If you want the behind-the-scenes scoop at the progress at the Powell Steam Plant, we’ve got you covered. Read on for an inside look at the vision behind the Powell Steam Plant and an update on what’s coming next from Orchestra Partners, the redevelopment advisory firm making these plans a reality.
Exciting plans for the Powell Steam Plant, one of Birmingham’s most historic buildings ⚡️
The Powell Steam Plant, originally built in 1895, is one of Birmingham’s most historic—and impactful—buildings. For over a century, the steam plant powered the historic buildings downtown, the trolley cars that once ran through Birmingham and major customers like UAB and Alabama Theatre.
While the Powell Steam Plant no longer provides steam power to Birmingham customers, Alabama Power and the development team at Orchestra Partners recognized the importance of revitalizing the site. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and now, Orchestra Partners is working to blend its important history with a positive future in Birmingham.
“We’re trying to make the Steam Plant an entertainment destination that draws people not just from Birmingham, but from the entire state and the southeast. Because we want to make sure downtowns are thriving, we want a place where people can hang out for extended amounts of time.Hailey Oliff, Development Manager, Orchestra Partners
In February 2022, Orchestra Partners announced their first anchor tenant for the Powell Steam Plant—Alamo Drafthouse Cinema! Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a national entertainment destination with movie theaters and tasty food and drinks.
“In our experience it’s pretty normal for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to become more of a community center than a movie theater. We have a lot of activities for guests to enjoy—we have guests come to Alamo Drafthouse that don’t even watch movies!”Chris Drazba, Chief Development Officer, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Now that the anchor tenant has been announced, the Orchestra Partners team is working on creating detailed designs for Alamo and continuing to lease. On the first floor, you can expect to find restaurants and retail spaces. On the mezzanine level, be on the lookout for leasing for office spaces.
The timeline for the project 👇
Are you just as excited about this project as I am? Good news—we don’t have to wait too long. Construction on the Steam Plant and Alamo Drafthouse is expected to start this summer. Alamo Drafthouse is planned to open in late 2023.
Throughout the construction, the Orchestra Partners team is actively looking for other exciting tenants to lease in the space.
“There’s so much residential activity in Parkside, but there isn’t a whole lot of destination locations—retail, restaurant and entertainment—for the people living in Parkside. We’re trying to serve those people and trying to create a place to gather.”Hailey Oliff, Development Manager, Orchestra Partners
The Powell Steam Plant development is just one part of the Orchestra Partners plan to further activate Parkside. Birmingham’s Railroad Park serves as a major feature of our city, and Orchestra developments work to connect people with the apartments, entertainment options, retail spaces and dining choices in Parkside.
PS: want to know what other projects Orchestra Partners is bringing to Parkside? Check out Urban Supply, a mixed-use development with 100,000 square feet of retail, office and fitness spaces, restaurants and bars.
Meet the team making the Powell Steam Plant updates a reality 🤝
Of course, projects like this don’t just happen—it takes a group of ambitious people with a vision and heart for Birmingham to make a change. Orchestra Partners brings together a team of talents across multiple fields: planners, architects, general contractors, marketers, banks and more. By working with experts across the board, Orchestra Partners is able to bring their exciting plans to life.