The demolition of the former Waite’s Fine Foods property, located at the southeastern corner of Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard and 7th Avenue South, was approved on a 5-4 vote during yesterday’s regularly scheduled Birmingham Design Review Committee meeting. The vote took place nearly a year after plans were first announced for a $13 million, four-story, mixed-use development on the site.
The developer, Retail Specialists, and the architect, Bill Segrest of Williams Blackstock Architects, must still return to the committee to receive final approval for the building’s design. Segrest told the committee he and the developer still hope to incorporate parts of the existing limestone facade into the new structure, though they did not want to promise to do so as of yet in case it was not able to be salvaged during the demolition process. If it cannot be salvaged, it was stated efforts would be made to reference distinct architectural elements in the new design.
Rocky’s had originally announced plans to relocate before demolition started via an article in the Birmingham Business Journal last April. A recent interview with AL.com stated a new location has not been secured as of yet. It was also suggested it will most likely re-open along one of the metro area’s other commercial corridors at a later date if they choose to do so. The current location will close on Saturday, March 19. Another tenant of the existing building, Stillwater Pub, closed on January 31, announcing the date last August.
They hope to start demolition next month, with construction starting this summer and the building ready for occupancy in summer 2017.
RELATED: Proposed Southside mixed-use redevelopment draws attention, 4.8.2015