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Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan receives design award from the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association

November 10, 2022 · Accolades, Projects

Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) is proud to announce the Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan received the Franklin M. Setzer Outstanding Urban Design Project Award from the American Planning Association (APA) Alabama Chapter.

The Franklin M. Setzer Outstanding Urban Design Project Award was named after Frank Setzer, former director of the Auburn University Architecture and Urban Studies Center in Birmingham. This award is presented to a project in which design is an integral part of the planning process and is a major concern of the built environment.

Along with GMC, the Dauphin Island Town Council chose Dover Kohl and Partners and Randall Gross Development Economics to be involved with the project. The Town of Dauphin Island also enlisted a steering committee comprised of leaders in and around the community, who serve as ambassadors to the process. Their role is to ensure residents, property and business owners, tourists, and others related to Dauphin Island all have a voice in the process. 

Located in the heart of Dauphin Island, Aloe Bay has been an important location for the commercial fishing and tourism industries of the community. Aloe Bay is also home to the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo and numerous other maritime businesses and is why this area has been planned as the town center for Dauphin Island. As part of 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, ecotourism activities, housing and retail space which would provide the island with an added economic sustainability for the entire year. 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, resulting in the Town being awarded over $16.5 million for physical improvements to make this vision a reality. Creating the Aloe Bay Master Plan was the first step as part of the grant.

The backbone of the Aloe Bay Master Plan is a series of five main principles, or Big Ideas, that outline the vision for the plan and serve as a guide for what happens in the future at Aloe Bay. They include:

  1. New development should be respectful of context.
  2. Add destinations that serve locals primarily…as well as visitors.
  3. Encourage economic development and build the town’s tax base.
  4. Increase access to nature and build sustainably.
  5. Seek a balance between culture, community, commerce, and nature.

The Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan provides vision, concept, framework, illustrations and implementation strategies. All of these point back to the Big Ideas, which Town leadership can use to make informed decisions to develop a place that is uniquely Dauphin Island.

“Our team is proud to be part of the team that is helping Dauphin Island create a vibrant working waterfront town center,” GMC Community Planner Brandon Bias, AICP, said. “We believe this master plan will help provide the infrastructure and framework for other opportunities, both public and private, that will set the Town up for success for many years to come.”

Learn more about the Aloe Bay Town Center Master Plan.