One of the pioneers of downtown Montgomery’s revitalization has left the construction business, but not the development business.
Foshee Design and Construction founder John Foshee said plans are still moving forward downtown and elsewhere. “We’re not shutting it all down. We’re just refocusing our efforts,” he said.
The family-owned Foshee Companies stopped doing in-house construction at the beginning of the year. The move came after more than a decade of residential and retail projects helped breathe life into long-vacant buildings in the heart of the city.
That included the company creating a new headquarters inside an old bank building at the foot of Dexter Avenue, where they could oversee a stretch of renovation projects along Dexter and nearby streets.
Foshee Design and Construction now focuses on architecture and design work for third parties, as well as real estate services. Its sister company, Foshee Residential, handles property management under John Foshee’s brother, Golson.
“The construction arm is really set up to facilitate property development for the family. It was never set up to make a lot of money,” John Foshee said. “We worked very hard for 10 years, had a great time and did a lot of wonderful projects. We’re still looking to continue development.”
He said plans for more Dexter Avenue façade work have been submitted for review by the city. But the work itself will be handled by third-party contractors.
Meanwhile, Foshee has started handling a lot more third-party architecture and design services for outside customers, from an Eastchase apartment complex, to a credit union in Greenville, to a medical building in Troy. They’ve even designed homes on Lake Martin.
The Foshee Companies’ downtown projects have included transforming century-old buildings into loft apartments while creating custom spaces for restaurants such as Cucos Mexican Cafe, Momma Goldberg’s Deli, Island Delight, Frios Gourmet Pops and more.
That downtown work hasn’t been quick, or easy. It’s meant stabilizing and reinforcing old buildings in various states of disrepair, then modernizing them and bringing them up to code while working to preserve their history and unique flair.
“Renovation work is some of the hardest, most complex work there is,” John Foshee said. “It’s much easier to go in an open field and build a new building.”
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