Category Archives: BJCC

BJCC posts Marketplace renderings online via Facebook

Marketplace General OverviewThe BJCC posted architectural renderings of their long-planned entertainment district to their fan page on Facebook yesterday.

The proposal has gone before (and was approved by) Birmingham’s Design Review Committee in April and a drive by the construction site gives folks the impression that substantial work will begin soon. There were some concerns about a digital sign included in the design proposal though it appears as though they’ve been settled. Visitors to the fan page’s post have offered additional feedback on the design and the project.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new development, including a new hotel, restaurants and shops, was held back in late-January.

They also announced that there would be a link to a progress camera in the coming weeks and hinted that they’d be taking suggestions for the development’s name. Its working name is currently The Marketplace.

What’s in a “mutlipurpose facility” anyway?

We’ve learned that Mayor Langford and BJCC executive director Jack Fields will be participating in an online discussion about the long proposed multipurpose facility via streaming video on tomorrow (Thursday) at 1 p.m.

The discussion is scheduled to last approximately 30 minutes, with issues such as the facility’s funding plan and its tie to taxes, location, size, costs and need of the facility being covered. There’s no link as of yet, but we’re figuring that you’ll be able to find it on their front page close to start time.  Some current info – last week, the BJCC Board approved Langford’s funding plan for the facility, shortly after hearing via an independent study that downtown is the best location for it. The BJCC is now reviewing architecture proposals for the project  (a source of debate here in The Magic City for at least the past 10 years).

Performa moves to finance BJCC entertainment district

BJCC complex aerial shot

An aerial view of the current BJCC complex. Photo credit: Bob Farley/f8photo

Performa Entertainment chief John Elkington said his company has enough interested tenants for the proposed BJCC Entertainment District for developers to move forward with financing the $50+ million project.

Elkington called the proposed district “a financially sound” project, now that at least 60 percent of the retail and restaurant spaces will be taken by the end of November. “We’re now switching letters of intent into leases,” Elkington said. “No one we have talked to has turned us down and said they don’t want to be here. That’s a good sign.”

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So what does Memphis think of Birmingham’s planned entertainment district?

The Memphis Flyer earlier this afternoon posted a blurb in their Business Buzz section that linked to our own Birmingham News. The brief discusses an article by News reporter Stan Diel filed earlier this month about Performa Entertainment Real Estate, Inc., the firm that the BJCC is planning to hire to develop an entertainment district with retail adjacent to the existing facility.

Rendering of BJCC entertainment district

The fact that no one has commented on the expose so far can be interpreted a number of ways, but for now it just says that it may just be a non-issue for those in The River City. According to the announcement released by the BJCC in February trumpeting the agreement, both sides are aiming for completion of the project within the next 18-24 months.

If the Flyer had waited for two more days, they could have included a link to the feature story in the current issue of Black & White, discussing some of the local perspectives on the issue. Christina Crowe’s piece assumes that the approval of the project is imminent. We’ll see if we can’t figure out if that’s the case and let you know later today.