Developer preparing to start 16-story high rise on Highland Avenue


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A 16-story high rise apartment building years in the making is scheduled to start construction late summer.

Atlanta-based Cortland Partners is developing a 318-unit luxury apartment building at 2173 Highland Avenue S. The building is made up of two sections – a 16-story high rise portion and a five-story portion and parking deck.

The building will be called Vesta – named for the Roman goddess of the hearth, a female counterpart to the Vulcan, a symbol of the city of Birmingham.

“We love the Birmingham story,” said Mark Johnson, Director of New Development at Cortland Partners. “We love the growth, the population increase, the location. We love that the location is close to UAB, the largest employer in the state.”

Cortland doesn’t have a contractor yet, so no final budget, but Johnson said he expects the project to be worth $65 and $70 million.

The building will also have space for one retail tenant in the bottom, and right now it’s planned to be a restaurant, Johnson said.

The building will be made up of studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. The ones in the parking deck will be larger than the ones in the high rise.

The apartments will have high-end finishes like stainless steel appliances and lights over the kitchen islands, Johnson said. The apartment will have amenities like a rooftop pool, fitness center and yoga room.

Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart out of Atlanta is the project’s architect.Denyse Co. is handling the signage.

The property has already been demolished, so Johnson said he expects construction to start late-summer. About a year later Cortland plans to start pre-leasing, with construction finishing a few months after that.

“We like the Five Points South area,” Johnson said. “We like the walkability to walk to the restaurants, the shopping, that kind of lifestyle.”