Southtown Court’s past, present and future in Birmingham [Photos]

Southtown Court
Birmingham’s Southtown Court on May 2nd, 2022. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

After near six months of demolition, the Southtown Court site in Birmingham’s Southside is nearly empty. Once demolition is complete, redevelopment of the Southtown Court community will begin—bringing 560 new housing units, commercial & retail space to the site.

Keep reading to learn more!

Southtown Court, a part of Birmingham since 1941

southtown court planning area Southtown Court's past, present and future in Birmingham [Photos]
An aerial view of the Southtown Court community in 2015. (Southside Neighborhood Plan)

Located on a 25-acre site in Birmingham’s Southside, Southtown Court was originally built in 1941 with funding from the United States Housing Authority. The 455-unit community was designed by Warren, Knight & Davis architects, a local firm that designed dozens of buildings in Birmingham, including The Club, the Masonic Temple Building, the Alabama Power Building and Vulcan Park.

According to BhamWiki, the idea of redeveloping Southtown Court has been proposed multiple times. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) approved the demolition of Southtown Court. With Southtown’s current buildings deemed obsolete and “past their useful life”, HABD approved the renovation project—which would include the redevelopment of the Southtown community with new & improved housing units, office and restaurant/retail space.

By October of 2021, the majority of Southtown Court residents had been temporarily relocated to other housing communities in the Birmingham area.

December 17th, 2021 — Demolition Begins

Southtown Court Demo
(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

On December 17th, 2021, the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) officially began the demolition of Southtown Court. Witnessed by community members, officials and representatives from the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County Commission, the demolition includes:

  • 55 buildings with 455 obsolete dwelling units of public housing
  • 10 non-dwelling units (including a community building, management building, daycare building and maintenance buildings)
  • Two “shotgun” style residential dwellings on an adjacent lot

According to a press release by HABD, demolition was expected to be complete by May 2022.

Southtown Court Update — May 2022

Southtown Court
An excavator demolishing a portion of Southtown Court on May 2nd, 2022. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

As of May 2nd, 2022, demolition has begun on three of the four housing blocks at Southtown Court. Although a handful of partially-demolished buildings are still standing, the majority of the site has been cleared.

Southtown Court
Partially-demolished buildings on the Southtown Court campus. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

What’s Next for Southtown Court?

A conceptual rendering of the new Southtown Court. (Gensler)

Once the demolition of Southtown Court is complete, work will begin on the redevelopment of the new Southtown Court—a mixed-use housing and community development. According to the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District, the redevelopment plans include a total of 560 housing units—including 220 federally-subsidized units.

The first step of the redevelopment—a 60-unit affordable housing block—is expected to begin once the site has been cleared. Future plans include market-rate apartment and commercial buildings with space for groceries, retail and hotel space. In addition, the future Southtown Court is expected to include several acres of greenspace and parking space for 2,500 vehicles.

Excited to see the next step in the Southtown Court redevelopment? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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