Mobile

Gulf Shores

TOTAL

Niche Market Attendance

30,490

25,875

56,365

Capture-Off-Site

711

604

1,315

In Rooms

256

109

365

Roomnights

512

120

632

1

1

2

18

16

34

Room Demand Meetings Sources:

Mobile and Gulf Shores CVBs and RGDE.

Wedding Market There would also be demand for lodging rooms generated by the existing and potential wedding market on Dauphin Island. The number of high-end weddings in the Mobile Bay & Alabama Coastal region is estimated at about 5,000 per year, based on data collected from wedding planners and demographic information for the region. Of this number, about 450 to 500 are oriented towards “beach & boat” venues or settings, including those held in Dauphin Island or in beach communities or on boats in the area. These weddings generate about 55,800 lodging room nights per year. Within the competitive context for beach and boat-oriented weddings or those events including receptions that might be held at Dauphin Island or in Aloe Bay, there would be demand for about 15 to 20 lodging rooms generated annually as shown below.

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Table 7.

LUXURY WEDDING MARKET BASE, MOBILE-GULF SHORES AREA Factor

Number

1 2 3 4

# Weddings Beach/Boat Roomnights Site Potentials

4,987 460 55,808 15

Sources:

Wedding planners, Comparable Facilities, US Bureau of the Census, Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Rooms

Meeting & Event Market Summary. The meeting market assessment has identified potential for about 72 overnight meetings and events per year on Dauphin Island, including convention off-sites, research & association/corporate meetings, and weddings & social events. Table 8. MEETING & EVENT MARKET, DAUPHIN ISLAND Event Source Markets

Attendance

#/Year

Days

Average

Total

Convention Off-Site Meetings & Events

26

45

39

1,013

Weddings/Social Events

37

55

109

4,027

9

18

32

72

119

Overnight Meetings

Destination Research/Assn/Corp Meetings Sub-Total

290 5,330

Day Meetings & Events Mobile Area Local Dauphin Island Sub-Total TOTAL Source:

45

45

N/A

N/A

22

990 N/A

45

45

990

117

164

6,320

Randall Gross / Development Economics

These meetings would yield 119 event days per year with total attendance of 5,330. This number includes over 1,000 attending convention off-sites, 4,000 for weddings and social events, and 300 for research and association meetings. These various meetings would generate overnight accommodation with 90 to 110 rooms. Day Meetings & Events. In addition to the overnight meetings, there is also demand for day meetings and events for local associations and businesses

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in the Mobile area. Based on an assessment of the local Mobile meeting base, it is estimated that Dauphin Island could capture an average of 45 meetings and events per year, yielding attendance of about 1,000. Altogether, Dauphin Island can host meetings and events generated from off-island sources with a total attendance conservatively exceeding 6,300 per year so long as lodging rooms are available. Aside from the Mobile-generated meeting opportunities, there are also events generated locally by Dauphin Island-area residents including local religious and civic organizations, social events, competitions, and other events. These events are already accommodated in various venues on the island. A new community center is under development that will host many of these communitybased events. Eco-Tourism Markets Dauphin Island already attracts a substantial eco-tourism visitor market, including birders, environmental students, and those interested in the local estuary environment including visitors to the Estuarium. The coastal tourism base includes 3.8 million visitors to Mobile Bay, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Of this number, about 270,000 are interested in “sustainable” travel and 57,000 are estimated to be eco-tourists and nature-based travelers. Table 9.

ECO-TOURISM LODGING POTENTIALS ALOE BAY, DAUPHIN ISLAND

Factor

Amount

Tourism Base Gulf Shores

1,876,702

Mobile

1,942,047

TOTAL

3,818,749

Sustainable Travel Nature-Based Eco-Travel Average Party Size Aloe Bay Roomnight Capture Total Room Demand

267,312 57,281 3.14 4,015 11

Sources: International Network of Scientific Tourism, regional tourism agencies, various eco-tourism research and Randall Gross / Dev. Economics.

Aloe Bay would capture about 4,000 lodging room nights generated by this group, yielding demand for 10 to 15 rooms on an annualized basis. There may also be opportunities for camping and recreational vehicle use related to

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eco- and recreation-based tourism in the area, but it is assumed that these uses would not be accommodated within the core mixed-use zone of Aloe Bay.

Lodging Potentials Summary The lodging market analysis identified potential for up to about 120 shortterm lodging rooms at Aloe Bay. This lodging demand would be generated by a variety of market sources, including, but not limited, to those looking for a quiet alternative to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach or a weekend stay, convention offsite events, weddings and social events, research and association/corporate meetings, and eco-tourism. Table 10.

LODGING POTENTIALS, ALOE BAY, 2026-2030

Source Markets "Quiet Alternative" & Weekenders Growth Convention Off-Sites Weddings-Beach & Boat/Other Research/Assn/Corp Mtgs Eco-Tourism TOTAL Source:

Roomnights

Rooms

32,083

88

2,517

7

632

2

5,489

15

324

1

4,015

11

45,060

123

Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Importantly, this demand does not accommodate beach tourists other than those who are already visiting neighboring beach communities and may take a one or two-day detour to Aloe Bay. Most of the demand would be generated by those looking for a quiet alternative to the hectic beach traffic at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, and surrounding Gulf Coast beaches, which is consistent with the market base for existing house rentals and lodging on Dauphin Island. Several examples of the scale and positioning of lodging facilities that would be supported by the market at Aloe Bay are illustrated above. These images are meant to illustrate how lodging can be integrated into a waterfront without overwhelming the sense of place or scale of surrounding uses.

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Section 3. RESIDENTIAL MARKET ANALYSIS This section provides a summary of results from a residential market analysis for the Aloe Bay area. While the master plan does not focus on development of residential units on Aloe Bay itself, there was a need to examine the potential for infill residential development or mixed-use near the site. The development of additional residential units or mixed-use buildings can help strengthen the market base for the types of uses that the community does want to see at Aloe Bay, including restaurants. The market analysis considered the existing housing base on the island as well as the key drivers for market demand in support of new development.

Existing Housing Supply Dauphin Island had an estimated 2,115 housing units in 2020. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 2,060 units in 2019, but this number has been adjusted up based on a variety of inputs. Table 11.

HOUSING UNITS IN DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2019-2020

Factor

ACS-2019

Adjusted

Percent

Housing Units

2,060

2,115

100.0%

Occupied-Annualized

1,510

1,551

73.3%

Vacant-Annualized

550

564

26.7%

Owner-Occupied

533

564

100.0%

Occupied

518

548

97.1%

Vacant

15

16

2.9%

Rentals

1,527

1,551

100.0%

Occupied-Annualized

992

1,008

65.0%

Vacant-Annualized

534

543

35.0%

Notes:

ACS is American Community Survey 2019 Estimates; Annualized by RGDE. Adjusted is Based on Local Input.

Sources:

U.S. Bureau of the Census, Re/Max Realty, and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Of this total number, about 564 or 26.7% are owner-occupied year-round and 1,551 (73.3%) are primarily used as investment properties or for vacation homes. The vacancy rate for owner-occupied units is estimated at 2.9%, with

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about 16 homeowner units vacant at any given time. This share is consistent with homeowner vacancy rates in many other communities. The vacancy rate for rental units is estimated at 35.0% on an annualized basis, although occupancy is much higher during the summer high season. Overall, Dauphin Island has an average annualized vacancy rate of about 26.7% for all housing. An understanding of occupancy is important for determining demand for retail businesses and services on the island.

Market Base The Dauphin Island market base is driven both by Mobile County residents and out-of-town investors and homebuyers. About one-third of Dauphin Island housing is owned by Mobile residents, with 13% owned by residents of Dauphin Island itself (both as homeowners and investors).

But most of the remaining housing on the island is owned by out-of-state residents from Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and other states.

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Of a sample of 131 local condominiums, only about 4.6% are owned by year-round residents of Dauphin Island, while the remaining 95.4% are owned by investors and second-home owners. Condo owners reside in the Mobile area (Theodore, Daphne, Fairhope) and around Dauphin Island (Coden, Grand Bay), but also in Nashville, Memphis, and other locations in the region.

Existing Market Conditions Data and information was collected from a variety of sources in order to examine existing residential market conditions and trends on the island. Data on housing sales trends, for example, shows that the island has typically seen around 100 to 150 sales per year fairly consistently over the last 14 to 15 years.

The Mobile Area market saw an average 7,000 to 9,400 home sales per year over the past five years. Dauphin Island has consistently accounted for 1.5% of the Mobile Area market nearly every one of those past five years. (One year, Dauphin Island accounted for 1.6% of Mobile Area sales). In any given month, an average of 16.5% of Dauphin Island homes listed on the market sold in 2020. Snapshot In late 2020, there were about 60 to 70 home listings in Dauphin Island (based on data from various online sources). Of these, prices ranged from $70,000 to $900,000, with a median single family list price of $441,950, and condominium median list price of $366,950. About 23% of listings were in condos. Median list price per square foot was $241 to $254. Prices have been escalating by nearly 9% per year, which impacts on the absorption of units as well as the risk for investors.

