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  #41  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 12:19 AM
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It consisted of...

Blach's
City Federal
Cabana
Brown-Marx
Sears
New Ideal
Jefferson Home
Empire
Piztiz
Stonewall
Red Cross Building
Athens

I believe the list is correct. I did it from memory...
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  #42  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 2:35 AM
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^^

Substitute Roger's Trading for Athens and Alagasco for Pizitz.

Don't ask me why Pizitz isn't in the dozen (at least in it's latest iteration)...
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  #43  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 2:37 AM
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Blast!

I knew the Athens shouldn't have been on there. Oh well, 10/12 is a passing grade.

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  #44  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 2:40 AM
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Roger's Trading? Hmm... why would that be such a high priority I wonder.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 2:16 PM
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Just checking out the ALDOT page and noticed that so far this month, the latest project letting in association with I-22 appears to actually be going forward at this point. In the past, it would be released for project letting, and then withdrawn. So far, with only about 2 weeks remaining to bid, there are 6 construction firms bidding. 3 from Alabama, 2 from Mississippi, and 1 from Kentucky.

The part that will be covered by whichever construction firm wins will be a 2.5-mile stretch from Cherry Ave to Coalburg Rd. From Coalburg Rd, I-22 would be only about 2-miles from I-65. I hope this isnt withdrawn at the last minute... they need to go ahead and begin construction on this segment to keep things on time.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 3:03 PM
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If this is true, it needs to change.
----------------------------------------------------

Tourism official: State travel rules stunt business
Malone says per diems discourage in-state meetings
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
By SALLIE OWEN
Capital Bureau

MONTGOMERY -- Alabama hotels would get more convention business if the state changes how it pays for employee travel, according to one Baldwin County tourism official.

When state employees travel within Alabama, they receive a set per diem, or flat daily rate, of $75 for meals and lodging on overnight trips, said Finance Director Jim Main. When traveling out-of-state, they are reimbursed for actual expenses.

"It is a disincentive to holding meetings in state," said Herb Malone, president and chief executive officer of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau.

To read more, continue here:
http://www.al.com/news/mobileregiste...870.xml&coll=3
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  #47  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 4:10 PM
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Bah, state employees have no remorse if they want extra funds. After seeing one work first hand (my now ex-step-mom) they have cake jobs.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 5:11 PM
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I heard something about one of the video production companies (VAZDA?) moving into the Roger's building. That might be a temporary move.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2005, 6:33 PM
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I know Intermark Group had Roger's under contract at one point recently, but I believe that deal fell through. I know there has been a lot of interest expressed recently in the building, and we'll probably see it purchased within the next few months.

Sufficive to say, there is action on nearly every one of the Twelve Most Wanted, save the Red Cross Building. I'm imagining the Alagasco building will eventually be torn down in favor of a parking deck to support all the Inman Park buildings, since they now have near full control of that block. Hopefully, Sloss will purchase the New Ideal and integrate it into their redevelopment of the Pizitz.

Last edited by CrimsonARC; Jun 16, 2005 at 2:41 AM.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2005, 2:29 AM
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State To Fight Traffic Congestion
Monday June 13, 2005 11:08am


Various (AP) - Birmingham area commuters spend about 27 hours a year stuck in traffic while driving to and from work. That's a small amount of time compared to the 93 hours a year, or almost four days, Los Angeles commuters are delayed every year or the 67 hours that residents of nearby Atlanta are mired in traffic.

But it's a growing problem for Alabama's biggest city that has state and local transportation planners considering controlled access lanes, improved public transportation, more service roads and other ways to reduce future traffic jams around Alabama cities.

By comparison, a national study says, Birmingham area commuters were only delayed six hours a year in 1982.

Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris says plans in Alabama for dealing with congestion include adding additional lanes along crowded interstate highways leading into Birmingham and possibly other metro areas.

Steve Ostaseski, principal planner with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, says there may be new traffic lanes that drivers can only use if they have two or more passengers in their vehicle or if they are in a bus or other form of public transportation.

Ostaseski says transportation officials are studying the feasibility of adding the "high occupancy lanes" on Interstate 65 leading into Birmingham from the rapidly growing southern suburbs.

He says they could "car pool our way out of congestion."

There are currently "park and ride" lots along I-65 in Chilton County south of Birmingham and near Warrior north of the city where carpoolers can leave their vehicles.

Ostaseski says plans call for building more such lots along the interstate and finding available parking spaces in places like shopping center parking lots and outside gas stations.

