Custom lofts coming to Birmingham’s historic Printers Corner in Parkside

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Printers Corner will soon be home to a uniquely conceptualized coffeehouse and urban lofts above. (Photo by Adelaide Matte for Orchestra Partners)

Printers Corner will soon be home to a uniquely conceptualized coffeehouse and urban lofts above. (Photo by Adelaide Matte for Orchestra Partners)

Orchestra Partners’ redevelopment of Printers Corner, the historic structure at 2nd Ave and 18th Street South, is almost complete. Peek inside for updated pictures, renderings, and floorplans of the most exciting little project in Parkside.

Printers Corner: A Brief History

Built in 1910, Printers Corner began as its name implies. Over the century, a variety of businesses came and went, most of them in the printing industry.

The building’s last commercial use was as an importing warehouse for the Sarris family, one of the most recognizable names in our city’s Greek community. If the name rings a bell, it’s because they’re one of the families responsible for The Fish Market, Ted’s, and the eponymous cafeteria in North Birmingham.

There are only three spaces still up for grabs in the Printers Corner development. (Photo by Christine Hull for Bham Now)
There are only three spaces still up for grabs in the Printers Corner development. (Photo by Christine Hull for Bham Now)

When the warehouse closed, the building was used for overflow parking. For the last 20 years, pigeons were the primary long-term residents of Printers Corner, among others.

“Transients and punk rock kids would occasionally make their camps inside, despite the drafts and leaks of an open warehouse environment. They expressed themselves primarily through graffiti found all over the structure.”

John Boone, Orchestra Partners
The iconic “You Are Beautiful” message was once painted on the 18th Street South side of Printers Corner. Visit the Orchestra Partners Facebook page for more information.

The iconic “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL” on the outside of the building was part of a citywide anarcho-graffiti campaign in 2010-2011, which was featured in places like the Jim Bennett Bridge and the Red Mountain Underpass.

Printers Corner, with its lofty windows and unique outdoor rooftop space, only has three units left up for sale. Photo by Christine Hull for Bham Now
Printers Corner, with its lofty windows and unique outdoor rooftop space, only has three units left up for sale. (Photo by Christine Hull for Bham Now)

The Residential Life

Restoring abandoned, historic buildings comes with challenges. Printers Corner was no exception. The entire roof and all the old factory windows required replacement. Existing utility lines were corroded or obsolete. Its past industrial usage meant Orchestra Partners had to pursue additional code studies and approvals. All the work paid off, with one major bonus for future residences.

“We rebuilt the roof strong enough to support a flooring-system, so every buyer can have a private roof deck above their unit. No other condos in town offer private roof decks. Most of our buyers plan for a party terrace or their master bedroom up there, but there’s nothing preventing someone from installing turf and having a legit 3rd Floor yard downtown.”

John Boone, Orchestra Partners
A shot of a temporary residential shell. These will all be customized in the following months. (Photo by Adelaide Matte for Orchestra Partners)
A shot of a temporary residential shell. These will all be customized in the following months. (Photo by Adelaide Matte for Orchestra Partners)

With core construction complete, buildout will start soon on the custom designed units. Some early buyers were actually able to purchase a “shell,” a blank canvas, which they can now build out themselves with their own architect and contractor.

Although the units are still shells, Orchestra says they are starting work soon so time is running out for buyers to do that. Developers will build the remaining units to some of the highest standards in the city, and each will have its own unique character.

Only 3 Units Left

The Artist’s Loft

The Artist’s Loft is as simple as it is elegant. The windows let in northern light, also known as “reflected light.” Artists love this feature because it produces calm, steady shades through the day as the sun moves across the sky.

The Artist's Loft also offers lots of nooks and corners. That means plenty of wall space for your growing portfolio.
Floor plan for the Artist’s Loft. (Design by TGP Architecture, for Orchestra Partners)

The Artist’s Loft also offers lots of nooks and corners. That means plenty of wall space for your growing portfolio.

The Private Resort

Live life to the fullest, even at home. No other downtown Birmingham loft can fit a full dining room, art studio, steam room, billiards table and private movie theater in the same place, let alone one floor. On the roof, you can add grilling, bocce, live music, private wine tastings, etc. There’s no better way to entertain friends than by offering them every amenity.

Floor plan for the Private Resort. Design by TGP Architecture, for Orchestra Partners
Floor plan for the Private Resort. (Design by TGP Architecture, for Orchestra Partners)

The Greenhouse

Bring your garden downtown. House plants remove 87% of airborne toxins, which improves concentration and productivity and reduces stress. Foster their growth with abundant natural light in this south-facing unit. It has the most window space per square feet in the entire building.

Beautiful views of Red Mountain and bustling Southside are even better on the roof, where you can double your floor space for cultivating more flowers, a new hobby, or a tan.

Floor plan for the Greenhouse. (Design by TGP Architecture for Orchestra Partners)

Ideal Parking Situation

Most condos being sold downtown today cannot ensure adequate parking. All Printers Corner units come with secure, climate-controlled parking downstairs.

Spaces are large enough to fit any size vehicle and still leave room for garage-type storage. Elevators make it easy to carry everything from furniture to groceries up to the 2nd Floor. Stairs at either end of the parking garage allow all residents to have close access to their cars.

Large parking spaces at Printers Corner. Photo by Adelaide Matte for Orchestra Partners
Large parking spaces at Printers Corner. (Photo by Adelaide Matte for Orchestra Partners)

Location, Location, Location

Orchestra Partners chose the building not only for its historic character, but also its proximity to everything happening in downtown Birmingham.

  • 1 block from Railroad Park and the Powell Steam Plant redevelopment
  • 2 blocks from Publix and Regions Field
  • 3 blocks from Children’s Hospital and Morris Ave
  • 4 blocks from Founders Station, the Pizitz Food Hall, and Good People Brewery

With the continued growth of Parkside, Midtown and UAB, Printers Corner is surrounded by vibrancy. Those parking spaces will come in handy!

For more information, contact Orchestra Partners at 205-590-5015 or email info@orchestra-partners.com. Also, visit the Orchestra Partners facebook page for additional photographs of the Printers Corner transformation.

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