Fashionable home furnishings store and restaurant coming to The Hardwick alongside The Rotary Trail

The Hardwick
The Hardwick at dusk. Rendering via Williams Blackstock Architects

Ballard Designs, an upscale home furnishings retail destination and Lapeer Steak & Seafood, a popular restaurant from Alpharetta, Georgia, will be moving into The Hardwick in 2024

The new tenant announcement was made via news release by Centennial, a real estate investment firm who is working in partnership with The Opal Fund, a Qualified Opportunity Fund managed by a benefit corporation subsidiary of Opportunity Alabama.

Transformation of The Hardwick

The Hardwick is a renovated steel mill transformed into a 61,000 square foot mixed-use community hub alongside the Rotary Trail at 2308 1st Avenue South. Bham Now’s Sharron Swain has written two detailed stories about the development, titled:

About the New Tenants

Both Ballard Designs and Lapeer Steak & Seafood will be opening their first Alabama locations at The Hardwick.

Ballard Designs offers a unique curation of home furnishings and décor from all periods and provenance. Its designers travel the world for inspiration, translating the latest trends in fashion, color and style into finely crafted products not found anywhere else. Currently, the brand operates 19 stores across 13 states. Ballard Designs is slated to open 8 new locations in 2023 and is planning to open at The Hardwick in 2024.

Lapeer Steak & Seafood features a chef-inspired menu with steakhouse classics and fresh seafood. The beverage menu will focus on classic cocktails, and the wine list features an extensive reserve selection of full-bodied California cabernets and red blends, backed by a mix of Old-World Italian and French varietals such as Barolo and Cabernet Franc. The 6,500 square foot space will include four rooms: the lounge, two dining areas and a private dining room with outdoor space. 

Lapeer Steak & Seafood’s Culinary Director  Chef Blake Hartley, a native of Tuscaloosa, is returning to Alabama. According to the news release  Chef Hartley’s has worked under James Beard award winners Frank Stitt at Bottega Restaurant and Chris Hastings’ at Hot & Hot Fish Club, as well as Evangeline’s Restaurant in Tuscaloosa. 

Some of Lapeer Steak & Seafood, popular menu items include: 

  • Oysters
  • Wagyu beef tartare
  • Lobster rolls
  • Center cut filet 
  • Prime Delmonico ribeye.

“We couldn’t be more excited to open in such a supportive city that understands and appreciates the details of service and to be a part of this nationally recognized food community with some of the South’s best chefs and restaurateurs,” 

~ Culinary Director, Chef Blake Hartley

Leasing Still Available

The Hardwick still has a handful of office suites available. 

The OPAL Fund, a nearly $19 million Qualified Opportunity Fund, is the lead equity investor for The Hardwick. Williams Blackstock is the architect. Stewart Perry is the general contractor. Schoel Engineering is providing engineering services. 

Have you seen The Hardwick renovations? We are at Bham Now because it is literally across from us at our location on Morris Avenue. Share with us what you think about this new addition The Magic City by tagging us on social media 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.

Articles: 2254