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The median rent in Dauphin Island is $1,110, according to the U.S Bureau of the Census. Based on demographic data for Dauphin Island workers, 62.1% could not afford the median rent on the island, meaning that they would have to pay more than 35% of their income in rent. Dauphin Island worker incomes are disaggregated as follows: Income Range

Share

<$1,250 per month $1,251-$3,333 $3,333+

24.7% 37.4% 37.9%

Affordable Rent $ 375 $ 688 $1,000+

At present, 5% of renters are paying 30% to 40% of their income in rent, 13% pay 40% to 50% of their income for rent, and 18% pay more than 50%. As such, about 36% of existing Dauphin Island renters are paying more than 30% of their income in rent, according to Census data. Affordability is clearly a concern for some residents, especially for those who may be working on the island It is no surprise that nearly 90% of the island’s workers commute from other communities on the mainland.

Aloe Bay Housing Potentials The key market niches that drive the housing market for Dauphin Island include the following groups. •

Year-Round Residents: Retirees within higher-income cohorts originating in Zip Codes 36608, 36695, 36609, and 36619.

Long-Term Renters: Local employees (e.g., 130 Estuarium workers) originating in the commuter zones.

Investors/Weekly Rentals: Participation from Birmingham, Atlanta, etc.

Second-Home (Part-Time Residents): Mobile, Birmingham, etc.

Demand at Aloe Bay Housing demand on Dauphin Island was examined based on the absorption patterns, demographic forecasts in source markets, and other indicators for the niches identified above. Potential at Aloe Bay was considered as a sub-set within the island’s overall demand, although there would be some increased penetration rate within target source market niches due to the appeal of a walkable “town center” environment and associated amenities. This analysis forecasted short-term potential for up to about 12 full-time residential units priced in the $300,000 to $390,000 range. There is additional potential for 95 to 100

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long-term rentals priced in the $650 to $2,250 per month range. There would also be potential for about 15 to 20 investor and second home units within the next five years, priced in the $280,000 to $370,000 range. The island has had absorption of about 14 investor units per year, and it is assumed that Aloe Bay would conservatively capture at least 20% of investment sales. Table 12.

RESIDENTIAL POTENTIALS, ALOE BAY, 2026-2030 Dev. Units

Price Range

5-12

$330-$390,000

Long-Term Rentals

95

$650-$2250/mo*

Investors/Weekly Rentals

16

$280-$370,000

116-123

$280-$390,000

Market Sources Full-Time Residents (Buyers)

(Includes 2nd Homes) TOTAL Source:

RGDE

Overall, housing potential at Aloe Bay would total 116 to 123 units by 2026, priced in the $280,000 to $390,000 range for sale or $650 to $2,250 range for long-term rentals.

Several concepts for residential products that have grounding in the market findings are illustrated above. These concepts in no way represent a recommendation for development at Aloe Bay itself but could represent an opportunity for infill residential development in areas surrounding Aloe Bay. As

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noted earlier, residential development surrounding Aloe Bay could help strengthen the resident and seasonal household base in support of restaurants and other retail activities that are desired by current residents.

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Section 4. RETAIL MARKET ANALYSIS Findings from a Retail Market Analysis for Aloe Bay are summarized here. The market analysis examines existing retail business and market conditions, and forecasts retail demand generated by trade area households and tourists. Aloe Bay’s retail development potential is then determined within the competitive retail framework. This information informs planning for retail businesses, restaurants, personal service establishments, and entertainment venues at Aloe Bay.

Existing Retail Conditions The existing retail business base was inventoried as part of this analysis, based on site reconnaissance, business interviews, and assessment records. This inventory identified a total of about 30 retail businesses with a total 65,100 square feet of commercial building space. Of this total, about 28% is in convenience retail uses, 35% in shopper’s goods (for which consumers comparison shop), and 27% in eating & drinking. There is very little entertainment or personal service use on the island. About 6,100 square feet or 9.4% was vacant at the time that the inventory was conducted. This vacancy rate is slightly high, with a target of 5.0% indicative of a healthy market. Table 13.

Category

RETAIL BUSINESS SPACE BY CATEGORY, DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2020

Number

Sq. Feet

Percent

6 10 11 1

18,097 22,683 17,662 504

27.8% 34.9% 27.1% 0.0% 0.8%

Vacant

2

6,132

9.4%

TOTAL

30

65,078

100.0%

Convenience Shoppers Goods Eating & Drinking Entertainment Personal Services

Sources:

Mobile County Assessor, business, brokers, and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Dauphin Island has six full-service restaurants, with a total of about 12,800 square feet, comprising the largest retail category on the island. A small grocery has about 9,400 square feet, comprising the largest single retail use in Dauphin Island. Other key retail uses include two gas stations & convenience stores and

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several snack businesses (e.g., ice cream shops). A more detailed inventory of retail uses by specific category is found in the Appendix of this report. Market Sources & Sales Trends Based on input gleaned through interviews with existing retail businesses on the island, residents comprise about 28.0% of the retail market, while weekly renters and visitors account for about 57.0%. The remaining 15.0% is generated by pass-through traffic and day-trippers. Among visitors, retailers report about 75% of visitors oriented to beach vacations, 10% come to Dauphin Island as a fishing destination, and up to 15% arrive for ecotourism or birding opportunities. (There are also oil workers and visitors who arrive due to storm warnings in other coastal locations). About 90% are engaged in various types of recreation activities. Retailers report a broad range in sales trends, but overall, there had been increasing sales of up to 10% per year.

Trade Area Definition The Aloe Bay Retail Trade Area(s) include local and niche tourism markets that would drive demand for retail, restaurants, personal services and entertainment uses at the site. A primary household Trade Area A includes Dauphin Island households. Trade Area B includes day trippers from southwestern Mobile County. Trade Area C includes a broader mix of day trippers from throughout the Mobile Bay region. In addition to the area’s household base, the retail market at Aloe Bay would be driven by tourists and other visitors from outside of the Mobile Bay area.

Demographic Analysis Demographic analysis was conducted of the various household trade aeras. Several key factors are summarized below, including population, households, and household income. In 2010, Dauphin Island had about 1,200 residents and 580 households with average household income of $76,200 (in constant 2020 dollars). By 2021, the island had an estimated 1,600 people in 762 households, having an average household income of $98,900. These data represent an increase of about 29% in the island’s population and 31% in its household base. Average household income expanded by 27%, after accounting for the effects of inflation. South/western Mobile County has also grown, but at a slower pace (and some portions of the area have seen declining population and household base). Population increased by about 3.1% to 161,800 and households increased by 3.6% to 66,100. Household incomes remain lower than in Dauphin Island, at an estimated $71,500. The greater region’s population increased by about 9.8% to 481,400 and its household base increased by nearly 12% to 188,900. Household incomes increased by 5.6% (after inflation) to $72,600.

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Table 14.

DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS, RETAIL TRADE AREA, DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2010-2021

Factor Trade Area A-DI Residents Population Households HH Income $

2010

2021

1,238 581 76,235

1,592 762 98,873

$

Trade Area B-Target Daytrippers-W Mobile Population 156,878 Households 62,806 HH Income

$

67,640

Trade Area C-Regional Daytrippers Population 438,379 Households 168,809 HH Income $ 68,745

2010-2021 Change Number Percent 354 181 22,638

28.6% 31.2% 27.0%

4,894 2,248

3.1% 3.6%

$

3,860

5.4%

$

42,971 20,059 3,820

9.8% 11.9% 5.6%

$

161,772 65,054 $

71,500

$

481,350 188,868 72,565

Note:

Income expressed in constant 2020 dollars.

Sources:

Claritas and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

The trade areas are forecasted to continue growing, albeit at a slightly slower pace over the next five to seven years. Dauphin Island is expected to increase its household base by 7.5% and its income base by 14.8% by 2026-7. South Mobile County will have household growth of about 1.3% and income growth of 3.0%, above inflation. Meanwhile the broader Mobile Bay area will see households increase by 3.3% and income by 2.9%. Despite its faster rate of growth, Dauphin Island will remain merely a small fraction of Mobile Bay’s population and household base. That being said, incomes on Dauphin Island will remain much higher than the county’s and region’s incomes as a whole. By 2026-7, Dauphin Island household incomes will approach $113,600, while those in southern Mobile County and the broader region will remain much lower, at $73,600 and $74,600, respectively. These demographic forecasts are summarized in the following table, below.

