Wiggins Building Corporation plans mixed-use project at historic building in downtown Birmingham

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The 2-story building at 1616-1618 3rd Avenue North has a new owner. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

A historic building in Birmingham’s Wholesale and Retail Historic District West has a new owner—and he’s planning something big. Victor Wiggins, owner of Dorris Ross & Wiggins LLC, is planning to renovate a two-story historic building in downtown Birmingham.

Redevelopment Continues in Downtown Birmingham

Victor Wiggins of Dorris Ross & Wiggins LLC recently purchased a 114-year-old building in downtown Birmingham. Wiggins is the president of Wiggins Building Corporation, a general contractor based out of Vestavia.

The two story building is smack-dab in the middle of the Civil Rights and Innovations Districts, in an area being rebranded as The Switch. Now, it joins the ever-growing list of redevelopments in downtown Birmingham, such as the Webb Building, Jefferson Corner and the former Family Dollar building.

A New Mixed-Use Development

A nice view of the Shipt Building. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Wiggins’ plan is to transform the building into a mixed-use development, a popular trend for many historic buildings in downtown.

A portion of the building will be reserved for retail and office use. Meanwhile, the upstairs will host four loft-style apartments, featuring the original brick and wood walls. In addition, each apartment will have access to the rooftop deck and reserved parking on the ground floor.

The 2-story building was originally constructed in 1916, and renovated in the 1980s. Over the years, it has been home to several businesses, such as:

  • Spivy-Johnson Portrait Co. (1920)
  • Fields & Lewis Furniture Co. (1923)
  • Decco Distributing Co. branch (1941)
  • Birmingham Leather Co. (1964)
  • Jake H. Wilensky Leather Co. (1941) 
  • Community Blood & Plasma Services (1964)

Home of Etheridge Brother & Sister Barbers

The building is home to Etheridge Brother & Sister Barber & Beauty Shop. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Most recently, the building has served as the home for Etheridge Brother & Sister Barber & Beauty Shop, a Birmingham staple for five decades. The family-owned barbershop was founded in 1970 by Willie Etheridge, Sr and his brother Joe. Now, the family owns a car wash just down the block, as well as a catering company.

Luckily, the family business will stick around through the redevelopment.

Excited to see a new development take shape in downtown Birmingham? Stay tuned to @bhamnow as we learn more!

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Nathan Watson
Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.
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