See why these empty-nesters moved from the suburbs to Parkside

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The Palmer
Scott and Elise Stearns, two residents at The Palmer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

When the kids go off to college, a big house can seem empty—just ask Scott and Elise Stearns. With both kids out of the house, the Stearns decided to try something new and exciting—living in downtown Birmingham!

We spoke with the Stearns to learn more about what they’ve loved about living in Parkside.

Explore life in Downtown Birmingham—learn more about available apartment units at The Palmer!

Meet Scott and Elise Stearns

The Palmer
Scott and Elise Stearns on the pool deck of The Palmer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Both originally from Birmingham, Scott and Elise Stearns met while working at BlockBuster Video. After they got married, the couple—who will be celebrating their 30th anniversary this November—moved to the suburbs of Trussville.

“We have spent most of our married life in Trussville, and it’s where we raised our two daughters. We have really loved the community of Trussville, its provided a fabulous school system for our girls and Scott’s been very involved in boards and programs in Trussville as well.

Elise Stearns

With their oldest daughter living in Germany and their youngest daughter off at college, the Stearns decided it was a good time for a change.

“We had been in our home in Trussville for 19 years, and with the market the way it is now we decided to go ahead and sell our home. We knew we wanted something a little different, so we thought why not rent a space in downtown Birmingham until we decide where our next home is going to be?”

Elise Stearns

Making the move from Trussville to downtown Birmingham

The Palmer
The Palmer in Birmingham’s Parkside District. (The Palmer)

After putting their home of nearly two decades on the market, the Stearns began researching available apartments in downtown Birmingham.

“Elise and I agreed that if we were going to move to downtown Birmingham, we wanted to be able to see the city skyline. When we toured The Palmer, we visited a corner unit with windows on both walls and we could see the city, Railroad Park and Regions Field—we were sold.

There is a unique energy about downtown Birmingham, and it’s one of the things we really love about living here. There are people out all the time and always something to do. You have such nice areas like Railroad Park, and they’re making more and more green space with the Rotary Trail extension. Just a lot of options to be out and about and meet new people.”

Scott Stearns
The Palmer
Scott and Elise checking out the view from The Palmer’s Sky Deck. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Located in Parkside right across the street from Regions Field, The Palmer is a popular apartment community for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

“One of the more unexpected things about our move to The Palmer is that we really had no idea that we would find such an amazing community here. There’s a mix of ages; you have young folks who are in a master’s program at UAB or just completed their program and working in the medical field, and then you have folks like us who are empty nesters who just want to try something different for a little while.”

Elise Stearns

Click here to learn more about what it’s like to live at The Palmer in Parkside.

The Palmer
Scott and Elise at the recent “Take Me Out to the Ballpark” event hosted by The Palmer. (The Palmer)

One of the perks of living at The Palmer is being able to participate in monthly community-focused activities and events hosted by the apartment community. The Palmer partners with a company called Apartment Life to create events—at least two each month—where residents can get to know each other and take advantage of all of the perks of living at The Palmer.

“We try to participate in as many community events here as we can. I actually performed with my band—called Man’s Best Friend—at The Palmer earlier this month, and it was the largest crowd we’ve seen come out to an event so far. One month, we had a lady from Rock ‘N Roll Sushi teach us how to roll sushi, and we’ve even had a sommelier teach us about different whites and reds. There’s always some neat activity that’ll get people together here.”

Scott Stearns

Favorite parts about living in Parkside

(The Palmer)
If you had access to a pool with a view like that, would you ever leave? (The Palmer)

At The Palmer, residents can see the entire sprawling Birmingham skyline from the building’s Sky Deck—plus, they can see all the action of a Birmingham Baron’s home game at Regions Field!

“I post a lot of photos and videos from The Palmer to my Facebook. The Palmer is seven floors high, but even from our fifth-floor apartment we can see the entire city—all the way to where Legion Field is! The sunsets are gorgeous, especially from the Sky Deck or from our balcony. The other day, I posted a video I took from our balcony of the train going by. It’s far enough away that you don’t hear it, but you see it. A bunch of people commented and said it looks like we live in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood with the little trolley.”

Scott Stearns

Living in Parkside, the Stearns are within walking distance of some of the best eateries The Magic City has to offering, including Michael’s Steaks & Seafood, Ted’s Restaurant and Hero Doughnuts & Buns. Plus, Publix is right around the corner in case the Stearns need to get groceries.

“We truly enjoy being able to walk to get a bite to eat, and right now it’s the perfect season to be out and about. I’m starting to think that Elise and I really screwed up by moving to The Palmer, because now we’re spoiled!”

Scott Stearns

However, living so close to some of the most popular food & drink spots in all of Birmingham can have its challenges.

“Now, here’s our main problem with living here in Parkside. We like to exercise by running or walking the dog, but every route back to The Palmer takes us by a place like The Fennec, Good People Brewing, Monday Night Brewing and Social Club or some other temptation. All our exercise is for naught!”

Scott Stearns

So, what’s next for the Stearns?

The Palmer
Scott and Elise at The Palmer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

With their first year’s lease coming up in the next few months, the Stearns have made the exciting decision to extend their time in Downtown Birmingham.

“Before we moved to The Palmer, we examined our options and thought a lot about moving out to the country to have a couple of acres, put a pool in and have something for the kids and their kids when they come along. Instead, we moved to downtown Birmingham—and we’ve liked it so much better than we ever imagined. We haven’t gone down to the leasing office yet, but we’re ready to go and sign for an additional year at The Palmer because we love it so much. From there, who knows? We’ll see where God takes us.”

Scott Stearns

Want to learn more about living in Parkside at The Palmer? Visit their website to learn more, view a 360 Virtual Tour of the apartment community and schedule a tour!

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Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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