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Table 15.

DEMOGRAPHIC FORECASTS, RETAIL TRADE AREA, DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2021-2026

Factor Trade Area A Population Households HH Income

$

Trade Area B Population Households HH Income

2026

1,592 762 98,873

1,699 819 113,553

$

161,772 65,054 $

Trade Area C Population Households HH Income

2021

71,500

72,565

$

107 57 14,680

6.7% 7.5% 14.8%

1,884 819

1.2% 1.3%

2,123

3.0%

13,529 6,292

2.8% 3.3%

2,108

2.9%

163,656 65,873 $

481,350 188,868 $

2021-2026 Change Number Percent

73,623

$

494,879 195,160 $

74,673

$

Note:

Income expressed in constant 2020 dollars.

Sources:

Nielsen & Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Trade Area Demand Forecasts Retail demand was forecasted for the trade area through 2026-7. Household-generated demand is generated by the share of household income used for retail expenditures. TPI Total Personal Income (TPI) for the trade are is estimated at $18.4 billion, and is expected to increase by 5.9% or $1.084 billion by 2026-7 to $19.5 billion. TPI among Dauphin Island households comprises just $75.3 million, but will increase by 23.4% over the next 5 to 6 years, to a total of $93.0 million. Within the south Mobile County trade area, TPI is estimated at $4.7 billion, increasing by 4.3% to $4.9 billion by 2026-7. Within the broader regional household trade area, TPI is $13.7 billion and is expected to increase by 6.3% or $868 million to $14.6 billion by 2026-7. These TPI forecasts are summarized in the following table, shown below.

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Table 16.

TPI FORECASTS, DAUPHIN ISLAND RETAIL TRADE AREA, 2021-2026 TPI (000) 2021

Trade Area

2021-2026 Change Amount Percent

2026

Area A Area B

$ 75,341 $ 4,651,370

$ 93,000 $ 4,849,787

$ 17,659 $ 198,417

23.4% 4.3%

Area C

$13,705,250

$ 14,573,179

$ 867,929

6.3%

Total

$18,431,961

$ 19,515,966

$1,084,005

5.9%

Notes:

Total personal income (TPI) expressed in thousands of constant 2020 dollars.

Source:

Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Household Retail Expenditure Potentials Out of total income, retail expenditures generated by households in the trade area total $10.4 billion and are expected to increase by $619.9 million or 6.0% to $11.0 billion by 2026-7. This number represents total householdgenerated retail demand within the broader regional trade area. Tourism-Generated Demand There are an estimated 293,500 visitors per year to Dauphin Island, based on the tourism analysis discussed in Section 2 of this report. Table 17.

TOURISM-GENERATED RETAIL POTENTIAL, ALOE BAY

Category OT Visitors Total Spend Restaurants Retail Trade Entertainment Study Area Capture Restaurants Retail Trade Entertainment Demand (Square Feet) Restaurants Retail Trade Entertainment TOTAL Source:

160

Factor

Total

$

365.23

$

293,453 113,408,302

$ $ $

78.57 61.34 10.12

$ $ $

23,055,534 18,001,318 2,970,217

59% 48% 73%

$ $ $

13,602,765 8,640,633 2,168,259

$ $ $

650 250 150

Randall Gross / Dev. Economics.

20,927 34,563 14,455 69,945

Forecast

$ $ $

1,597,647 1,014,844 254,662 2,458 4,059 1,698 8,215


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These visitors spend an estimated $113.4 million per year both on Dauphin Island and elsewhere as part of their overall travel expenditures. About $23.1 million is spent on restaurants, $18.0 million on retail trade, and $3.0 million on entertainment. These expenditures represent total tourist-generated retail demand.

Competitive Framework Aloe Bay would capture only a small share of destination retail expenditures made by households within the broader trade area, and a much higher share of Dauphin Island resident expenditures. Aloe Bay would also capture destination tourist expenditures and should also generate new tourism expenditures to the island, above and beyond those generated by the existing visitor base. Existing retail businesses and restaurants on the island will continue to capture some of the sales generated by these markets. Some existing businesses just off the island (such as Greer’s Markets, Coden Grocery, and Dollar General stores) will also continue to capture sales especially from commuting workers and existing residents. Restaurants, shopping centers, and destination retail districts throughout the region (e.g., Shoppes at Fairhope Village, Tanger Outlets, Gulf Shores, Dauphin Square, Gulfdale Place, Pinebrook, Westwood, Schillinger Town Plaza, Skyland S.C., Cloverleaf Plaza, Springdale Mall, Legacy Village, Shoppes at Bel Air, OWA, Downtown Fairhope, Sun Ray Plaza, West Park, Yester Oaks, Festival Center, Springhill Village, Westwood Square, Springhill Plaza, Crichton, and others) will attract sales from area households. Aloe Bay will also compete with other Gulf Coast towns for destination visitors from Mississippi through the Florida Panhandle.

Aloe Bay Retail Potentials Within this competitive framework, Aloe Bay is assumed to include a destination mix of retail, restaurants, entertainment, and visitor attractions that help to secure its capture of market demand. Aloe Bay would then have potential for up to about 170,000 square feet of retail business space, or 164,000 square feet of net new retail uses after accounting for existing retail and restaurant businesses in the study area. This net new demand includes 49,000 square feet of convenience, 51,000 square feet of shopper’s goods, 36,000 square feet of eating & drinking space, 21,000 square feet of entertainment use, and nearly 7,000 square feet of personal services space, as summarized in the following table.

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Table 18.

SUMMARY DESTINATION RETAIL POTENTIAL BY USE ALOE BAY, 2021-2026/7 Gross Demand (SF)

Existing

Warranted

2021

2026/7

Uses

Demand

Convenience

46,798

52,423

3,162

49,261

Shoppers Goods

45,993

51,085

504

50,581

Eating/Drinking

33,923

37,652

1,550

36,102

7,598

8,571

-

8,571

Full Service

19,903

22,121

1,550

20,571

Entertainment

19,258

21,260

-

21,260

6,254

7,373

504

6,869

152,226

169,794

5,720

164,074

Type of Good

Limited Service

Personal Services TOTAL Existing Vacant

-

Net New Space

164,074

Note:

Potential net of existing/planned commercial space.

Source:

Randall Gross / Development Economics.

Convenience retail demand includes about 10,300 square feet of specialty food potential, with a focus on fish and seafood sales. Aloe Bay has potential to become a destination market for such specialty food sales based on its positioning on the coast with opportunities for sales of fresh catch above and beyond existing sales operations. Convenience store potentials also include about 5,500 square feet for health and personal care sales, which would help fill a gap in the supply of pharmacies on the island. There is also potential for increasing grocery store capture by about 8,700 square feet, insufficient perhaps to support another grocery store but representing an opportunity for diversifying and upgrading product lines in the existing grocery operation on the island. Shopper’s goods potentials include about 5,500 square feet in apparel stores, 2,800 square feet in jewelry stores, and about 2,000 square feet for shoe stores. There is also some demand for non-department store general merchandise, hardware, and bookstore sales. The Aloe Bay area could capture up to about 7,200 square feet for gift and novelty store sales, 5,700 square feet for sporting goods, and 4,000 square feet for hobby, toy, and game stores. About 6,400 square feet in potential for miscellaneous retail stores (e.g., sewing/handcraft, pet stores, etc.) is also forecasted at Aloe Bay. While there is potential for limited-service restaurants forecasted (about 8,500 square feet), there is even more potential for full-service restaurants (20,600 square feet), drinking places (4,600 square feet), and snack establishments (2,300 square feet for donut, ice cream, coffee, and similar

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shops). As noted above, there is also potential for about 21,000 square feet of entertainment venues and 7,000 square feet of personal services business (e.g., hair or tanning salons, tailors, shoe repair, etc). These more detailed findings are summarized by specific type of establishment in the Appendix.

Recommended Tenant Mix Based on the findings of the retail market analysis, a business mix is recommended that would be best suited towards maximizing the destination potential for Aloe Bay and capturing potential in the market. An understanding of residents’ needs and preferences also helped guide these recommendations to the extent that the market supports them. It is important to note that, while there may be demand within certain categories, the amount of demand is sometimes insufficient to support the typical floor plate for a business operating within that particular category. Such stores are not recommended for inclusion in this mix. Table 19.

