Happy Monday, Birmingham! Thanksgiving is so close you can almost smell the delicious food. Let’s get this week started right by catching you up with the buzziest happenings in The Magic City, including the Birmingham Council approving an agreement to keep the Magic City Classic at Legion Field, a 750-acre park now open in Shelby County, new openings and more.
What’s happening: Shelby County has a new outlet for exploring the great outdoors—Double Oak Park. In 2021, Shelby County acquired 750 acres of land between Dunnavant Valley Road and Bear Creek Road. This includes Double Oak Park, which features nearly nine miles of single-track trail and more, including:
- Hiking trails
- Horseback trails
- Mountain bike trails
- Picnic pavilion
Why it matters: In addition to being an exciting recreational space for visitors, the park also preserves land from development.
“Double Oak Park is an opportunity for the Shelby County Commission to invest in an outdoor recreation park for hiking, biking, trail running and, very soon, horseback trails. We are excited to offer this pristine piece of the outdoors so close to residential areas and employment centers on Highway 280.”Chad Scroggins, Shelby County, County Manager
What’s happening: The Birmingham City Council Budget and Finance committee approved an agreement this week to keep the annual cross-state rivalry game and festivities between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University at historic Legion Field until 2026.
A vote on the agreement by the full council takes place at the November 22 meeting. This year, both universities received $400,000 from the city following the game. Under the new four-year contract, each university receives $500,000 per year until the contract expires in 2026.
Why it matters: As one of Birmingham’s longstanding traditions, the Magic City Classic brings together upwards of 65,000 fans to Legion Field each year. Many fans of the annual event are elated to see the tradition continue at Legion Field.
“The Classic is embedded in the culture of Birmingham. It is more than a game, it is an experience. I am elated that we can continue this 80+ year tradition of being two rival schools to one central and neutral location. It’s important we support our HBCUs, who produce some of our greatest leaders, scientists, technologists, innovators and trendsetters.”Crystal Smitherman, Birmingham City Councilor
Looking to try something new this holiday season? We’ve got you covered with new openings and businesses coming soon to Birmingham. Let’s dive in.
- Fans of former Birmingham bar The Atomic will love House of Found Objects, now open on 2nd Avenue North. Psst… the signature “Legendary Sex Panther” cocktail is back!
- AmStar 14 Alabaster is now open after undergoing $3.75M in major renovations, including luxurious reclining seating and a new auditorium.
- RideBHM, Alabama’s first-ever downhill mountain biking park, is now open with 11 world-class trails fit for all skill levels at 2800 Portofino Drive.
- Uptown Jazz lounge is now open near CityWalk BHAM for live jazz performances, open mic nights, karaoke and more.
- Mama Coco‘s second location in Vestavia Hills is now open with delicious authentic Mexican eats.
- Save big on brands like Adidas and Birkenstocks at Shoe Station, now open in Vestavia Hills.
- The Farmers Market at Brock’s Gap is bringing a weekly abundance of goods from local farmers and artisans starting January 2023.
$80M mixed-use development proposed near Railroad Park
What’s happening: The Birmingham City Council Economic Development and Tourism Committee approved incentives to build an $80 million mixed-use development at the former Sherman Industries concrete site near Railroad Park. Named The Silos, the proposed project is located at 1130 Second Avenue South. Birmingham-headquartered Novu Development Group is the developer.
Why it matters: “It’s exciting to see Birmingham‘s investment in Railroad Park and Regions Field continue to pay dividends as private dollars transform the Parkside District,” Hunter Williams, Chair of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee told Bham Now. “This large $80 million project will transform a Brownfield industrial site to something that adds value to the city.”
What’s happening: Local attorney and real estate developer Eric Guster recently purchased two buildings along 3rd Avenue North, adjacent to the site of his new food truck court. Guster wants the development to offer the stability of a permanent location to benefit local food trucks as well as brick-and-mortar restaurants and retail options.
Why it matters: As reported by the Birmingham Business Journal, Guster recently purchased two buildings adjacent to the original lot to add to the Third Avenue Food Court development. Located at 1116 Third Avenue North and 1120 Third Avenue North, one structure is home to ABC Select Spirits while the other is currently vacant. Guster and his team are currently determining whether a restaurant, retail, medical or office space would be most appropriate.
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