Southtown Court demolition and site prep to begin this summer

Southtown Birmingham
Southtown Court in Southside Birmingham Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

The demolition and site prep of Southtown Court public housing on Birmingham’s Southside is set to begin this summer, according to a Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) news release.

The HABD and its developer partner Southside Development Company are beginning the process of preparing the 6 city block site located off University Boulevard for demolition. Local residents and commuters should soon see fencing around the 80 year old public housing community.

Redevelopment Plans

Conceptual render of the Southtown redevelopment. Render by Gensler.

Earlier this year, the Birmingham City Council approved the rezoning of the Southtown Court public housing site from multiple-dwelling and neighborhood business districts to mixed-use downtown district.

The Southtown Court housing community will be transformed into a mixed-use property with multi-family and senior citizen affordable housing units as well as market rate housing. In addition, there will be office, medical, retail and hotel developments; along with greenspaces and bike lanes.

Neighborhood Support

The project has support from the neighborhoods,” stated District 5 City Councilor Darrell O’Quinnin a February about the project before the Council Planning Committee rezoning vote. “We believe it is a transformational opportunity that will bring improved conditions for residents that want to return to the site but also bring in new amenities and economic opportunities for the city in general.” 

O’Quinn, whose district encompasses the Southtown Court redevelopment also told Bham Now that many of his biggest concerns have been addressed, including accommodating residents who want to return to Southtown after construction is complete. 

Conceptual render of the Southtown redevelopment. Render by Gensler.

Relocation Efforts

The HABD confirmed that approximately 400 Southtown Court clients (residents) have been permanently or temporarily relocated ahead of the redevelopment process of the community. 

From their June 3rd news release:

“Clients were provided various options for relocation such as a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, a transfer to another HABD public housing site or a transfer to an HABD multi-family property incentive site. Clients also had the option to live onsite during construction in one of 88 units that will not be demolished during the first phase of construction. HABD’s Support Services staff have worked one-on-one with clients throughout the process to ensure their needs were met.”

Replacement Affordable Housing

Demolition of the site is anticipated to begin later this summer. After the site is prepared for construction, the replacement affordable housing is expected to begin in the fall of 2021, according to HABD.

If everything falls in place, the redevelopment is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

Stay tuned to Bham Now for updates on this much anticipated redevelopment project in the coming months.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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