MONTGOMERY, AL-At one time, downtown Montgomery was little more than the seat of government, where people came to work by day and vacated it by night. These days, with help from a close to $1 billion investment from the city and the Retirement Systems of Alabama , as well as and interest from private developers, the former dead zone is coming to life.

Once the birthplace of the Confederacy and the civil rights movement, the CBD today is home to the 7,000-seat Riverwalk Stadium at 200 Coosa St., home to the Montgomery Biscuits Baseball Team. The team’s claim to fame is that it is the AA club feeds players into its major league team, the World Series Tampa Bay Rays. Nearby, at 355 Coosa St., stands the Riverwalk Ampitheater, which offers upwards of 7,000 people for various performances. A new riverboat arrived in early October, which can hold 400 passengers for cruises.

Then there is the Alleyway. Bordered by Commerce, Bibb, Coosa and Tallapoosa Streets, this two-acre plot is sprouting local restaurants and entertainment venues. The area also boasts the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre and the adjacent Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. A new court building has been erected, as has an office building.

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