RECOMMENDED RETAIL MIX, ALOE BAY

Type of Business

Square Feet

Seafood Market/Specialty Food Misc. Convenience/Liquor Health/Personal Care Apparel & Accessory/Boating Hand Crafted Jewelry Art/Maker Gallery Shoes Books/Estuary Environment Gifts/Souvenirs Hobby/Toys/Games Sporting Goods-Kayak/Bike Breakfast/LS Restaurants Full-Service Restaurants/Music Drinking Establishments/Music Ice Cream/Snack/Coffee Personal Services

10,400 8,100 5,000 6,500 2,700 3,000 1,800 2,400 6,200 3,800 5,700 7,500 19,000 8,600 2,500 6,000

Total

99,200

Source:

Randall Gross / Dev. Economics

Aloe Bay Fish Market A specialty seafood market of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet is recommended as an anchor for the Aloe Bay development because of the market support for such a concept as well as the opportunity it holds for driving

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destination marketing and branding for Aloe Bay. Such a market would offer fresh seafood caught off of Dauphin Island’s and Gulf Coastal waters. Ideally, seafood sold in this market would also be served in a high-quality, fresh seafood restaurant associated with the market as well as for informal café-style dining. The market would offer stalls leased to and/or operated by commercial fishing operations who (ideally) would be based on Dauphin Island.

Aloe Bay Fish Market

Aloe Bay Fish Market Concept Full-Service Restaurants & Bars with Live Music The destination draw would also be generated by up to about 20,000 square feet of full-service restaurants, some offering live music, along the Aloe Bay waterfront. As noted above, at least one full-service restaurant would be associated directly with the Fresh Seafood Market and would offer “fresh catch” from coastal waters. The live music component would help Aloe Bay capture some of the entertainment potential that exists through tourism as well as resident-generated demand. Drinking establishments would also offer live music as part of the business mix. There could also be some limited-service restaurants such as a café serving breakfast foods, as well as ice cream / coffee shop. Boating Supply/Convenience An 8,000 square-foot store would offer convenience goods, liquor, and boating supplies to anglers, charter boat operators, commercial fishing operations, local residents, and tourists at Aloe Bay.

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Health & Personal Care A small 5,000 square-foot pharmacy or health goods store would be operated at Aloe Bay and oriented to the needs of local residents as well as visitors. Coastal Recreation Sporting Goods Store A 5,700 square-foot sporting goods store would be oriented to kayakers, bicyclists, and boaters, possibly offering repair services in addition to retail goods for recreation-based visitors and residents. “Eco-Tourism Center” and Dauphin Island Ecology Gift/Bookstore A bookstore is recommended with a focus on Dauphin Island, Gulf Coast, and Mobile Bay ecology. Such a business might operate out of an “EcoTourism Center” oriented as an anchor education facility as another destination for visitors that houses exhibits, lectures, and information about coastal ecology, conservation, and research activities on Dauphin Island. Local institutions such as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab have expressed an interest in exploring the concept of an Eco-Tourism Center and may be able to connect resources for its operation. The bookstore and/or gift store could serve as one source of earned income to support such operations.

Eco-Tourism Center Concept

Eco-Tourism Center Concept

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Art/Maker Gallery Aloe Bay would provide an excellent location for exhibition and sales space to accommodate local and regional artists through an art gallery, perhaps operated by a local organization. Importantly, Aloe Bay may provide more exposure for local artists to greater numbers of destination travelers, boaters, charter patrons, and others. Apparel and Accessories About 10,800 square feet of space is recommended for clothing and accessories, jewelry, and shoe retailing as part of the Aloe Bay experience. However, it is highly recommended that such activity be “curated” to ensure that the quality and merchandising strategy helps strengthen the Aloe Bay brand, rather than distract from it (such as through a collection of “t-shirt shops”). Similarly, gifts, hobby, and other shops should be curated to guarantee an overall high level of quality.

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Section 5. WATERFRONT INDUSTRIAL OPPORTUNITIES ASSESSMENT An “Opportunities Assessment” was conducted for waterfront industrial activity at Aloe Bay. This assessment was not intended as a full market analysis to forecast the site’s economic potential for development. Rather, the assessment examined existing conditions and identified opportunities for a “working” waterfront based on comparable waterfronts, information gathered from interested parties, seafood yields and charter/commercial fishing operations, and uses that would be compatible with and expand upon the destination tourism potentials for Aloe Bay as a whole. Importantly, consideration was also given to Dauphin Island’s “sister” community of Bayou La Batre and their efforts to attract employment-generated marine industrial uses.

Existing Industrial Waterfront Use Dauphin Island already has an active waterfront, anchored by the Dauphin Island Marina. Among the active uses at Dauphin Island are fishing charters, commercial fishing fleets, oyster farms, and a major annual fishing event. Dauphin Island Marina services most of this existing business. Fishing Charters & Tours The island hosts at least 28 regular deep-sea/offshore and inshore fishing charters. These charters offer a range of services and generally receive high marks for quality and value-for-money from reviewers. Many of the charters ply waters and generate business beyond Dauphin Island. In addition to fishing charters, the island also offers several coastal tour options, including dolphin cruises, “eco-tours,” and other specialized group tours. Commercial Fishing Fleets In addition to the charter business, there are also at least 25 commercial fishing fleets using Dauphin Island ports with a total haul averaging 1.1 million pounds or about 3.1% of Alabama coastal landings and with a value estimated at $2,097,300. (By comparison, Bayou La Batre had total landings of 32 million pounds with a value of $63 million in 2018). Despite the popularity of Dauphin

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Island waters for commercial fishing, only eight of these fleets are actually based on the island. One or more of the existing fleets supplies a fresh seafood restaurant on the island. There is only one registered commercial buyer on the island, AB Seafood, which currently limits the development of an industry on Dauphin Island. Oyster Farms There are two commercial oyster farms on the island. One of these operations is seeking space at Aloe Bay to house cleaning, sorting, and prep activities. The Auburn Shellfish Laboratory is housed at Dauphin Island and provides consulting services to support this nascent local oyster industry. Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo As noted in the lodging section of this report, Aloe Bay already hosts the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a major fishing event that has occurred annually since 1929 and attracts an average 75,000 spectators and 3,000 anglers over the three days of the event. The ADSFR often includes live music and other festival events. Dauphin Island Marina The Dauphin Island Marina offers 90 wet slips, 140 dry slips, and 25 trailered boat slips. Facilities include boat storage, dockside fueling and oil, bait & tackle shop, and dining (at the Captain Snapper’s Marina Bar & Grill). Slip prices range from $7 to $9 per month plus power (A & B docks) and $250 to $300 per month plus power (C docks). Transient slips are $1.75 per foot, per night, with 30-day rental rates (wet) at $16 per foot, per month. The marina charges $45 per month for storage sheds. Dry slips are priced at $12.50 to $14.00 per foot, per month.

Development & Program Opportunities Several opportunities were identified that would help strengthen the overall destination potential for Aloe Bay, including a “working waterfront” component. The opportunities for several of these concepts could rely on the implementation of dredging and water treatment remediation. Marine Ice & Fuel Supply As a draw for potential fishing fleets, charter boats, or pleasure craft, it would be useful for Aloe Bay to offer ice and fuel supply (as it once did). Such supply could form part of the retail services offered by a “boat supply” and convenience store operation as supported by the Retail Market Analysis.

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Clean Oyster Grading & Sorting There is an operator vying to occupy existing or potential new waterfront sites at Aloe Bay in order to conduct oyster cleaning, grading, and sorting operations. Such operations would not only generate some fiscal revenue to the Town but also help create an active “working” waterfront use that helps in packaging Aloe Bay for destination tourism. Even if the operation is small, its presence helps secure the concept of Aloe Bay as a place where consumers can shop for, eat, and watch waterfront activities relating to fresh seafood. Because the oysters are farmed and not caught directly from the sea floor, they will not generate the smells or uncomfortable conditions commonly associated with oyster cleaning operations. There may also be opportunities for “hands-on” participation for visitors in the cleaning or sorting activities. Commercial Docks / Fish Market The Aloe Bay docks would offer short-term storage for commercial fishing and charter operators which, as with the oyster operations, help create “working waterfront” activity including unloading and cleaning of seafood catch in support of the Aloe Bay Fish Market concept (see Retail Market Analysis) and associated fresh seafood restaurants. Some packing would also occur in support of direct sales at the Fish Market, but Aloe Bay would not serve as a hub for commercial seafood packing, which already exists at Bayou La Batre. Since there is only one registered buyer on the island, the introduction of an active seafood market could help attract more commercial fishing operators to house on Dauphin Island, since a local, high-volume market could potentially be created for fresh fish and seafood products. The orientation of such facilities would not be meant to compete with Dauphin Island Marina, but rather, to provide a second stop for commercial operators and to attract more commercial fleets to base themselves on the island. Ultimately, the objective is to grow destination business for Dauphin Island Marina and Aloe Bay together, for the benefit of both. Land/Sea Eco Tours There are already some eco-tours offered by companies operating at Dauphin Island Marina. But there will also be opportunities to blend more land and sea eco-tourism including birding and trails through Dauphin Island’s wetlands. Aloe Bay can become the nexus for such land and sea tours, offering access to both. The concept of the Eco-Tourism Center could also become a hub for such activity, blending lectures, research, meetings, and exhibitions with ecotours both by land and by sea.

