Birmingham approves redevelopment to support Innovation Depot grads + create 311 jobs

Nextec, LLC, to redevelop and rehabilitate the 65,000 square-foot Edwards Motor Company Building (former Sticks ‘N’ Stuff building) located at 1531 3rd Ave. North. (Callie Puryear/Bham Now)

Birmingham took another step toward becoming a hot spot for business start-ups.

Today, the Birmingham City Council approved a project funding agreement with Nextec, LLC, to redevelop and rehabilitate the 65,000 square-foot Edwards Motor Company Building (former Sticks ‘N’ Stuff building) located at 1531 3rd Ave. North. 

The area will be leased for use as a flexible workspace and collaboration area for start-up businesses graduating from Innovation Depot.   

Foster Start-ups

According to Cornell Wesley, Director of the Office of Innovation and Economic Opportunity for the city of Birmingham, the new workspace will be world class and a way to foster new start-ups.

“It (the redevelopment of the former Sticks ‘N Stuff building) is built on the idea of capturing and retaining all of those micro enterprises that are birthed out of Innovation Depot and placing them in an affordable space so that they can continue to incubate and accelerate to a point where they can afford their own brick-and-mortar,” Wesley told Bham Now last month.

$2 Million in Incentives

Birmingham City Hall (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

The City will provide $2 million in incentives in support of the project to be paid in five annual installments of $400,000 each, provided certain leasing milestones are met. The first installment of the incentive funding will come out of the American Recovery Plan monies and is an allowable use to stimulate the economy.  

“We are committed to supporting community redevelopment and strengthening our small businesses. This project does both,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “This will be one more feather in the cap of the Fountain Heights community that is experiencing a rebirth.”  

311 Jobs

The projected economic impact from sales, property, use, and occupational tax will be around $300,000. It is expected that 311 jobs over the next seven years will be generated.  

The city has already begun recruiting businesses such as Tquila Automation, intelligent automation specialists.  

“This double downs our efforts to recruit, retain and continue to develop our tech sector,”  concluded Wesley.

What do you think of this new innovative redevelopment? Let us know on social media by tagging us at @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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