Brookley Property

Sale of Brookley Property to City of Mobile Achieves Goals for Foundation and the Community

History 

The Brookley Property has a long and storied history that dates to Mobile’s founding father, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, whose home was in the area.

In 1938, the Army Air Corps took over Mobile’s first municipal airport (Bates Field) and established Brookley Army Air Field. Following WW II, it became Brookley Air Force Base and remained so until its closure in 1969.

The Foundation acquired the 331-acre site in 2010 and later adopted a set of objectives for the property. The objectives balanced our duty to generate a solid return on the investment we made in purchasing the property with other important considerations that affect the Foundation, the University, the environment, and the Mobile community.

Objectives

  • GENERATING a return on the investment
  • PRESERVING 45 acres of wetlands that make up part of the site
  • CONTRIBUTING to the economic development of the region
  • PRESERVING positive relations with local stakeholders, like the City, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Mobile Airport Authority, among others
  • DEVELOPING the property in ways that reflect positively on the Foundation and the University
  • CAPITALIZING on the unique qualities of the Brookley site
  • MINIMIZING future maintenance costs and capital outlays

Achieving Our Objectives

Each of the objectives set forth in 2012 were met when, on December 1, 2020, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced the approval of an agreement under which 300 acres of the Foundation’s Brookley holdings would be purchased by the City of Mobile.

Purchase of the Brookley property, which lies along the western shore of Mobile Bay and to the east of Brookley Aeroplex, will allow the City to reach many of its own objectives, including:

  • PROVIDE public access to the western shore of Mobile Bay
  • CREATE new recreational opportunities for citizens on a 150-acre park
  • PRESERVE 45 acres of sensitive wetlands
  • SECURE invaluable property adjacent to Brookley Aeroplex and the Airbus Final Assembly Lines for future economic development

The City of Mobile and the Industrial Development Board of the City purchased 196 acres of the Brookley property for $31 Million.  The City of Mobile is also projected to purchase the 45-acre wetlands tract for $2 Million by March 31, 2022. The City also has a $9 Million option to purchase an additional 50-acre parcel. 

Now, the Foundation has conveyed 45 acres of wetlands at the Brookley site (valued at $2 million) and a 50-acre parcel of highly developable property adjacent to Brookley Aeroplex (valued at $9 million) to the University, as a part of its contribution to the expansion and renovation of the Medical Sciences Building.

Thus, the Foundation has contributed $11 million in property in addition to an earlier contribution of $10,151,000 toward a major expansion and renovation of the College of Medicine Medical Sciences Building. The Foundation will make additional contributions toward the renovation over the next five years.

“One of the basic tenets of the mission of the Foundation is to assist the University in supporting its academic programs,” Foundation Board President, John McMillan, said. “The University of South Alabama continues to be a transformational institution for the Gulf Coast region, the State of Alabama, and the southeastern United States. Its College of Medicine serves as the core to USA Health,” he said.