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Kayak & Paddle Boat Rentals Associated with the eco-tourism element could be opportunities for kayak and paddle boat rentals at Aloe Bay. Again, such rentals could be hosted at or operated by the Eco-Tourism Center, as another source of earned income to support its operations. Marina There is the opportunity for developing another full marina with wet slips on the island, to be located at Aloe Bay. The marina would further activate the waterfront. But, every step would need to be taken to create a partnership with Dauphin Island Marina and avoid any direct competition. The concept would be to diversify and expand the destination market base for slips on the island. The availability of some slips could also be associated with lodging facilities (See Lodging and Meeting Market Analysis) built on the waterfront or elsewhere in the Aloe Bay area.

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REPORT APPENDIX

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Table A1.

AT-PLACE EMPLOYMENT TRENDS, MOBILE COUNTY, 2002-2018 2002-2018 Trend

Sector Agriculture Extraction

2002

2010

2018

Number

Percent

791

693

694

(97)

-12.3%

577

494

362

(215)

-37.3%

1,753

1,446

1,432

(321)

-18.3%

Construction

11,624

12,789

11,352

(272)

-2.3%

Manufacturing

17,218

13,290

18,404

1,186

6.9%

Utilities

Wholesale Trade

8,160

7,924

8,245

85

1.0%

21,697

21,489

21,549

(148)

-0.7%

Transport/Warehouse

6,956

8,760

8,279

1,323

19.0%

Information

2,769

2,276

2,237

(532)

-19.2%

Finance & Insurance

5,369

5,390

5,436

67

1.2%

Real Estate

3,625

3,344

3,011

(614)

-16.9%

Prof/Sci/Tech

8,381

9,016

9,502

1,121

13.4%

Management

514

828

1,386

872

169.6%

Administration

14,629

11,565

13,980

(649)

-4.4%

Education

14,955

16,026

14,767

(188)

-1.3%

Health Care

Retail Trade

17,308

23,284

25,847

8,539

49.3%

Recreation/Entertain

1,321

1,307

1,513

192

14.5%

Accom/Foodservice

13,374

14,246

17,139

3,765

28.2%

Other

6,182

5,841

5,789

(393)

-6.4%

Government

6,109

7,150

6,457

348

5.7%

163,312

167,158

177,381

14,069

8.6%

TOTAL Sources:

U.S. Bureau of the Census and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

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Table A2.

Category

BUSINESS SPACE BY CATEGORY, DAUPHIN ISLAND, 2020 Number

Sq. Feet

Percent

of Total

6 10 8 1 2

18,097 22,683 13,929 504 6,132

30% 37% 23% 0% 1% 10%

8% 10% 6% 0% 0% 3%

27

61,345

100%

28%

Number 9

Sq. Feet 10,609

Percent 7%

of Total 5%

Finance/Insurance/RE Professional Business/Info Svcs/Admin Non-Profit/Govt Medical/Health

8 1 -

9,609 1,000 -

6% 0% 0% 1% 0%

4% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Mgt Services Vacant Industrial/Marine Service Civic/Govt/Religious Accommodation Recreation Museum/Library

6 6 2 3 2

33,817 30,198 6,969 6,662 17,638

0% 0% 21% 19% 4% 4% 11%

0% 0% 15% 14% 3% 3% 8%

Education Research Vacant

1 3 -

15,070 39,514 -

9% 25% 0%

7% 18% 0%

Sub-Total

32

160,477

100%

72%

TOTAL

59

221,822

Convenience Goods Shoppers Goods Eating & Drinking Entertainment Personal Services Vacant Sub-Total Non-Retail Use Office

Source:

100%

Randall Gross / Development Economics.

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Table A3.

TOURISM SOURCE MARKET GROWTH FACTORS, ALOE BAY Penetrat.

Growth

Size

Rate

Rate

1,090,435

14%

0.3%

Huntsville

471,824

14%

1.4%

Mobile

429,536

14%

-2.7%

New Orleans

1,270,530

6%

0.8%

Atlanta

6,020,364

1%

1.5%

Nashville

2,090,958

3%

1.9%

373,290

14%

-3.7%

DFW

7,573,136

1%

2.1%

Houston

7,066,141

1%

2.2%

Memphis

1,346,045

2%

0.3%

St Louis

2,803,228

2%

0.6%

Little Rock

742,384

4%

0.7%

Jackson

594,806

5%

0.2%

2,074,537

1%

1.1%

Knoxville

869,046

2%

0.7%

Chattanooga

565,194

2%

0.8%

Orlando

2,608,147

1%

2.5%

TSP

3,194,831

1%

1.6%

OK

1,408,950

1%

1.4%

Detroit

4,319,629

1%

0.6%

Springfield, MO

1,025,519

7%

1.2%

Market Birmingham

Montgomery/Cl

Indy

Source:

174

Randall Gross / Dev. Economics.


Aloe Bay Master Plan Appendix

Table A4. Category

RETAIL INVENTORY, DAUPHIN ISLAND,2020 Number

(Percent)

Sq. Ft.

(Percent)

1 1 1 2 1 6

3% 0% 3% 3% 7% 0% 3% 0% 20%

9,400 2,000 200 5,697 800 18,097

14% 0% 3% 0% 9% 0% 1% 0% 28%

Apparel Accessory Jewelry Shoes Furniture Home Furnishings Appliances Hardware/Paint/Farm Garden Supply Home Centers Department Store Non DS GM Used Mdse/Antiques Auto Dealer Auto Supply Electronics Books/Music Musical Instruments Gift, Novelty, Svr, Misc Hobby/Toy/Game Luggage/Leather Office Supply/Sta Misc Sporting Goods Sub-Total

2 1 4 1 2 10

7% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 13% 0% 0% 0% 3% 7% 33%

1,843 9,600 8,321 1,098 1,822 22,683

3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 15% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 13% 0% 0% 0% 2% 3% 35%

Dining & Entertainment Restaurant-LS Restaurant-FS Drinking Establishments Snack/Beverage Entertainment Sub-Total

2 6 3 11

7% 20% 0% 10% 0% 37%

1,139 12,790 3,733 17,662

2% 20% 0% 6% 0% 27%

1

3%

504

1%

Convenience Grocery Convenience Specialty Food Health/Pers Care Gas/Convenience Florist Liquor/Tobacco Misc Sub-Total Shoppers Goods

Personal Svces

28

93%

58,946

91%

Existing Vacant

TOTAL

2 -

7%

6,132 -

9%

GRAND TOTAL

30

100%

65,078

100%

Sources:

Mobile County Assessor, retail businesses/owners, and Randall Gross / Development Economics.

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ALOE BAY STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS For the Town of Dauphin Island

Prepared August 16, 2021 By Randall Gross / Development Economics For GMC and the Town of Dauphin Island

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. MARKETING CONCEPTS AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES ......... 179 2. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE AND OPERATING MODELS ................ 187

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INTRODUCTION This report provides strategic recommendations to help inform the Aloe Bay Master Plan, informed by Market Analyses, Fiscal Assessments, and stakeholder input. The first section of this report provides a summary of key findings from the Market Analyses, including concepts for marketing and development at Aloe Bay. The second section provides recommendations for management and financial structuring as an input for implementation of the plan.

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Section 1. MARKETING CONCEPTS AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES This section provides a review of the findings from the Market Analyses conducted to determine the potential for development at Aloe Bay. Based on those findings, marketing and development concepts and strategies are recommended that have helped to guide the master planning process and to gather stakeholder feedback.

Summary of Market Findings The market analyses and opportunity assessments identified broad-based potential for a variety of uses at Aloe Bay that could be integrated as a mixed-use working waterfront and destination “town center” for Dauphin Island. These uses include the following:

• • • • • • • • •

Use

Amount

Units

Fish Market (Anchor) Retail Shops Restaurants / Entertainment Eco-Tourism Center Residential (MR & Affordable) Working Waterfront Industrial Lodging / Hospitality Marina Kayak / Blue Ways, Trails

10,000 – 12,000 61,600 27,600 1,500 to 5,000 116-123 15,000 123 Opportunity Opportunity

Square Feet Square Feet Square Feet Square Feet Development Units Square Feet Lodging Rooms Slips Access

The market analyses support a total development program of up to an estimated 423,800 square feet of development including retail, restaurants, entertainment, education, residential, industrial, and hospitality building uses. However, this total amount of development is not necessarily the optimal amount recommended for Aloe Bay, which is also a function of physical development parameters and community stakeholder preferences. It should be noted that the total square footage does not include space dedicated meetings, which would largely be accommodated at existing facilities on the island. However, it is likely that some outdoor events (both public and private) would be held in public spaces around Aloe Bay, with some accommodation for smaller indoor events in lodging facilities, or at the fish market, eco center, or other spaces integrated into the Aloe Bay development. The market for meetings and events would be leveraged in part by short-term boutique lodging at Aloe Bay.

