Tag Archives: redevelopment

Proposed Southside mixed-use redevelopment draws attention

Central City FlyerBirmingham, 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).

Waites Fine Foods currentReports 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.

Mayor in car accident Tuesday AM, is OK

larry175This morning Birmingham’s mayor, Larry Langford, was involved in a car accident on Ensley Avenue. According to several reports (and his appearance during this morning’s City Council meeting), he was uninjured while the vehicle he was traveling in was damaged.

While The Birmingham News simply stated that he was on his way to work, some people thought to read into the location of the accident, including Birmingham Weekly. The mayor reported to the council that he was on the city’s west side in order to check on the progress of the Fair Park redevelopment project currently underway, a statement relayed to followers of the city’s Twitter profile (including us).

Photo: acnatta/Flickr

Hope springs eternal on the west side

Fair Park revitalization photo - Bob Farley/f8PhotoTuesday’s vote dedicating approximately $48 million for the redevelopment of the Fair Park property on the city’s west side raised some interesting questions, and hope. It might also be raising concerns as just under $1 billion has been now earmarked for projects across the city since Mayor Langford’s inauguration late last year.

I chimed in with my thoughts over on my Birmingham early this morning. Check ’em out and then add yours to the mix.

BTW, did anyone notice that one of the stations that still has a contract to advertise the Spring Fling at the arena after WJLD’s contract was pulled just happened to be WATV? We’re just saying

Photo credit: Bob Farley/f8Photo

City Council green-lights Langford’s Fair Park plan

Birmingham city councilors gave Mayor Larry Langford a collective nod to move forward on a multi-million dollar plan to overhaul Fair Park, and potentially jump start redevelopment in the oft-neglected west side of town.

Image from Langford Fair Park presentationThe seven councilors present at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting questioned how the city could shift earmarked bond funds to pay for the park concept, when the previous administration told them shifting funds wasn’t possible. Nevertheless, they unanimously agreed that Langford could hire an architect and begin the process of bringing to life an Olympic-style sports, entertainment, retail and residential complex on the 40-acre site.

Langford could barely contain his joy at the councilors’ decision. “For the first time, you have city councilors saying, if you take a little money out of my district for the good of the city, it’s okay.”

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