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  #61  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 7:54 PM
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Some pictures I snapped of the SSA Building under construction...



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  #62  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Not in the Birmingham MSA, but it is relevant I guess since it's in the CSA...

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Honda supplier to build plant in Cullman

CULLMAN — An Ohio-based auto parts supplier for Honda will build a plant in Cullman that will create 200 new jobs, officials announced today.

Cardington Yutaka Technologies will operate in a 168,000-square-foot plant that will be built on a 75-acre site in Cullman’s industrial park. The operation will be called Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies and will manufacture torque converters and exhaust system parts for the Honda plant in Lincoln.

Gov. Bob Riley was in Cullman this afternoon for the announcement.
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  #63  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 5:25 PM
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lol...

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/poll/index.html

Better political leadership indeed.
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  #64  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 5:47 PM
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Look for the Leer Tower sign to be lit up in the coming days.
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  #65  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 9:03 PM
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How do you guys think a Tiffany Co. would do in Birmingham at the Summit next to Saks.
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  #66  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 9:10 PM
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Tiffany's

How do you guys think a Tiffany Co. would do in Birmingham at the Summit next to Saks.
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  #67  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 9:51 PM
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I drove by Highland Golf Course today and it looks like the apartments across the street are being vacated. There was an article a while back talking about a mixed use development (mid rise) being built on that site (apartment row on clairmont ave.). The article also said that the developers would work with existing residents and honor the leases. Well, it appears that many of those leases are up and no new residents are moving in. Hopefully that is a sign that demolition and construction will begin this year. A nice development right there would really clean up both Highland Park and Forest Park. Anyone know anything else about this?
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  #68  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 8:40 PM
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Seems as though the BJCC Expansion might finally have some wheels to it. The mayor of Birmingham and the president of the Jeff. Co. Comm. have tenatively agreed on an expansion plan that would not include the 65,000 seat dome. It would, however, include a 40,000-seat arena which could be used for large events and even UAB football games. Also, added convention space, hotels, and an entertainment district would be included in the current plan.

The City of Birmingham already has about $8M a year pledged. The county comm. had been pledging about $10M a year, but that was set to expire this year I believe. Gov. Riley also suggested that if the city and county could agree, the state would assist in some financial capacity as well. Even ardent dome-supporter Sen. John Rogers is willing to put aside his ambitions for the current time if an agreement between the city and county can be finalized. Cautiously optimistic, but it would appear we might FINALLY see something come of this whole BJCC Expansion debate which has lasted for decades it would seem.
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  #69  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2007, 9:21 PM
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In Regards To The Tiffany's At The Summit....i Think It Would Add A Nice Touch But Dont Think It Would Survive There. I Do Think Birmingham Could House An Armani Exchange And/or Kenneth Cole.
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  #70  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 1:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shades valley View Post
In Regards To The Tiffany's At The Summit....i Think It Would Add A Nice Touch But Dont Think It Would Survive There. I Do Think Birmingham Could House An Armani Exchange And/or Kenneth Cole.
Come on, you have Bromburg's already. Brother Bill Oliver endorses them. And while we're on the topic of former coaches, Pat Dye supports Craneworks(another great Birmingham business).

So, how about that soon-to-be-built 40,000 seat dome/arena?
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 2:46 AM
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Trivia: Bromberg's downtown store was designed by J. Gordon Carr, who also designed Tiffany's 5th Avenue flagship.

- from BhamWiki:Bromberg's
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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 12:42 PM
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ok can somebody tell me how to put a message on here to where i can directly reply to it.

anyway, neilson, maybe you're right. maybe a tiffany's would do ok. it just scares me b/c they try to bring things to bham and it ends up not doing as well as it should or as well as they thought it would. as far as the convention center; i love the idea and im hoping it happens b/c i think it would be great for birmingham. i believe it would spruce up the area downtown which it desperatly needs.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2007, 4:36 PM
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Wonder what he's got in mind...

Quote:
Birmingham woos St. Louis developer
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
ROY L. WILLIAMS
News staff writer

Birmingham city leaders are wooing a St. Louis developer who says he is interested in building a hotel, lofts or another kind of commercial development in the city.

Michael V. Roberts, chairman and chief executive of the Roberts Cos., is scheduled to hold a special breakfast meeting this morning with city officials at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Roberts, who owns the Roberts Crowne-Plaza Atlanta and in 2003 transformed an old St. Louis school board building into 47 loft apartments, said he has long had an interest in Birmingham. He said he tried unsuccessfully a few years ago to do a project here, though he declined to divulge details.

"I would love to do a project here in Birmingham, but the key will be what kind of incentives the city has in place," said Roberts, who added he specializes in converting old warehouses and offices into lofts or retail developments and in upgrading distressed hotels.

Roberts said other cities he has done deals in, such as Atlanta, Tampa and Houston, have provided tax breaks and reasonable land costs that make projects feasible. He said he hopes to get the same response in Birmingham.

