The latest on Century Plaza. “Project Magic” continues to move forward

Rendering via Birmingham City Council

We’ve got the latest updates on the redevelopment of Century Plaza. This new logistics center could bring hundreds of jobs to Birmingham, and it’s moving forward step by step. Check it out!

The Background

There’s a very specific type of nostalgia surrounding abandoned shopping malls. Photo via Friends of Century Plaza on Facebook

Back in the day, Century Plaza was one of the largest malls in Alabama with more than 100 tenants filling its 743,785 square feet of retail space. Since it’s closing in 2009, the mall has sat doormat in Birmingham’s Eastwood neighborhood.

Over the past decade, developers have pitched all kinds of plans for the space—from a jail to a mega-church and pretty much everything in-between.

The Project

century plaza
Photo via Abandoned Southeast

In May of this year, we reported that the City Council had announced a plan to redevelop the vacant Century Plaza Mall into a 200,000 square-foot logistics center that could bring over 300 jobs to the Eastwood area.

Dubbed “Project Magic,” the Atlanta-based Stonemont Financial Group proposed to demolish the former shopping mall and build a new last-mile delivery center. Here’s what we know about the project itself:

  • The facility will be a state-of-the-art class-A single-story building with concrete walls and glass features at the entry.
  • The facility will provide significant jobs with over 1,400 delivery drivers operating to and from the property and over 320 associates and managers working within the premises.
  • The proposed facility is designed for a package delivery service. Packages arriving at this facility are prepackaged in cardboard boxes and labeled for shipping within local neighborhoods and areas surrounding the facility.

Stonemont and the City of Birmingham declined to name the potential tenant. However, Birmingham Business Journal reported that developers are pitching Amazon to be the tenant for the site.

The Next Steps

Century Plaza Mall in May 2020. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

In this Birmingham City Council news release from early May 2020, Councilor Hunter Williams talked next steps. Williams claimed that the Birmingham City Council would need to rezone the property before construction can proceed.

The Eastwood Neighborhood Association voted 5–4 against rezoning for the new logistics center. However, this week the BBJ reported that the Birmingham City Council’s economic development committee has approved the project.

The Eastwood Neighborhood Association cited two of their main concerns as traffic and potential uses. However, according to the BBJ, representatives of the project told councilors that they’ve taken steps to alleviate those concerns. Residents plan to discuss these issues in a community meeting next week.

In the original news release, Councilor Williams claimed his office has received calls from dozens of residents who live in the surrounding area and other adjoining neighborhoods who are in favor of the project.

Should the vote pass to rezone the area, the project will continue to move forward. According to Williams, we could expect to see it completed by June 2021.

As always, we’ll be bringing you updates as they happen. If you love watching Birmingham move forward as much as we do, be sure to stay tuned to Bham Now.

  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.