A new year means new and great things for Birmingham. We’re looking at five developments we loved in 2021 to see what’s next for them in the new year. PS: one development firm is at the forefront of our most anticipated Birmingham developments in 2022—meet Orchestra Partners.
Updates on Birmingham developments from Orchestra Partners
1. The Frank
One thing that Orchestra Partners focuses on that I love is rehabilitating historic buildings. Rather than tearing down and replacing old structures, Orchestra Partners breathes new life into these buildings—keeping the character of The Magic City intact. One example of this is the Frank (also known as the Frank Nelson building), which was originally built in 1903 as the First National Bank Building.
With the renovation of The Frank, Orchestra Partners will bring residential units to floors two through 10. The first floor will be a hub for retail and dining options, like foodie favorite Trattoria Zaza. Construction for The Frank began in June 2021 and will continue in 2022. The project is expected to finish in late 2022 and will include new features such as a European-style courtyard and new shops and restaurants on the first floor.
2. The Powell Avenue Steam Plant
The Powell Avenue Steam Plant, originally built in 1895, is another great example of how Orchestra Partners is bringing new life to historic buildings full of character.
“That building is really significant to our history because it not only provided steam heat to all the historic buildings downtown, but it also powered the trolley cars that once ran throughout Birmingham and connected our city.”Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners, Principal
This Birmingham development is a major part of the Parkside Master Plan, a project designed to enhance walkability and connect the Parkside District with surrounding neighbors. Orchestra Partners has said that they have secured an exciting anchor tenant for the project and will be announcing it soon. We can’t wait to hear about it!
3. Urban Supply
If you’ve spent any time near Railroad Park recently, you may have noticed all of the exciting new movement. One of the Birmingham developments we’re most excited about is Urban Supply, which aims to revitalize empty warehouses and fill them with foodie destinations, amazing retail and office spaces.
“If Railroad Park is Birmingham’s backyard, Urban Supply is its living room. This is where everybody comes together to play, drink, and eat.”Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners, Principal
In September 2021, Orchestra Partners began the final phase of Urban Supply—The Aisle, a pedestrian alley that will help connect the different sections of Urban Supply. In 2022, Orchestra Partners will continue bringing new tenants to Urban Supply so you can take full advantage of the walkable space.
4. Mercantile on Morris
If you’ve paid attention to Bham Now’s social accounts, you probably recognize Mercantile on Morris. To say our team is excited about this Birmingham development is an understatement.
Mercantile on Morris is the mixed-use development on historic Morris Avenue, featuring residential condos and 14,000 square feet of retail space.
“It is a place to eat as well as shop. In 2022, we’ll be opening a small bar located inside the plaza in Mercantile on Morris to activate the plaza. That plaza in Mercantile will become a lot more active in 2022, and all of our tenants will be open then.”Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners, Principal
Mercantile on Morris is already bustling with amazing businesses that are open now or opening soon, including:
- Pizza Grace
- Bridge + Root
- Lifelyles Gifts & Interiors
- Bar La Fete
- Scott Miller Projects
- Cannella Gelato & Cafe
- Personal by Studio E Fitness
- Hide & Hunter
In 2022, they’ll continue the transformation of Morris Avenue with the renovation of the Lindsey Building next door into additional condos and commercial space. This is one of the Birmingham developments I’m most excited about, having seen what an impact the space made in 2021 firsthand.
5. Downtown Jasper
Since we see all the innovative things Orchestra Partners is bringing to The Magic City with their local plans, it’s cool to see how they’ll bring it to other areas in Alabama. One of the cities they’re working with now is Jasper, located less than 40 minutes from Birmingham.
“We have worked with city leadership to propose the formation of a district that will align private investment with public investment to transform downtown Jasper. We’re hopeful that we can start planning some redevelopment projects in the city center in 2022.
Jasper is just one example of how Orchestra has used its experience in Birmingham to create a set of tools to help small cities attract private investment to their downtowns.”Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners, Principal
Soon, the planning and redevelopment firm will work to take these same tools to other cities throughout Alabama.