"We have the capacity to get things done," Roberts said. "All we are looking for are deals that make sense. We are focusing on the Southeast and Midwest."

A lawyer, Roberts owns a business empire that includes eight hotels, television stations, office buildings, loft apartments, a shopping center and a wireless company, Roberts Wireless Communications. He chairs the National Association of Black Hotel Owners and serves on the board of the International Association of Shopping Centers.

BusinessWeek said Roberts, who started his business in 1989 with a $7,000 loan from his father, was "blazing a telecom trail for black Americans" in a 1999 profile. The article talked of how Roberts, after buying seven phone licenses serving St. Louis in 1989, partnered with Sprint and expanded the business.

"He's one of just a handful of black entrepreneurs who have broken into the telecom business. He's proactive and energized," Thomas Mateer, a vice president for Sprint PCS, told the magazine.

Roberts' wireless network provides Sprint service to 2.5 million residents of Missouri, Illinois and Kansas.

He is in Birmingham to present a 10:30 a.m. workshop, "Eliminating the Fear of Failure," as part of the A.G. Gaston Economic Empowerment Conference at the BJCC. He will sign copies at the conference of his book, "Action Has No Season: Secrets and Strategies to Gaining Wealth and Authority" (Authorhouse, 2005).

Conference organizer Bob Dickerson set up the breakfast meeting and invited Carol Clarke, director of economic development for the City of Birmingham; Russell Cunningham, president of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce; David Fleming, executive director of Main Street Birmingham Inc., Jack Fields, executive director of the BJCC; and Michael Calvert, head of Operation New Birmingham.

Dickerson said persuading Roberts to do a project in Birmingham would be a big plus for the city. "With Birmingham's history, getting a black man of his caliber to invest in the city is more profound than if he did it in another city," Dickerson said. "He recently bought a Crowne Plaza in Atlanta and it barely made headlines."

Clarke said Birmingham would love to strike a deal with Roberts. She said the city can assist developers with land purchases, give historic tax credits, help with infrastructure improvements and in some case can extend low-cost loans.

"We are always willing to work with people wanting to invest in the city, especially African-Americans with his kind of track record," she said.

E-mail: rwilliams@bhamnews.com
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2007, 4:38 PM
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Lakeview area gets set for condo, retail development
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
VICTORIA L. COMAN
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.

E-mail: vcoman@bhamnews.com
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazer85 View Post
Lakeview area gets set for condo, retail development
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
VICTORIA L. COMAN
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.

E-mail: vcoman@bhamnews.com
That area has so much potential. I am amazed that more is not going on....it is probably jsut a matter of time.
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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2007, 4:04 AM
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I suspect that if the developers of this project in Lakeview are successful in selling these condo units, other developers will take an interest. Birmingham as a whole seems to function on this type of pattern. Many are wary to put themselves out there, but once one with courage steps out and is successful, it becomes contagious. I agree with you that it's an underserved area and probably will see activity pick up in the next couple years.

The whole Southside, in reality, is booming with residential activity from Lakeview to Greensprings. From Lakeview up to Highlands, down to 5 Points, along and through UAB, up a little to midtown, and all the way down to Glen Iris. There are also several big projects on the drawing board for Greensprings Hwy... apparently trying to turn it into Birmingham's Asian District. Probably several hundred condos/residential units going up on the Southside in the next year or two.
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  #77  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2007, 4:01 AM
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Is it finally happening?

I know, I know... I won't be all that excited until names are signed on the dotted line, but this VERY encouraging. Far more action than I recall having seen in the past.

Quote:
BJCC directors pick Memphis firm to create entertainment district

Posted by Birmingham News staff February 23, 2007 20:21PM

SALT LAKE CITY -- The firm that turned Beale Street in Memphis into an international tourist destination was selected Friday by BJCC directors to develop an entertainment district for Birmingham's convention center.

The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex board directed its lawyer and executive director to negotiate a contract with Memphis-based Performa Entertainment Group, aiming toward being able to court prospective tenants for the BJCC entertainment district as soon as May.

In a related development, the Sheraton Birmingham told BJCC board members that it intends to add a 300-room hotel that would be adjacent to the entertainment district.
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  #78  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2007, 4:24 PM
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Quote:
BJCC has Memphis makeover in mind
Beale Street developer may work magic here
Saturday, February 24, 2007
ROY L. WILLIAMSNews staff writer

SALT LAKE CITY - The firm that turned Beale Street in Memphis into an international tourist destination was selected Friday by BJCC directors to develop an entertainment district for Birmingham's convention center.

The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex board directed its lawyer and executive director to negotiate a contract with Memphis-based Performa Entertainment Group, aiming toward being able to court prospective tenants for the BJCC entertainment district as soon as May.

