4 new things coming to Leeds, including Grand River Technology Park, plus 4 fun places to visit right now

Birmingham, Leeds, City of Leeds, Coyote Drive-In, The Shops of Grand River
Photo via Coyote Drive-In Leeds

Birmingham has experienced a pretty big boom over the past few years. But several cities nearby are also seeing new growth, like the city of Leeds. Check out some of the great things already booming in Leeds, along with some that are soon to come.

Coming to Leeds

First Thursdays

Thursdays in Leeds will soon be one of the most fun days of the week when First Thursday Street Fest kicks off on April 4. Taking place on the Parkway in Leeds historic downtown from 4-7PM, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the city’s historic downtown charm along with family-friendly activities, such as:

  • Street performers
  • Food trucks
  • Arts, crafts and vendors
  • Car Cruise Ins
  • Kids Activities
  • Shopping
  • And more!
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Festival fun. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

New Headquarters for Leeds City School District’s Administration

Plans have officially been approved for the building of a new central office for Leeds City School district’s administration.

The new headquarters will be located on Hurst Avenue on vacant property the school district originally bought the property several years ago due to its location to Leeds Middle School. 

How much will the new building cost? $1 million! Whoa nelly. 

To pay for the new office building, the Leeds School district will be getting an advance in funding from the Public School and College Authority. Just a heads up, funds from the PSCA are meant for facility maintenance, upgrades, expansions and so on. 

Since 2001, Leeds administrators have been working out of leased offices on 8th Avenue, but have been itching to find a permanent home. With the new location near Leeds Middle School, I think the administration building will fit right in! 

Expected time of construction: This summer (2019)
Expected time of office move: May 1, 2020

Grand River Technology Park

The cities of Birmingham and Leeds are joining together to create something pretty cool—Grand River Technology Park and the relocation of the Southern Museum of Flight. The project became official in February when Governor Kay Ivey confirmed the news. 

Birmingham, Grand River Technology Park, Leeds
Photo via the State of Alabama

According to Ivey, the project has the potential to make an $85 million economic impact and bring 1,200 jobs to the area. 

Involved in the collaborative efforts is: 

  • Alabama Department of Labor’s AML Program
  • U.S. Steel
  • Southern Museum of Flight
  • Jefferson County
  • The cities of Birmingham and Leeds

Described as a multiphase opportunity, the project will reclaim and transform 105 acres of undeveloped land in east Jefferson County, some of which includes and surrounds pre-1977 abandoned coal mine lands. 

Read the full story here

Buc-ee’s

You probably heard last year that a Buc-ee’s gas station was headed to Leeds. But this one is apparently still up for debate. Construction for the Texas-based gas station was delayed at the end of 2018 with a hopeful ground breaking in early 2019. Unfortunately, this has yet to happen. Only time will tell about this one, folks. But we will be sure to keep you in the know.

Open in Leeds

Wintzell’s 

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Wintzell’s Oyster House, Leeds, AL. Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Wintzell’s Oyster House is officially open for business in Leeds and is the newest restaurant to hit the city. The restaurant features:

  • A spacious interior
  • Seating for 200
  • A banquet room with meeting space with seating for 100
  • Catering services

Don’t forget delicious food! Seafood and steak anyone? For more info and menu deets, click here.

Find it at 1770 Ashville Rd., Leeds, AL 35094.

Three Earred Rabbit

Don’t you just love the name and sign of The Three Earred Rabbit? Photo via The Three Earred Rabbit

Originated in Trussville, The Three Earred Rabbit recently hopped over to Leeds to make a second home for itself—and people are loving it!

This fun eatery combines the charm of an old-fashioned soda shop with fresh food, specialty desserts and lots of Southern hospitality. It’s also a great place to throw a party!

Get your rabbit food at the Three Earred Rabbit. Check it out at 8101 Parkway Drive, Leeds, AL 35094

Barber Motorsports Park

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Run the track at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Photo submitted

Do you hear that? If you listen closely, you’ll hear the distance hoots and hollers of those cheering on the races at Barber Motorsport Park in Leeds—an 880 acre, multi-purpose racing facility located on the eastern edge of Birmingham in Leeds.

What has spurred the recent growth in the Barber Motorsports area?

According to George Barber, former racer and creator of the park and museum, “We help draw a lot of attention to the area. In 2018, we had 368,000 visitors and are open seven days a week. The good economy also makes everyone want to do things.”

Interesting fact about George Barber: During his racing career, he won first place 63 times!

Home to a number of races throughout the year, here are some of the hottest:

Birmingham, Barber Motorsport, Leeds, racing
Photo via Barber Motorsports Park

Along with first-class racing, you’ll also find the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum that boasts over 900 mint-condition motorcycles on exhibit.

Next race: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 5-7. Find all the info here.

Watch those tires fly over the pavement at 6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094.

The Shops of Grand River

The perfect place to shop is found in Leeds. Photo via The Shops of Grand River

For great shopping and more, a trip to The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds is a must. Here you’ll find tons of stores, a food court and even a drive-in movie theatre—The Coyote Drive In. As an outlet mall, you’ll get some pretty stellar deals when you shop!

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Enjoy the show at the drive-in. Photo via Coyote Drive-In Leeds

If you enjoy going to local events, you can find many at The Outlet Shops of Grand River. Coming up in April:

Easter Bunny Photos
Date: Saturday, April 13
Time: 12-3PM

Artists Incorporated Gallery “Paint an Angel” class
Date: Friday, April 19
Time: 10-3PM

Check it out at 6200 Grand River Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094.

What are your favorite spots in Leeds? We wanna know!