Former AT&T skyscraper, Birmingham’s 3rd tallest building, to reopen with luxury apartments this summer

Former AT&T City Center in Bham – renamed The 600 (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

The redevelopment of the former AT&T City Center Building, Birmingham’s third tallest skyscraper, is projected to open this summer with luxury apartments.

The 600

Renamed The 600 (600 19th St. N), the 30-story building was acquired in late 2018 by Varden Capital Properties (VCP) and Tellus Partners. Redevelopment was delayed because of the pandemic.

In December 2020, the 390 foot tall building, which was Birmingham’s tallest from 1971 until 1986, was added to the National Register of Historic Places, as we previously reported. 

What to Expect

The 600
The former AT&T City Center will be renovated as The 600. (Matthew Niblett/Bham Now)

Plans for the building have been changed slightly since the original announcement of the redevelopment. Here are the amenities reported in the BBJ,who also announced the news about the opening this summer.

  • 404 luxury apartment units
  • Restaurant and retail space on the lobby level
  • 10% of the units at The 600 will be large-scale, family-sized apartment rental units
  • 29th floor is dedicated to amenities that include a 5,000-square-foot professional gym quality fitness center, game room with game tables, large theater room, and a co-working space with offices, conference tables and seating areas for people who want to work from home
  • Multi-level parking deck adjacent to the building with 600 spaces
  • A multipurpose retail concept called Bergman’s Bakery

Preserving History – 45 Degree Tilt

We “heart” the plans for the former AT&T City Center. (Hint: look at the clouds!) ( Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Built between 1968 and 1971, the former AT&T City Center was a Modern-style office building in the central business district of downtown Birmingham. New York based architectural firm Kahn and Jacobs, with associate architect Der Scutt, headed up the design.

Originally known as the South Central Bell Building, the tower served as the headquarters to South Central Bell. After AT&T purchased BellSouth in 2006, the new owners officially renamed the building to the AT&T City Center in 2007. However, by 2017 AT&T was using only a handful of floors. Finally, in 2018, AT&T decided not to renew their lease.

One unique aspect of the 30-story office tower is its placement which is tilted 45 degrees relative to the street.

Timing – City Walk, Legacy Arena, Protective Stadium

City Walk
City Walk lights after a Birmingham Stallions win. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

The arrival of The 600 couldn’t have come at a better time in downtown Birmingham. Over the past year and a half, three major projects have  been completed within walking distance to the redevelopment— Protective Stadium, City Walk and a new and improved Legacy Arena and BJCC complex. 

The 600 will also benefit from the  revitalization of Civil Rights District — the restoration of the A.G. Gaston Motel and significant improvements to the Historic 16th Street Baptist Church and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Stay tuned

Watch this space for updates on The 600. 

Let us know what you think of the new redevelopment by tagging us with a comment 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.

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