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Development Objectives There are several key public objectives that inform the overall development program and concepts for Aloe Bay. These public objectives are tied to funding mechanisms, stakeholder buy-in, and ultimately to the successful implementation of the Aloe Bay project. Fiscal Diversification It is critical to understand that the Town of Dauphin Island is facing increased vulnerability caused by a variety of factors outside of the Town’s direct control. Among these factors are increasing hurricane and regular storm activity, as well as oil spills, and rising sea levels, all of which cause impacts detrimental to the Town’s tourism industry, livability, and fiscal health. As an example of these factors, the Town experienced a cumulative impact of $1.5 to $2.0 million in damages from multiple storms in 2019 which required public infrastructure repair, clean-up, and recovery. This amount constitutes a serious impact on the Town’s budget, which is only $4.0 million total. The Town cannot sustain multiple years of such impacts without raising taxes or finding new revenue sources. As such, an important objective for Aloe Bay is to help the Town diversify its local revenue base by providing an alternative location for generating revenue. Aloe Bay presents an opportunity for mixed-use development that would generate revenue in the form of sales, lodging and property taxes as well as user fees, rental charges, and other income. Local Community Needs There are also objectives relating to the needs of permanent local residents, workers, homeowners, and regular seasonal guests. In order to generate the kinds of income that would help the Town diversify its revenue base, there will be a need to establish a visitor destination at Aloe Bay. However, this destination should also serve the needs of local residents, who have expressed a desire for more full-service dining options and public amenities including water access but also a preference for low-scale development and a laid-back atmosphere at Aloe Bay. Again, in order to gain market support for restaurants and other amenities, there will be a need to leverage demand generated by tourists and other destination visitors. Stakeholders identified the following preferences with respect to development at Aloe Bay: • • •

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Keep it Small Scale Maintain Local Character Maximize Public Access to Water


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• • • • •

Serve Local Residents More Seafood/Restaurants Restore Working Waterfront/Local Heritage Emphasize Local Ecology/Environment Include Green Space, Public Space

Overall Marketing & Development Concept The overall concept envisions a mixed-use waterfront development around Aloe Bay. The waterfront would be activated through public access and a boardwalk, alongside “working” waterfront uses, outdoor dining, and live music. De Soto Avenue would emerge as a “main street,” with shops, restaurants, boutique lodging, and public amenities in a walkable environment adjacent to the waterfront. Key Elements In addition to the boardwalk and public water access for boating, the development would be anchored by the Aloe Bay Fish Market and an EcoTourism Center, both of which would help strengthen the destination visitor potential for Aloe Bay. The Fish Market would accommodate direct sales from commercial fishing operations to restaurants and consumers. The Eco-Tourism Center would promote the various research activities on Dauphin Island that are focused on coastal ecology and estuary habitats. The center would host lectures, exhibits, bookstore, and programming oriented to the island’s ecology and specific research projects. Restaurants along De Soto Avenue and the boardwalk will offer live music, and some might include “hook to table” or “net to table” options (a coastal variation of the popular “farm to table” theme). Retail shops would offer highquality merchandise for residents and visitors, while a boutique lodging establishment would offer high-quality services and would be integrated with the walk-able commercial streetscape. Because of the presence of boutique lodging rooms, more visitors and meeting participants will now be able to stay overnight on the island and support its unique local restaurants and businesses. The presence of lodging rooms would also help the island attract more meetings and events, which in turn help to generate revenue local nonprofits, institutions, and community-based organizations. A “Working Waterfront” would include commercial fishing docks for charters and commercial fishing, along with marina slips, fuel, and boating services. Oyster cleaning and sorting would generate active seafood production activity on the waterfront itself, while kayak rentals would allow visitors to explore Dauphin Island ecology through blue ways connecting to wetland trails. Public festivals and events would be programmed regularly at Aloe Bay, accommodated in green spaces that open onto the boardwalk and waterfront.

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Aloe Bay Fish Market Concept The Retail Market Analysis identified potential for a destination fish market that would include stalls operated by multiple commercial fishing operations for direct sales to residents, visitors, and restaurants in the area. The Fish Market concept would also include a restaurant component that would open onto the boardwalk and offer live music, event space, and fresh catch of the day. A “downstairs” element might include a more casual “hook-to-table” area for charter participants and pleasure craft, as well as take-out from the Fish Market for picnic-style dining. Ultimately, the concept is to create a community-oriented gathering place and destination for visitors that offers a market for Dauphin Island’s commercial fishing operations.

Aloe Bay Fish Market

Components Components of the facility would include 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of enclosed space for permanent and temporary fish market stalls, a fish & tackle shop, and office space to accommodate management operations and potentially for overflow charter and commercial fishing operators. The Fish Market would be situated adjacent to the commercial boat docks, ideally at an anchor location of Aloe Bay near the intersection of Le Moyne Drive and De Soto Avenue. A 5,000 to 10,000 square-foot fresh seafood restaurant with live music and outdoor event space would be located on the top level of the building adjacent to the boardwalk and with a view of Aloe Bay. As noted above, casual fresh-catch picnic-style dining along with parking areas would be accommodated on a lower level.

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Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center Concept Another anchor concept is proposed as the “Eco-Tourism Center,” which is meant to create a destination attraction on the waterfront, showcase the local research capacity on Dauphin Island and provide access to eco-tourism assets in the region. Rather than competing with the Estuarium, the Eco-Tourism Center is meant to complement and promote the island’s other environmental education and research facilities, programs, sites, and eco-tourism opportunities.

Eco-Tourism Center Concept

Components This 1,500 to 5,000 square-foot facility would offer visitor exhibit space as well as lecture and “demonstration” space to develop interest in local research and explore Dauphin Island’s unique environmental resources. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab might have a “teaser exhibits” and scheduled demonstrations at the Eco-Tourism Center to provide a “taste” of its much larger exhibits to entice Aloe Bay visitors further into the island to explore that facility. Other components of the Eco-Tourism center could be an art gallery which might offer space for local artists and those focused on the local environment in their work. A bookstore and outdoor café opening onto the boardwalk would further activate the waterfront and provide another destination for unique books and merchandise focused on Dauphin Island’s ecology. Docking would allow for kayak rentals and direct access into the bay for local blue way and wetland ecology tours. The docks at the Eco-Tourism Center would also provide access for research vessels to allow visitor tours or serve as assets. A central location for ticketing to the various facilities and activities that take place on Dauphin Island and the surrounding region.

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Working Waterfront Concept The “working waterfront” component of Aloe Bay was an important element identified by stakeholders for re-establishing an “authentic” place on the island that celebrates the island’s local heritage while appealing to residents and visitors alike. The concept builds on existing uses both on Aloe Bay and on activity at Dauphin Island Marina to create a diverse and exciting waterfront with industrial, commercial, and recreational activity. The concept also contrasts with (but also complements) Bayou La Batre, which is more oriented to heavy industrial activity. Access and facilities at Aloe Bay are meant to support the local fishing industry in part by enhancing the destination market for local seafood and promoting direct access, services, and support for fishing and charter boat vessels. Components The components of the working waterfront include marine ice, fuel supply, and industrial services like cleaning and maintenance. The concept also includes clean oyster grading and sorting, which will not only generate a direct source of local seafood but also an active use that can appeal to visitors interested in seeing authentic waterfront seafood activity. The oyster farming would occur nearby on the island but would be brought to the Aloe Bay waterfront for cleaning, sorting, and grading done partly by hand. Because the oysters are farm raised, the prospective oyster company has promised the operation would be free of the smells and detritus associated with seabed oyster harvesting. The concept also includes commercial docks for fishing and tour charters as well as for commercial fishing fleets. The Fish Market would serve as an anchor for the working waterfront, offering commercial fishing operators a venue for direct sales of fresh catch. As such, fishermen would have a ready market for their product. Eco-tours (land and sea), kayaking and boat rentals, and a marina with wet slips would further diversify the mix of uses on the waterfront.

