Look for new life at the old Hardwick building at the end of the Rotary Trail in Birmingham (PHOTOS)

The Hardwick
The Hardwick, as seen from The Rotary Trail. Photo supplied

One of the beautiful things about Birmingham is the way that historic buildings have been given new life to carry them well into the future. Bayer Properties, the company that brought us The Pizitz and The Summit, is planning to turn The Hardwick into a mixed-use community hub with offices and restaurants. 

The Hardwick: a little history

The Hardwick
Steel fabricating machinery inside the old Hardwick building. Photo supplied

The Hardwick was a 110-year old steel processing plant located right next to what for years was known as “The Cut”—a strip of land that’s now home to The Rotary Trail

It’s not Bayer Properties’ first rodeo

The Pizitz then and now
The Pizitz now (l) and then (r). Times sure have changed. Photo via Nathan Watson

The Pizitz today is a gorgeous downtown building that houses the fantastic Pizitz Food Hall, the Sidewalk Cinema, coworking offices at Forge, and apartments. Some people remember it from its years as a functioning department store, and others remember the years it sat abandoned and slightly crumbling. 

Bayer Properties was involved in redeveloping the former 1920s department store and turning it into what we know and love today. Was my family the only one that loved watching the renovation from the stairway at The McWane Center until it opened in 2017?

I did not know this until today but since reopening, The Pititz has received not one, not two, but eight awards for its awesomeness. Here’s a story we did about one of them. Hint: food is involved.

Location, location, location

The Rotary Trail runs right next to The Hardwick
When was the last time you went for a walk on The Rotary Trail? It’s such a lovely way to spend some time in the city. Photo supplied

This past Saturday, my family and I went down to Railroad Park for a change of scenery. We were delighted to discover the temporary Parkside Trail was in full swing. All of us loved being able to travel all the way down to the end of the Rotary Trail without running into any traffic between there and Railroad Park. 

This new development will be down toward the end of the trail on the left-hand side if you’re walking from 20th street, near the mural-covered building.

Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the following: 

  • Views of downtown Birmingham’s skyline
  • Easy access to all that Birmingham has to offer
  • The Red Rock Trail System, which included a total of 115 completed miles of trail as of last year

Here’s what Libby Lassiter, co-president of Bayer Properties, had to say:

“The redevelopment of the Hardwick Building will bring a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use project to the area, complementing the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.”

What’s next?

The Hardwick Building
A renovator’s dream. Photo supplied

Williams Blackstock Architects and Schoel Engineering will be part of the initial design team. Construction should begin in 2021. 

“We are committed to helping Birmingham continue its role as a leading destination for businesses and travelers alike and are confident that the redeveloped Hardwick will play a role in this vision.”

Libby Lassiter, Bayer Properties

Now tell us, Birmingham, what do you think of this coming mixed-use redevelopment? Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @bhamnow or on Twitter @now_bham and let us know!

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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