The biggest story out of the August 28th Birmingham Design Review Committee meeting is the proposed changes made to LIV Development’s Parkside Apartments planned for across from Railroad Park.
A Champion Windows representative addressed the committee regarding the installation of replacement windows on a home in Avondale. The existing windows are wood frame, single pane in a one over one style. They proposed replacing with vinyl windows, but all the existing exterior window trim will remain. The neighborhood association approved the plans with no conditions. The committee approved.
The furniture store Arijays is adding a pole sign along their property (the former Furniture King) on First Avenue North. Commander Board Sign Company presented the plans for the sign matching the previously approved building sign. The pole sign will be one sided. The committee approved with the request to paint the reverse side of the sign.
Stephanie Smith of Reliable Sign Services returned to the committee to present the updated plans for the readerboard sign in front of Alabama Power’s Metro Center / Appliance Center on Sixth Avenue North. The company approved with an alternative that removes the readerboard portion. The committee approved with little discussion.
LIV Development, brought the plans for its proposed Parkside Apartments complex near Railroad Park for final approval of the project. The committee approved a conceptual design in April. It called for an s-shaped building with two courtyards and 250 units. While that has not changed, the exterior design has been updated to have a more castle-like theme.
Committee members expressed concerns about how the design looked like the building belonged more in a suburban area of Florida rather than in downtown Birmingham; one member going so far as to call it an attempt to look like a “modern-day Quinlan Castle” (which was not a compliment). The committee also discussed the need for the exterior streetscape and sidewalks to be cohesive with the remainder of 17th Street South. Additional aspects of the project discussed at this meeting included alley access for first floor parking, retail spaces, the rooftop courtyard the developer said as having a Wrigleyville (in Chicago) vibe, and metal accents including railings and storefronts.
The committee approved the basic site plan so construction could begin, but the developer will have to return to the committee with updated roof line, landscaping, and sidewalk plans.
David Brandt of Fravert Services has designed a series of monument signs for Kassouf & Co.’s office at 22nd Street South and University Boulevard. The original three-sided monument sign was removed during the recently completed exterior renovation. It will be replaced with a two-sided sign that will sit diagonally on the corner. Two additional monument signs will be added at the entrances on 22nd and University.
Concerned with the visibility and drivers’ sight lines, the committee approved the signs subject to approval of the traffic engineers.
Five Points South
Representing Dave’s Pub on Southside, Larry Towney presented plans to install an awning over the exterior patio. This awning is intended to allow a place for smokers to go when it is raining. The awning will follow the contour of the building along the pub’s front façade.
The committee was concerned with how the awning will be attached as well as how it will follow the contours. The project was conceptually approved and will have to return to the committee with more details and shop drawings.
Brandt’s second presentation to the committee featured a replacement of a door sign for Truitt Insurance. The company underwent a re-branding, necessitating the vinyl logo on the business’s door to be updated. The proposal also included new address numbers on the exterior. The committee approved.
Nineteenth Street North
Daniels Signs brought a sign revision plan for The Vault Bar & Lounge to the committee. The owner did not like the previously approved sign after manufacturing and requested a new design. The sign will feature aluminum letters outlined in neon and centered on the storefront. The committee approved.
Committee Work Session
A work session to discuss the potential of a new Taco Bell in the Midtown area was scheduled to begin immediately after the meeting. However, there were no representatives in attendance and the session was cancelled.