June 16, 2016

Minutes for the Meeting of
The Rotary Club of Mobile
June 16, 2016
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Robby McLure at 12:15 PM. John Pisarkiewicz offered the invocation and Tommy Blankenship led the club in song and the pledge. Guests of members and visiting Rotarians were welcomed by Tom Martenstein.
Announcment: The board will meet immediately following today’s meeting.
Program: Mike Rogers, Jr.
John Dukes introduced Mike Rogers, Jr., president of Rogers and Willard, Inc. of Mobile. Mr. Rogers gave the club his background noting that he had worked in Nashville for a few years where he noticed a strong dynamic of young professionals which he believes Mobile desperately needs to attract. Part of the equation for success is having a creative edge in the arts and an openness to outsiders who choose to move to Mobile, he said.
He discussed the rehabilitation of the former Buick dealership on St. Louis Street to house his offices and the once vacant structure now provides office space to 125 individuals. Rogers worked with the city on the project and noted the cooperation he received in getting St. Louis Street re-configured to improve traffic patterns.
Mr. Rogers then discussed his next project, a 400 unit apartment complex on the eastern side of Water Street to be called Meridian at the Port. The class A facility will be designed to attract young professionals downtown and will hopefully act as a catalyst for further development.
Demolition of an abandoned commercial building will begin in August, he said, and he is excited about the mayor’s vision for an improved Water Street which will include the removal of all the existing live oak trees so that they may be replaced by “something tall”, and the installation of a median for pedestrians.
A third project Mr. Rogers is involved with is the Warren Street Cottages which are four 19th century rental units that have been completely remodeled and enlarged into first class rental units. These will be a great addition to nearby St. Louis Street which is becoming a hub of activity he added.
After a period of questions and answers, Robby McClure thanked our speaker and presented him with a certificate noting that a donation in his honor was made to the Sybil Smith Charitable Trust. The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Tom McGehee