Downtown is undergoing a revitalization that spreads throughout multiple districts and is being driven by several mix-use developments that include retail, office and multifamily.
Birmingham has almost 2,000 apartment units in the pipeline, and that has attracted retail projects like Publix and Starbucks,along with high-end restaurants downtown.
We recently caught up with REV Birmingham CEO David Fleming who talked about three projects in particular and how they could impact the future of Birmingham’s urban core.
On Bomasada’s decision to upgrade its Lakeview apartment development to five stories and 315 units.
First, it shows confidence in the urban residential market in Birmingham and its ability to support an increase of units. More people living in this location will bring more business opportunity to Lakeview, downtown and Avondale. We hope increased residential development in City neighborhoods helps employers know that the future of the workforce is interested in a vibrant urban environment, and that will bring more employers to the City.
On the importance of the downtown Publix development to the city’s revitalization efforts.
This project is located in a critical spot between the UAB/Children’s District, the traditional CBD and the emerging Parkside District. Of course, the grocery store component is what makes this project particularly impactful, as it brings downtown workers and residents a high-quality grocery option within walking distance.
On the potential impact of the redevelopment of the Powell Avenue Steam Plant.
Many people have traveled to cities that have found new uses for old power plants. Chicago, Portland, and Baltimore now boast a school, a museum and a Hard Rock Cafe, respectively, in buildings that once generated electricity. While we may not know detailed plans for thePowell Avenue plant yet, we do know that the leadership of Alabama Power intends for this project to be an economic development engine. I believe that the mix of uses being considered by APCO will attract crowds that will draw more business and development interest to the area. At a minimum, a redeveloped Powell Avenue Plant will add more activity and revenue to the City than it did before. Any way around it is a net win.