Orchestra Partners continue to revive downtown Birmingham, begin pre-sale for Mercantile on Morris condos in Loft District

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 Much like Orchestra Partners more established Founder's Station on 1st Ave., Mercantile on Morris will house both residential and commercial units.  (Photo By Wade Cline for Bham Now)
Much like Orchestra Partners more established Founder’s Station on 1st Ave., Mercantile on Morris will house both residential and commercial units. (Photo by Wade Cline for Bham Now)

Mercantile on Morris, another innovative mixed-use redevelopment by Birmingham’s Orchestra Partners, just hit the market on Morris Avenue this month. Among the many listings up for grabs are condos right at $200k—perfect for the young professional looking to move a little closer to the blossoming downtown area. You’ve got to hustle to snag one of these unique homes on Morris Avenue. They’re going fast (and we’re obsessed!)

Old photos of downtown Birmingham’s Morris Avenue capture a bustling picture of people enjoying the many places to shop, live and dine. Thanks to a widespread effort by developers like Orchestra Partners to breathe life back into the historic brick-paved street, Morris Avenue has seen a significant resurgence. If you’re looking for an affordable home in the heart of downtown, the area is BACK, y'all! (1920s town car not included. Sorry.)
An old photo of downtown Birmingham’s Morris Avenue. Thanks to a widespread effort by developers like Orchestra Partners to breathe life back into the historic brick-paved street, Morris Avenue has seen a significant resurgence. (1920s town car not included. Sorry.)

Mercantile on Morris

Orchestra Partners, the developers behind successful Birmingham projects like Founders Station and community watering hole The Woolworth, have begun pre-sales for their newest mixed-use redevelopment—Mercantile on Morris.

You might recognize the Mercantile on Morris space on the 2200 block of Morris Avenue. It was most recently the former location of Matthews Bar and Grill, one of the first bars to re-establish a nightlife spot along 1st Ave North in the 2000s.

With mixed-use developments like Mercantile on Morris and the similar nearby Founders Station on 1st Ave, Morris Avenue and the surrounding area is well on its way to becoming downtown’s next entertainment district. (Photo by Wade Cline for Bham Now)

The Details

The mixed-use space, which has been under renovation since early 2018, will feature 47 residential condos and 13,000 square feet of commercial space. Residential units range from 271 square foot micros starting at $99k to 2 bedroom condos starting in the low $300s. Fair prices for those high ceilings, luxury finishes in the heart of Birmingham!

Rendering of the Mercantile on Morris facade. The first floor will be commercial space and the second and third will be residential units. (Rendering courtesy of Creature)

According to Orchestra Partners co-founder and Principal John Boone, the plan for Mercantile on Morris was to provide smaller, but very affordable living options in the booming center city area.

Look at the clean lines and bright space in this Mercantile on Morris rendering. Swoon. One of the advantages to buying while in the current construction phase is the ability to choose your own finishes.
Look at the clean lines and bright space in this Mercantile on Morris rendering. Swoon. One of the advantages to buying while in the current construction phase is the ability to choose your own finishes.(Rendering courtesy of Creature)

“We wanted to create units that are affordable by design. This means a smaller unit at a lower price point granting young professionals an opportunity to live downtown.”

John Boone, Orchestra Partners co-founder and principal
Prospective buyers on a hard hat tour of Mercantile on Morris in February. (Photo by Catherine Perez)

Buyers are already jumping on these condos. As of February 24, every single one of the $99k micro-units were under contract. Personally, I’m pretty bummed about this. I was peepin’ one of the micro condos to purchase and use as an AirBnb. So much for springing myself to entrepreneurial greatness this year.

Speaking of…

The threshold at Mercantile on Morris is one of the cool historical details of the space. (Photo by Wade Cline for Bham Now)
The threshold at Mercantile on Morris is one of the cool historical details of the space. (Photo by Wade Cline for Bham Now)

Mercantile on Morris: Airbnb opportunity?

Unlike most condos in Birmingham’s downtown area, the condominium association of Mercantile on Morris will allow owners to do something special— host short-term rentals like Airbnb and VBRO inside their space. Meaning you could make a little extra cash on the side.

“We believe short-term rentals give property owners an opportunity to become more financially independent and give visitors an opportunity to experience Birmingham like a local. To us, this is a win-win.”

John Boone, Orchestra Partners co-founder and principal

Mercantile on Morris’ centralized location would make a perfect spot for an Airbnb. More specifically, a hot spot for visitors looking for nearby lodging options close to several of downtown’s venues. With all the growth and redevelopment in the area, this trend will most likely continue for a long time. Interested in opening an AirBnb? Here’s Bham Now’s guide to starting an Airbnb rental in Birmingham.

Pre-sales at Mercantile on Morris began on January 31, and are quickly picking up momentum. As I mentioned before,  several units are already under contract. (Sadly, none by me.)

Construction is well underway at Mercantile on Morris. (Photo by Wade Cline for Bham Now)
Construction is well underway at Mercantile on Morris. This commercial space will be bustling with action soon! (Photo by Wade Cline for Bham Now)

Commercial space at Mercantile on Morris

Orchestra Partners also plans to lease the 13,000 square feet of retail space to a mix of tenants ranging from retail and restaurants to fitness and health stores. The retail space will join the wave of other businesses setting up shop on Morris Avenue in the past few years. Another plus for residents at Mercantile on Morris—everything you could ever need is just an elevator ride away.

Mercantile on Morris logo.
Mercantile on Morris logo.

Architects and Sales

Local firm Creature is heading up the architectural, design and construction work for the project. H2 Real Estate will be making residential sales for development. Check out the video Creature made of the development here to get an even better look at Mercantile on Morris:

It’s time to jump on this fabulous entrepreneurial and home-buying opportunity. If you’re interested in learning more about residential condos at Mercantile on Morris, contact info@mercantileonmorris or visit the Mercantile on Morris website.

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