Birmingham is abuzz with new projects, many of which are designated as mixed-use. These are nine upcoming projects we can’t wait to see, including a recently-announced project in Forest Park.
Why is Mixed-Use so Popular?
For the past few years, it seems like most new developments—especially in and around downtown—are labeled “mixed-use”. But what is mixed-use, and why is it so popular?
For one, mixed-use is no new phenomenon. In fact, until the rise of automobiles, most major developments were mixed-use. Just look at the older buildings in downtown—most include some space for retail on the ground floor, and several floors of living space above. Before cars helped workers to easily travel from their suburban dwellings to their urban jobs, mixed-use properties allowed residents to live, walk and work in concentrated urban areas.
Now that downtown Birmingham is becoming a hot spot to live, developers are once again turning to mixed-use projects. And it’s no surprise that mixed-use is so popular—there are numerous places to shop, dine, work, live and more.
1. New mixed-use project for Forest Park
Address: 617 37th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35222
WhiteGroup, a local group of investors, is planning a new two-story office and condo mixed-use project in the Forest Park neighborhood. The 1-acre property—currently zoned in an office and institutional district—is situated right between Lakeview’s industrial and commercial district and the Forest Park residential neighborhood.
Before they can proceed with the project, WhiteGroup needs the City Council to rezone the property into a mixed-use low district. So far, Birmingham’s Zoning Advisory Committee has advised the city council to approve the request.
There has been renewed interest in the area, due to its proximity to both the Birmingham city center and the Over the Mountain neighborhoods. In fact, Dunn Real Estate recently purchased a property in the Forest Park downtown area.
2. Armour & Co. Building
- Address: 2309 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Birmingham-based Christopher Architecture & Interiors is working to turn a historic building in downtown Birmingham into a new mixed-use development, complete with residential units, commercial space and even a rooftop lounge. The 4-story, 40,000 square-foot building was built in the late 1890s, and originally housed the Armour & Co. meat processing facility.
Once completed, the building will hold 24 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Additionally, the ground floor will host 20,000 of commercial space, including a co-working space and a new restaurant.
3. Wiggins Building Corporation
- Address: 1616-1618 3rd Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Victor Wiggins, owner of Dorris Ross & Wiggins LLC, is planning to renovate a 114-year-old, two-story historic building in downtown Birmingham. The building is smack-dab in the middle of the Civil Rights and Innovation Districts, in an area being rebranded as The Switch.
Currently, the building is home to the family-owned Etheridge Brother & Sister Barber & Beauty Shop. Luckily, Etheridge will be staying—a portion of the building will be reserved for retail and office use, while 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.
4. Cahaba Heights Corner
Address: 3009 Pumphouse Road, Vestavia Hills, AL 35243
Fresh Hospitality, the company behind some of Birmingham’s favorite local restaurants—such as Taziki’s Cafe, Martin’s Bar-B-Que and Big Bad Breakfast—is working on a new mixed-use development in Cahaba Heights. The project aims to transform the currently-empty 1.5 acre lot into an office building and two separate retails sites—perfect for new restaurants or local businesses!
5. Foundry Yards | Apartment Complex + Office Space
- Address: 15 12th Street South, Birmingham AL 35233
Novare Group’s Foundry Yards project is an on-going apartment community development across the street from the upcoming Monday Night Brewing brewpub in Parkside. The two-story, 268-unit apartment community will consist of two buildings as well as a parking garage with roughly 344 spaces.
In addition to the apartment community, Foundry Yards will also include 20,000 square-feet of retail and office space. The space will be split up between two 10,000 square-foot warehouse buildings, originally constructed in the 1930s.
6. Lakeview Green
- Address: 2901 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233
Lakeview Green is an all-new mixed-use apartment complex—featuring a unique living and green space—in Birmingham’s Lakeview District. The project will be located at the site of the former Davis School on the corner of 4th Avenue South and 29th Street South, just a block away from Pepper Place.
Lakeview Green will include 73 studios, one and two-bedroom apartments, complete with granite countertops, walk-in closets, hardwood flooring and a balcony. Additionally, the ground floor will include 38,000 square feet of available retail space, perfect for restaurants and upscale retail merchants.
7. Campus No. 124 in Pelham
Address: 2408 Pelham Pkwy, Pelham, AL 35124
The former Valley Elementary School off Hwy. 31 is currently being redeveloped by Schrimsher Properties as Campus No. 124, a mixed-use development that will reportedly include a mix of restaurants and brewpubs, as well as retail, office and entertainment space.
The development draws inspiration from Huntsville’s Campus No. 805—in fact, the project is headed up by the same developer.
8. Mercantile on Morris
Address: 2212 Morris Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35203
Mercantile on Morris is an upcoming residential + commercial mixed-use project in the heart of Birmingham. For folks who love Birmingham, Mercantile on Morris has direct access to one of Birmingham’s most walkable and iconic streets—the original cobblestone street of Morris Avenue.
Mercantile on Morris also includes 14,000 square feet of retail space available for lease, including options that open into an interior pedestrian plaza. Think boutique retail shops and local restaurants—all directly accessible to residents and guests alike.
9. New Ideal Building
- Address: 1801 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
The long-awaited New Ideal Building is nearly complete—and Bham Now got an inside peek last month. The New Ideal—originally home to Sears—served as the home for the New Ideal department store from 1941 to 1990. Now, the New Ideal will be a stunning residential + retail mixed-use development right in the heart of downtown.
Excited about Birmingham’s Mixed-Use Projects?
We can’t wait to see these mixed-use projects—and many more like them—come to life in Birmingham. Stay tuned to Bham Now to get the latest news on these developments and more.