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Boutique Lodging Concept There is a strong desire to keep Dauphin Island and Aloe Bay, in particular, low-key, quiet, and separate from the high-intensity, high-density “Spring Break” atmosphere of other Gulf Coast beach towns. Dauphin Island, unlike Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and other beachfront communities, does not have many big hotels or chain stores. Dauphin Island’s accommodations are oriented more to the long-term resort visitor or second homeowner, but this market is highly seasonal, with occupancy (and fiscal revenues) low during the winter months. This master plan makes every effort to retain and balance this quiet, small town feel with the need to diversify the local tax base and accommodate some overnight visitors at Aloe Bay. Major Dauphin Island employers like the Sea Lab host small but important scientific meetings throughout the year, and various unique events bring people to the island. But the lack of short-term overnight accommodation limits the Town of Dauphin Island from benefiting from the lodging and sales tax revenues that are captured instead by shoreside communities. If the Fish Market, working waterfront, restaurants, and public amenities desired by the community are to be economically viable, they will need to have destination appeal for overnight visitors. A balance can be achieved through development of a small, “boutique” lodging facility integrated with the Fish Market, restaurants, and working waterfront uses at Aloe Bay. Components A viable lodging facility would be situated along the water or with views of Aloe Bay and the working waterfront. Again, the facility of at least 80 rooms, large enough to accommodate the meeting market generated by local and area research institutions and special events, would be integrated with adjoining uses such as restaurants and retail shops, as part of a walkable “main street” environment. The image above illustrates the scale and format of a facility that might blend well with the uses envisioned along Aloe Bay. The master plan has placed the concept of a lodging facility on the south side of De Soto Avenue, and thus all waterside boardwalks and access points would remain open and available to the community and the general public.

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Off-Site Residential Development There is potential for development of 116 to 123 single- and multi-family residential units but it was determined that such development is better suited for infill sites in areas away from the waterfront. Development of housing within walking distance of Aloe Bay would help strengthen market support for restaurants and other amenities desired by permanent residents. But development of such units on the bay itself would reduce destination activity and distract from the public access that is desired by the community. The waterfront development of Aloe Bay itself would not include residential uses as part of the overall development program.

Development Phasing A program for development phasing is recommended based on the market findings. However, this program has been subject to refinement in relation to the physical planning and infrastructure development constraints that may re-direct development through non-market interventions. The prospective development phasing approach is provided below. For an illustrated version of the phasing, see the Phase Plan of Chapter 3. Phase / Component

Square Feet (approx.)

I.

Infrastructure (Bulkhead, docks, boardwalk, streetscape, utilities, etc.) Eco-Tourism Center/Kayak Storage 8,500 Fish Market 10,000 Restaurant 10,000 Boutique Lodging 36,000

II.

Infrastructure (Bulkhead, docks, boardwalk, marina, streetscape etc.) Oyster Sorting (replacement to existing facility) 5,000 Retail Shops 10,000 Waterfront Use (Charter services) 5,000 Restaurants/Snacks/Food & Beverage 13,000 Marina TBD

III.

Infrastructure (streetscape) Mixed-Use/Retail Shops/Restaurants

43,000

Again, this phasing program has been refined through the master planning process to reflect the requirements for infrastructure and planning.

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Section 2. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE & OPERATING MODELS A development management structure and operating models are recommended to help guide implementation of the concepts developed in the previous section and the master plan for Aloe Bay. A general development and management structure is recommended, informed in part by the findings of a fiscal impact assessment. Specific operating models are provided for key anchor concepts including Aloe Bay Fish Market, Eco-Tourism Center, and Working Waterfront. In addition, a management and marketing model for the island’s Meeting Venues are also proposed in support of the meeting market leveraged in part by lodging and amenities that would be established at Aloe Bay.

Overall Development & Management Structure A concept for development of Aloe Bay has been thoughtfully master planned, as described throughout this report. In order to achieve development of Aloe Bay as close as possible to the community’s vision in this plan, logic suggests that a master developer be selected to phase and implement projects in collaboration with the Town and its funding partners. A master developer will work with the Town to either acquire or assemble properties (including those already controlled by the Town), create a development framework plan, and implement infrastructure rollout in appropriate phases. The master developer may also subdivide parcels for development by sub-developers for commercial, hotel, portside or mixed uses as needed. Master Developer Models A master developer model can be achieved through recruitment of an experienced, private development entity or through creation of a quasigovernmental development authority or similar agency. In larger communities, or where the County is directly involved, an existing industrial development authority or similar agency can play a lead role. Where that type of authority does not exist in a smaller community, it is advisable to recruit a private, highly experienced development entity to take a lead development role. There is a difference between a “contract” developer and a developerinvestor. The Town should be careful to recruit an entity that will achieve its objectives without requiring the Town to seek further investment in commercial development. Many times, developers will offer contract development services (and sometimes, ongoing management services) on behalf of the community but are not willing to make the primary equity investment themselves. Dauphin Island will most likely require the developer to have a primary equity position and bring any necessary partners, rather than just being paid for contract development work on behalf of the Town. Where the developer has a primary equity position,

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they are more likely to conduct thorough due diligence and guide the development to meet key thresholds for return-on-investment. Development Manager Regardless of which type of master developer model is selected, it is recommended the Town of Dauphin Island create a professional position of Development Manager or similar title with the role of managing the development process at Aloe Bay on behalf of the Town. The Development Manager would work with funders and various partners to coordinate funding for public infrastructure to leverage private development and investment interest. The Development Manager would also oversee the process for recruiting a master developer or coordinating with appropriate development authorities to sub-divide and create “pad” sites for development. The recruitment process would include identifying potential master developers and drafting and distributing a Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/RFP) for Developers. The Development Manager would lead the negotiation processes with potential master developers or investors on behalf of the Town of Dauphin Island. This would ensure the Town has direct representation in any negotiated development contract. The Development Manager would also act as the de facto “economic development” director for the Town, assisting the development entity with marketing and recruitment of Aloe Bay and Dauphin Island for potential tenants and operators. The Development Manager, by virtue of their relationship with local stakeholders, would also help recruit the organization or commercial fishing entities to operate the Fish Market and associated assets. Similarly, the Development Manager would work with the various partners to form the collaborative entity that would construct, operate and program the Eco-Tourism Center. Leveraging Tools The Town would have at its disposal several mechanisms for leveraging private development and investment interest. First, the Town has access to federal and state grant funding for infrastructure improvements, some of which would be owned and maintained by the Town. Second, the Town already has control of several key parcels on the Aloe Bay waterfront, so it can use land as a negotiating tool and, where required, an incentive for development. The Town can also use regulatory authority and incentives geared toward leveraging development at Aloe Bay, such as through accelerated planning and permitting approvals for proposals that conform to the approved conceptual master plan. The Town may also have access to other tools including Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help fund infrastructure, structured parking, or other improvements tohelp leverage private investment. Such fiscal tools, however,

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should be guided by a strict return-on-investment analysis to ensure that the Town still achieves its objectives of fiscal diversification as quickly as possible.

Aloe Bay Fish Market Concept There are several possible models for development and operation of the Aloe Bay Fish Market concept. One approach would incorporate the Fish Market into the broader master-planned project implemented by a private development entity. A local non-profit comprised of a board led by local stakeholders could be charged with operating the facility. The non-profit would raise capital funds through grants, capital campaigns, and from the Town itself; with operations funded through memberships, rentals, retail & restaurant revenues, and boat dock user fees. But another alternative operating model places control with the commercial fishing operations that stand to benefit from it. The latter model reduces potential exposure and risk to the Town and its community partners but will likely require more up-front effort to identify and recruit equity partners and commercial operators. There is likely to be some overlap among the stakeholders in both operating models, with commercial fishing operators participating in both.

Aloe Bay Eco-Tourism Center Concept Based on initial discussions with institutional stakeholders, a possible operating model is emerging that would be built on a collaborative partnership to operate the facility. This partnership might include institutions and agencies such as Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Outdoor Alabama Marine Resources Division, Auburn University, the Town of Dauphin Island, Alabama Seafood Commission, Chamber of Commerce, and the variety of other organizations operating on Dauphin Island. Operating funds would be generated through earned income including bookstore and café sales, kayak rentals, and tours; as well as through grant funding leveraged by the institutional partners from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PADI Foundation, South Mobile County Tourism Authority, and others.

Working Waterfront Concept Infrastructure and elements that tie the various components of the waterfront together would most likely be owned and managed by the Town of Dauphin Island. Such elements include the boardwalk, lighting, landscaping, green space, and public dock facilities. The Fish Market might own and operate its own commercial fishing docks aside from its own facilities. The Eco-Tourism Center and operate docking for kayaks, paddle boats, and research vessels. Otherwise, the Town would own and operate most other waterfront infrastructure

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and amenities. There is the possibility the Town might, for example, own and operate a marina with wet slips available primarily for day storage while visitors are attending events or going to Aloe Bay and other island shops, restaurants, and attractions. In this way, the Town’s marina operations might mirror operation of public parking facilities that are incorporated into the development. Responsibilities assigned to the Town of Dauphin Island could include the following: Utilities and right-of-way (Streets), bulkhead and boardwalk infrastructure and marina maintenance (Public Works), public safety (Police and EMS), and construction regulation (Building). The Town might also provide funding assistance to Dauphin Island Fire & Rescue to ensure that organization has sufficient resources to protect Aloe Bay. It would also be recommended the Town appoint a Development Director to oversee planning, development, marketing, and investor recruitment to Aloe Bay. This professional position might be created with a sunset provision to expire once Aloe Bay has reached a selfsustaining level.

