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Old Posted Feb 21, 2007, 4:38 PM
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Blazer85 Blazer85 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Lakeview area gets set for condo, retail development
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
News staff writer

The 2800 block of Seventh Avenue has an evolving skyline.

The Southside Cafe, 729 Club and Club Chaos buildings have been leveled and the Norton's Florist building was expected to be razed by press time to make way for 29 Seven, a condominium and retail development that is to be built at 2830 Seventh Ave. South.

Seventh Avenue LLC plans a four-story, 90,000-square-foot building that will include 71 condominiums, as many as nine retail spaces and a surface parking lot with 88 spaces, said W. Mead Silsbee III, one of the partners in the company.

Some of the residential units will be on the ground floor, he said. Early price estimates for the one- and two-bedroom condominiums range from less than $200,000 to less than $300,000.

"Really, we feel like that area is in need of residences," Silsbee said, pointing out the area's restaurants, bars, warehouses and offices.

Bret Connor, another Seventh Avenue LLC partner, said the group is trying to entice people to spend more time in Lakeview.

"We're trying to add more residential and more retail to make it a more happening area in the daytime, where you've got more lunch options and more shops," Connor said.

"With everything that's going on at the Pepper Place, we think Lakeview can get the same atmosphere," he said. "At Pepper Place you've got your farmer's market on the weekends and you've got your restaurants and your shops and your galleries. We felt those two areas could feed off of each other and create a great, unique neighborhood."

Silsbee said Lakeview was an attractive area because of its proximity to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, St. Vincent's and UAB hospitals, and other businesses in Birmingham's city center.

The building will have a 1950s-style marquee sign at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 29th Street.

"We feel like if people drive past that sign, they'll remember it," Connor said. "We feel like it'll become a new landmark for the Lakeview district."

Silsbee said construction is expected to begin in April and be completed by summer 2008.

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