In a related development, the Sheraton Birmingham told BJCC board members that it intends to add a 300-room hotel that would be adjacent to the entertainment district.

In a presentation Friday at the BJCC board's retreat in Salt Lake City, Performa CEO John Elkington told board members that the venue - tentatively named District at the BJCC - would cost $55 million to build and would include a mix of restaurant, entertainment and retailers new to Birmingham.

He said the project would not need government incentives, that he had already lined up private financing and that he was in preliminary discussions with several well-known businesses as possible tenants. He would not disclose their names.

"These wouldn't be just a Chili's or Applebee's - people can drive to the suburbs to eat there," Elkington said. "The key to success is to attract entertainment and restaurants unique and special to draw people downtown. What makes Beale Street a draw are things like the B.B. King blues club and the Pat O'Brien's bar that is one of only two in the U.S."

Elkington estimated the BJCC entertainment district would generate $55 million in sales after its first full year of occupancy and create 800 full- and part-time jobs.

The selection of Performa was the biggest development Friday as the BJCC kicked off its Utah retreat, where the panel today is expected to learn how much it would cost to expand the civic center with a 40,000-seat arena that both Birmingham and Jefferson County's top government leaders support.

Under the entertainment district deal, Performa would lease space on BJCC land adjacent to the Southeastern Conference headquarters and develop a two- to three-block entertainment district. The BJCC would get a percentage of sales generated by the district.

Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid and Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins jointly seconded a motion by fellow board member Dennis Lathem to give Jack Fields, the BJCC executive director, and lawyer Tom Stewarts permission to draft a contract with Performa.

Once the contract is written, the full board will vote on it.

Kincaid and Collins said the project would be a "win-win" for both the city and county because Elkington said that Performa doesn't need any government incentives and has enough private financing to complete the project.

"I'm here spinning cartwheels because it's rare you have a developer offer to build something with this magnitude and not need anything from the city," Kincaid said.

Boogie down Beale:

Collins, who said she has seen firsthand how Performa's Beale Street project has revitalized downtown Memphis, said: "We'd be foolish to not go with this group."

Fields said development of an entertainment district will be a crucial part of the BJCC's expansion plans. He said it would be a tremendous draw for tourists and conventioneers, especially when coupled with the 40,000-seat arena that would be built adjacent to the district.

Elkington said Performa plans to include a 100-room hotel in the district as well as apartments above retail shops. In addition, the Sheraton Birmingham plans a 300-room addition to its hotel that will be connected to the district, General Manager Mark Noyes said. That hotel will have services provided by the current 757-room Sheraton Birmingham.

Fields also said that Chattanooga developer Franklin Haney is still interested in building another 300-room hotel near the BJCC. Getting more hotel rooms within walking distance is crucial for the city to attract more conventions, said Jim Smither, president of the Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Two major religious conventions that attracted nearly 6,000 people last year - the Freewill and Presbyterian groups - have both said they wouldn't come back to Birmingham because their members had to stay in hotels as far away as Hoover, Smither said.

"It's not just the lack of hotel rooms," Fields said. "Some of them said there was simply nothing to do at night outside the conventions.

"This is not the first time we've heard this."

E-mail: rwilliams@bhamnews.com
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  #79  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2007, 8:09 PM
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While I'm happy something is being done, this certainly has to qualify as the most idiot chain of events in recent civic history. Paying double for half as much. Man, only in Birmingham!
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  #80  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2007, 9:10 PM
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Well... we all know the primary reason the cost is what it is because of delaying the decision. Now, the 40,000-seat arena will cost $380M. The 60,000-seat version (just 20,000 seats more) would cost $505M now.

Quote:
BJCC board unanimously votes to build arena
Posted by Birmingham News staff
February 24, 2007 12:02PM

SALT LAKE CITY -- The BJCC board today unanimously voted to support a $505.5 million expansion of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, including a 40,000-seat arena.

Board members approved a plan that includes:
-- $380 million for the arena, with 175,000 square feet of exhibit space and enough space to host football games.
-- $17 million to buy land for the expansion.
-- $10.5 million to expand parking.
-- $10 million for infrastructure improvements.
-- $6 million to upgrade the existing BJCC facade.
-- $5 million to build a skywalk to the existing basketball arena.
-- $2 million to refurbish the existing arena.
-- $75 million to pay off existing debt.

Board members rejected a $625 million plan which would have included a 65,000-seat domed stadium. BJCC officials said the larger stadium would have resulted in only about four more events per year at the facility. The board also rejected another expansion option, which would have added 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, but no seating for events; that option would have cost $291 million.

The BJCC board, including Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid and Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins, is meeting on retreat in Salt Lake City, where the Salt Palace convention center was recently expanded.

The plans still face votes before the Birmingham City Council and the Jefferson County Commission.

--Roy Williams
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Last edited by Blazer85; Feb 25, 2007 at 12:11 AM.
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