Dauphin Island Meeting Venues Operating Concept Dauphin Island has several existing meeting venues and sites available for local and destination meetings and events. The Town is also constructing a new Community Center that can house a variety of meetings and events. The Market Analysis identified potential for a destination meeting market that could be leveraged by overnight accommodation at Aloe Bay. There will be a need to coordinate and market the island’s various meeting venues in association with the lodging facility in order to optimize the potential for all of these facilities and to generate income for their operations and revenue in support of the Town’s fiscal objectives. Several operating and marketing models are recommended below. Meeting Markets The potential overnight Dauphin Island meeting market is generated by diverse sources including convention “off-site” meetings and events, weddings and social events, destination research & association/corporate board meetings and retreats, and others. The Market Analysis identified potential for the island to capture at least 72 overnight meetings (those that require overnight accommodation), yielding about 120 event days per year. Attendance at these meetings and events could approach 5,300 or more. In addition to overnight meetings, Aloe Bay’s amenity value could also help the island capture a larger share of the day meeting market generated by local and regional sources. The island should capture at least 115 to 120 one-day meetings and events per year generated by Mobile-area sources outside of Dauphin Island. These meetings and events yield 164 event days and nearly 1,000 in attendance. The meeting market potential generated from these sources for Dauphin Island is summarized in the following table.

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Table 8. MEETING & EVENT MARKET, DAUPHIN ISLAND Event Source Markets

#/Year

Days

Convention Off-Site Meetings & Events

26

Weddings/Social Events

37

Attendance Average

Total

45

39

1,013

55

109

4,027

9

18

32

72

119

Overnight Meetings

Destination Research/Assn/Corp Meetings Sub-Total

290 5,330

Day Meetings & Events Mobile Area Local Dauphin Island Sub-Total TOTAL Source:

45

45

N/A

N/A

22

990 N/A

45

45

990

117

164

6,320

Randall Gross / Development Economics

Existing Meeting Venues The island’s existing venues should be able to accommodate many of these potential meetings and events. Many of the island’s existing venues are summarized below. •

Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The Sea Lab has five meeting and event venues plus catering services to accommodate research and corporate meetings, as well as weddings and social events. Venues include the following: o The Estuarium, for hosting weddings, corporate and social events. Accommodates 150 (seated banquet), 200 cocktail, and 300 floor and decks. o The Schooling Room, for hosting children’s birthday parties and other events. Accommodates 75 seated banquet (25 U-shaped), and 100 cocktail. o Richard C. Shelby Atrium and Auditorium, for board meetings and corporate seminars. The Auditorium accommodates 200 theater style, 130 seated banquet (44 U-shape), 200 cocktail, 52 conference, and 86 classroom. The Atrium accommodates 100 to 125 seated banquet and 175 cocktail.

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o Galathea Hall, for meetings. The 1,152 square-foot venue accommodates 32 theater style, 25 U-shaped, and 25 hollow square. DI Sea Lab already attracts groups like the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) to hold off-site tours and meetings on Dauphin Island during their conventions in Mobile (CERF hosted a 5-day event in Mobile that attracted 1,500 people). The Sea Lab has also hosted the Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meeting, the Forever Wild Alabama Land Trust board meeting, and others. While the Sea Lab also has dormitory-style accommodations for students, these facilities are not typically considered appropriate for meetings attracting high-level professionals from around the world. Often, attendees stay at locations in Mobile or elsewhere off the island. Thus, the introduction of a high-quality boutique lodging facility at Aloe Bay would greatly enhance the ability for Dauphin Island Sea Lab to attract more substantial research meetings on a regular basis. •

Isle Dauphine. The ca 1957 (International Style) Isle Dauphine is operated by the Dauphin Island Property Owners Association (DIPOA) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a private facility, Isle Dauphine provides access to members of DIPOA for parties, golf events, meetings, and social events. Access to the clubhouse and onsite restaurant are also provided to the general public for meetings and events on a fee basis. The ground floor of the clubhouse has event space with catering and a beach bar available for weddings, receptions, business meetings, and other events.

Town Facilities. The Town of Dauphin Island maintains two facilities that could be used for meetings and events. o The Town Hall for Dauphin Island is sometimes available for public events. o Dauphin Island Community Center. The Town is constructing a new 13,000 square foot community center, located at 412 Le Moyne Drive, within a block of Aloe Bay. This facility will include a stage, catering kitchen, restroom facilities, and two meeting rooms with capacity for 100 and 350, respectively. The Dauphin Island Foundation participated in funding the facility, along with public and private interests. The facility is meant primarily to accommodate local contests, performances, meetings, and social events.

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Dauphin Island Community Center. The Town is constructing a new 13,000 square foot community center, located at 412 Le Moyne Drive,


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within a block of Aloe Bay. This facility will include a stage, catering kitchen, restroom facilities, and two meeting rooms with capacity for 100 and 350, respectively. The Dauphin Island Foundation participated in funding the facility, along with public and private interests. The facility is meant primarily to accommodate local contests, performances, meetings, and social events. •

Fort Gaines. The Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board (DIPBB) operates historic Fort Gaines, which can accommodate up to 2,000 people for major events as well as smaller groups for weddings and social events. DIPBB charges $1,450 for event use of the public portions of the facility.

Cadillac Square. DIPBB also operates Cadillac Square, which can accommodate events including “corporate picnics, oyster roasts, & community and family events.” The park can accommodate larger gatherings of up to 500 people and DIPBB charges $50 as a minimum rental rate.

Public Beach & Pier. DIPBB maintains the Public Beach and Pier, with a rental fee of $200, depending on the size of events.

Restaurants. Various restaurants on Dauphin Island can accommodate small gatherings including parties, receptions, and social events. Places like Dority’s offer an entertainment stage and other amenities.

Churches. Several churches on the island accommodate visiting groups for meetings and conferences, social events, and other activities. For example, Dauphin Island Baptist Church has a Resort Conference and Ministry Center that can accommodate 15 to 100 people for spiritual renewal events, training events, team meetings or conferences; while the church’s sanctuary can accommodate 250 people. The United Methodist Church hosts regular meetings of several local chapters of social service organizations. Church of the Island accommodates various meetings and conferences, such as the Alabama Ornithological Society, which held a three-day meeting for 90 people at the church.

Operating and Marketing Model Several of the island’s meeting venues have marketing and management staff housed in their parent organization. Those organizations target certain meeting and event markets that are appropriate to their mission and/or venues. Many accommodate local events, but only a few are equipped to market for meetings and events that might originate outside of Dauphin Island’s existing resident and visitor base. Some organizations, like the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce, market the island for tourism but are not specifically targeting the meeting or conference market.

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However, the South Mobile County Tourism Authority (SMCTA) is already oriented to marketing Dauphin Island and surrounding areas specifically for meetings, conferences, and tourism. Certainly, given its mission, this organization is best suited to market, promote, and coordinate with venues on the island for meetings and events. Ideally, SMCTA would have the resources to work with the local venues, vacation home managers, and lodging facilities (including Aloe Bay) to coordinate calendars to promote and optimize the island’s resources for meetings and events. Much of SMCTA funding has been generated through the Gulf Seafood and Tourism Fund (BP) or RESTORE Act grants. But there is a need for more consistent local contributory funding to ensure that the organization is properly staffed and has the necessary resources to promote Dauphin Island for the types of meetings and visitor activities that are best suited to the fiscal needs and lifestyle of Dauphin Island. In marketing these opportunities, the SMCTA’s will need to overcome a gap in the meeting market because meeting and event spaces will not be directly located on Aloe Bay or adjacent to the proposed boutique lodging concept. Many meeting planners prefer to house meetings with rooms attached or immediately adjacent, due to the need for efficiency on a tight meeting schedule. Without meeting space on Aloe Bay, the potential overnight meeting market could still be somewhat constrained by this lack of adjacency. Internal transit opportunities around specific events and the marketing of unique facilities around Aloe Bay (and Dauphin Island) for events could help to mitigate the gap for meetings. Nevertheless, the very presence of high-quality boutique lodging rooms on the island will boost opportunities for Dauphin Island Sea Lab and others that might be able to accommodate conference off-sites, board meetings, and similar events.

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Profile for Goodwyn Mills Cawood

Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan  

Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan  

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