4 micro-unit student housing projects in the works in Birmingham

The Marshall is one of several potential new student housing projects in Birmingham. Rendering via Aptitude Development

Several developers are looking to meet the high demand for student housing in downtown Birmingham. Meet the potential new projects: The Citizen, The Railyard, Pipeline and The Marshall. Here’s what we know.

The Railyard

A rendering of The Railyard, an upcoming micro-unit student housing development on Rotary Trail. Rendering via Creature
  • Address: 2216 1st Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35233

As previously covered, The Railyard is an upcoming micro-unit student housing development in Southside. Since the six-story, 135-unit apartment community will sit right on Rotary Trail, it would offer easy walkability to areas like Railroad Park.

At 350 square-feet a unit, these apartments might seem small on paper. However, keep in mind these are intended for college students. My freshman dorm room was significantly smaller, AND shared with a roommate. So, 350 square-feet isn’t all that bad.

Taking the lead on the project is Golden Development Group, a group led by Geoff Golden and Mike Gibson of Creature. Golden Development Groups aims to bypass the traditional process of construction: independent architects, engineers, designers and constructors all struggling to work together, leading to wasted time and money. Instead, Golden Development Group plans to “harvest the power” of Creature’s Design, Manufacturing and Construction teams into one cohesive and efficient project.

The Citizen

Micro-unit housing at The Citizen
The Citizen, a potential new student housing complex in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Rendering via Creature

Address: 300 18th Street South, Birmingham AL 35233

Earlier this year, the Birmingham Business Journal reported that local design/build firm Creature was planning a new micro-unit student housing project in downtown Birmingham. The project—named The Citizen—would be solely for renters and cater to students and medical workers at UAB.

Six stories tall, The Citizen would offer 140 micro-unit apartments at 350 square-feet each, just like The Railyard. Additionally, the ground floor would boast 3,000 square-feet of retail space.

The project is designed in response to the all-new Birmingham Master Plan‘s emphasis on walkability and micro-transit. Although The Citizen would include off-site parking, residents would have access to electric vehicle charging stations and Zipcar spaces—plus, it’ll be located right on the upcoming Birmingham Xpress bus system line.

According to the Birmingham Business Journal, the Birmingham Design Review Committee approved the conceptual design in February.

The Marshall

Micro-unit housing at The Marshall
The Marshall, an upcoming housing complex in Birmingham. Rendering via Aptitude Development

Address: 1201 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35233

New Jersey-based real estate development firm Aptitude Development recently purchased a property along Third Avenue South in anticipation of their new student housing project: The Marshall.

According to Aptitude Development, the project is a response to a greater demand for student housing, due to increased enrollment at UAB.

As mentioned on the project’s website, The Marshall will be a seven-story, 200,000 square-foot building with resident lounges, fitness centers, courtyards, a pool and 187 apartment units. Additionally, the two-story parking garage will include 227 parking spots.

Aptitude Development closed on the property for $3.05 million, buying from Parkside Land Company LLC and University Park Ltd—two entities represented by Len Shannon of Shannon Waltchack. Aptitude Development plans to complete the project by Fall 2022.

Pipeline

Micro-unit housing at Pipeline
A rendering of the potentially-upcoming student housing development for UAB. Rendering via Mode 3 Architecture

Address: 1300 5th Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35233

Earlier this year, the Birmingham City Council approved several incentives for Illinois-based architectural firm Next Chapter Properties to develop a $55 million housing project for students at UAB.

The project is known as Pipeline, and would be located right between Regions Field and the UAB Campus Green. The seven-story development would include five floors of student housing, with 160 studio, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartment units.

And parking? Not an issue. The first and second floors would include plenty of on-site parking. Additionally, the ground floor would include space for retail shops and restaurants for students to grab a quick bite on the way to class.

In August, the Birmingham City Council approved roughly $736,000 in incentives for the project. The Jefferson County Commission followed up with $1,550,122 in Noneducational Ad Valorem Tax Abatements—$370,541 attributed to the State of Alabama, $578,139 is attributed to Jefferson County and $601,442 attributed to the City of Birmingham.

Excited to see these four projects move forward? Tag us @bhamnow to share your thoughts!

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