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
Birmingham, AL-based Retail Specialists announced pre-leasing has started for a proposed $13 million redevelopment of the former Waite’s Fine Foods property located on the southeastern corner of 7th Avenue South and Richard Arrington, Jr., Boulevard via a press release and their own website. The proposed four story building, to be called Central City, would contain three stories of residential units (45 – 30 one bedroom and 15 two bedroom/two bath units according to the announcement) sitting over approximately 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail/commercial space. Company officials referenced a similar project currently under construction in Montgomery started late last year and scheduled for completion this September, 79C, as a template for the project — company’s second residential effort in the city (after 29 Seven in the city’s Lakeview district).
Reports filed by the Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ) and AL.com confirmed two existing businesses — Rocky’s Pizza and Stillwater Pub — will need to close if the project proceeds. Pictures of pre-leasing signs placed in the former Waite’s space had already been appearing on Facebook before the announcement. A piece filed by Bryan Davis on the BBJ’s website April 8 says Rocky’s plans to re-open; efforts have not been made by this website to contact Stillwater Pub, though a post was made to their fan page on Facebook Tuesday afternoon stating in part:
Remember that Stillwater is about the people. It’s not a building or even particularly a name, it’s us. Thanks for always being there and supporting us as usual and we will be at it tonight, so come on by! Know that we love you all.
It is mathematically possible for both businesses to return to a completed project based on the 12,000+ square foot portion of the ground floor retail space being labeled as available for subdivision. There will be 35 dedicated off-street parking spaces for those patronizing the eventual retail tenants in addition to dedicated space for residents. The entrance to the residential lofts will be from the off-street parking lot. The press release named Bill Segrest of Williams Blackstock Architects as the architect and DeeDee Everitt of Retail Specialists, LLC as responsible for managing leasing of the retail space. It also stated that the developers hoped to use as much of the limestone facade as possible in the redevelopment of the property “[t]o give a nod towards nostalgia.”
The project still needs to go through the city’s permitting process before construction can begin, including a presentation before the city’s Design Review Committee. Members were informed at the end of their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, April 8 that the proposal would need to come before them for approval as it does sit in a design review district.
The folks at Motus Motorcycles probably weren’t worried for a moment yesterday, though it could have been a crazier day if the outcome at Monday afternoon’s Budget and Finance committee meeting at Birmingham City Hall had been different.
The business has spent the last 3 ½ years at Innovation Depot and is preparing to “graduate” from the nationally recognized business incubator. They enjoyed a pretty nice morning at the city’s Design Review Committee at the Auburn Urban Studio. (NOTE: Magic City Post has a full rundown of yesterday’s meeting.) That’s where a proposal by Barber Properties to make improvements to property located at 500 28th Street South – the former home to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum – to facilitate serving as the company’s new home was unanimously approved.
This scene could have been a little awkward if the City Council committee hadn’t voted to recommend approval of $75,000 in financial incentives for the motorcycle manufacturer by the full council as reported by Joseph Bryant that evening on al.com. The vote was unanimous, though there was apparently an exchange between councilor Lashunda Scales and Jarvis Patton from the mayor’s office. They’ll be looking to grow their staff by as much as six times as a result of this week’s events.
Photo: 3 words…Blue Ridge Parkway. Courtesy Motus Motorcycles brand page on Facebook.
Just when you thought the Occupy meme was going to fade away in 2012, Avondale Brewing Company is inviting folks to join them in their invasion of 41st Street South (a.k.a. the Avondale commercial business district served by Main Street Birmingham).
Occupy Avondale is an opportunity for a new or existing business to move in directly across the street from the brewery – and including six months free rent in the completely renovated space located at 200 41st St. S. The winner will be chosen from five finalists and occupy either 1,800 or 2,400 square feet of space on the ground floor of the building.
Folks interested in the opportunity may apply using the Google docs form through January 31. The winner is scheduled to be announced at an event at the brewery in March.
A recent entry on MSB’s on-site blog goes over some of the criteria being considered among the judges. You also probably wouldn’t want to enter without looking over the contest rules (it’s a PDF).
By the way – if you want to learn a little bit more about memes, check out this site (don’t worry, it’s taking part in today’s blackout too).
The 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.
According to the email sent in to The35212 and shared on the community news site earlier today, Baptist Health System wants to split land located across from the current Trinity Medical Center complex between two developers. The health system sold controlling interest in the hospital, most recently known as Montclair Baptist, back in 2005 with the remaining sold in 2008.
The developers in turn plan to build an upscale apartment complex on one portion of the property and a Walmart Neighborhood Market on the other. It would be the fourth location for the chain’s market concept store in metro Birmingham, with others in Centerpoint, Vestavia Hills and Homewood.
The Bentonville, AR-based retailer already has a Supercenter located a little more than 2 miles away (also on Montclair Road) serving as an anchor tenant for the Eastwood Village shopping complex. That location contains a grocery store. There’s also a Sam’s Club located four additional miles down the road in Irondale on Grants Mill Road.
The hospital complex and the surrounding property has been the focus of much attention from surrounding neighborhoods, civic leaders and concerned citizens due to Trinity’s pending move to the former HealthSouth digital hospital site.
Photo: Modified from Union vs Wal Mart in Las Vegas #2. Brave New Films/Flickr
Workers were surveying the former location for Birmingham Fire Department Engine No. 22 early this morning, just one day after the city’s Design Review Committee held over for review a conceptual design that would allow a Walgreens pharmacy to replace the structure – along with the car repair business immediately next door and apparently long time fixture breakfast venue Bogue’s Restaurant.
According to a Birmingham Business Journal article from earlier this month, there have been several inquiries made about redevelopment of the busy intersection where the Lakeview, Highland Park and Forest Park neighborhoods meet.
Jeremy Erdreich’s blog, Bhamarchitect, has received a great deal of traffic, and comments, as a result of his post about yesterday morning’s meeting.
Posted in architecture, Development
Tagged AL, Alabama, B'ham, Birmingham, Clairmont Avenue, Design Review Committee, Engine 22, Lakeview, preservation, proposal, restoration, Walgreens