From 1930’s gas station, to antique store, now urban sneaker shop in renovated Avondale space

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400 41st Street Avondale, AL in 1930’s. Via Bham Wiki.

Another old historic Avondale building is being renovated, restored and redesigned. Not many of us were around in the 1930’s or 40s. If you were, you might have filled up at the Gulf gas station at 400 41st St. Then it became the Painted Shovel Mercantile antique shop. Now a new exciting urban retail/office center is in the works.

Work is happening on this old building in Avondale. Via- Adam Thrower.

This spot will see new life as home to four new retail/office establishments developed by Adam Thrower of Crescent Management Services. Design Initiative is the architect. Prier Construction started work in January and will compete it in early May. Retail Specialists is handling the leasing if you have a retail or office concept that might work in this cool new space.

Hard at work, on 400 41st Street Avondale.
Via- Adam Thrower.
Not just good food and cool bars

“We are seeking local tenants that fit in the with the culture of Avondale and will continue the progress that others have begun.  By adding retail or office tenants we hope that they can help add maturity to the street moving it from just a food or entertainment district to a vibrate urban center.” Adam Thrower.

Rendering of the new 400 1st Street, Avondale. Via- Design Initiative.

Thrower is excited about the aesthetics of the new space. He explained that the design is meant to celebrate the history of the place. The historic gas station will be surrounded by glass walls that expose the existing structure. The glass walls will extend to the sidewalk on 41st St. and 4th Ave. not only to provide extra space for tenants but to engage walking traffic making 41st St. more pedestrian friendly.

Everyone wants cool kicks

Sidekicks, the first confirmed tenant, will sell brown shoes/boots and sneakers as well as modern street wear. Sidekick’s is a lifestyle brand with plans of being a cultural hub for the city. Looks like a great addition to the neighborhood.

Rendering of Sidekicks. Via- Design Initiative.

Business partners Joseph Bradley and Bonaventure Akinlosotu are from South Alabama. The two met while attending the University of Alabama. Both  graduated from Alabama in 2011.

“We plan to sell not only a wide variety of sneaker brands but boots and streetwear apparel as well.” – Joseph Bradley

The idea of Sidekicks was born when both men took part in the 2016 Co.Starter Create Birmingham.  CO.STARTERS is a nationally renowned business development platform to help communities grow local business by Create Birmingham in partnership with REV Birmingham, with additional support from MAKEbhm.

“The Co-Starters program was a great benefit to us, It gave us an opportunity to meet and brainstorm ideas with like minds and meet others who successfully completed the program and opened the doors to their respective businesses.” – Joseph Bradley, Sidekick’s owner.

This redevelopment is just another example of the interest and excitement coming to Avondale in the recent years. The opening of local businesses, both retail and offices, in these redeveloped and walkable areas continues to change the landscape of our city and our suburbs. Check out the website for more information, .

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Stay tuned for more news on renovations and revitalization. As Sidekicks get closer to opening, Bham Now will be there! I can always use a new pair of kicks.


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Cameron Balentine
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