Harris says one thing DOT has already done is install large electronic signs on the interstate highways leading into Birmingham and Mobile to warn motorists of ongoing roadwork, accidents, closed lanes or other problems.

In Mobile, the signs are also used to warn drivers about heavy fog, a condition that has caused major pileups along I-10, particularly on the Bayway bridge and tunnels.

One option being used in other parts of the country is toll roads and even toll lanes, where motorists have to pay to use the fastest moving lane on the interstate.

Ostaseski says those options are also being studied as long-range options in Alabama and pointed to two private toll bridges currently in operation north of Montgomery.

But retired DOT chief engineer Ray Bass, a major figure in Alabama road construction for the past 50 years, said in a recent interview that toll roads have always been hard to justify in Alabama.

"If there's a free route," says Bass, "people are going to take it in preference to a toll road."
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  #51  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2005, 2:05 PM
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BJCC moves to insure bonds
Thursday, June 16, 2005
ROY L. WILLIAMS
News staff writer

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and city officials are flying to New York for a Friday meeting to explore whether insurance can be obtained on bonds issued for the proposed dome project.

BJCC Interim Director Jack Fields, along with financial adviser Jim White of Porter, White & Co., will be accompanied by a financial analyst and a bond attorney representing the City of Birmingham.

At Wednesday's BJCC board meeting, Fields said the meeting with Financial Security Assurance Inc., or FSA, should provide an outside opinion on a proposal Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid said is critical to getting $8 million in annual city funding for the dome.

Plan not acceptable?:

City Attorney Tamara Johnson, writing on behalf of Kincaid, said in a May 25 letter the city can make its financial commitment only if the BJCC leases the facility back to the city for the $8 million a year the complex seeks. The city would use $3 million from occupational tax, $2 million from a city lodging tax and $3 million from an as-yet-unidentified source to pay the $8 million.

BJCC Board Chairman Clyde Echols and Fields said the BJCC is worried it would not be able to issue the $566.5 million in bonds it seeks to finance the dome under such an arrangement.

"We'll hear what the bond insurance group has to say about the mayor's proposal," Fields said. "We anticipate being told this type of proposal will not be acceptable."

That might send Kincaid back to the drawing board on a funding plan for the city's share of the project.

Seeks AAA rating:

The BJCC is interested in bond insurance because it would assure investors the dome bonds are a worthy investment, White said. If FSA provides guaranty insurance, the BJCC bonds would take on FSA's AAA rating. That would make it easier for the complex to attract investors and obtain cheaper financing, he said.

"For a bond purchasers, it means they wouldn't have to go to various sources to gauge the strength of our bonds," White said.

FSA met with the BJCC a few years ago, but the BJCC funding model has changed significantly since then, White said. "We're going to bring them up to date and to get their opinion of our funding model," he said.

BJCC lawyer Tom Stewart said Wednesday that he has had two or three meetings over the past two weeks with city officials trying to work out an agreement. He said it is critical to get funding agreements signed by the city and Jefferson County before a special session of Alabama lawmakers expected to begin in late July.

Fields said if the funding issue is not resolved by late summer, the BJCC may require more money to build the dome because of rising construction costs.

E-mail: rwilliams@bhamnews.com
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  #52  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2005, 10:16 PM
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No news yet about this dome meeting in NYC about the bonds? Certainly wasnt anything in the paper, but I was under the impression that the meeting was yesterday.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2005, 3:20 PM
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while i was running this morning i thought it'd be great if Dave Chappelle would do a skit where he's either Richard Arrington or Bernard Kincaid; hell, he could be Arrington and have a little sock puppet as Kincaid, or just double up as both with cheap camera shots because it's like a Cheney/Bush or Darth Sidious/Paplatine symbiotic relationship anyway.

then as i ran over Morris Ave at about 8:30 a.m. on Arrington i thought i heard a remix of Front 242's "headhunter."
i stopped and looked down, and saw a girl in a courtyard smoking and reading; short red hair, green t-shirt, jeans.

i asked what they were playing; she said, "i don't know. really, really bad techno."
i said, "oh, from here it sounds good. tell them that."
she said, "o.k."

anyway, it felt like i was in a big city to hear that while on an overpass and seeing people about.

-
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  #54  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2005, 5:43 PM
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I was under the impression that William Bell was Arrington's young ward and that Kincaid was more like the Penguin.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2005, 6:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazer85
No news yet about this dome meeting in NYC about the bonds? Certainly wasnt anything in the paper, but I was under the impression that the meeting was yesterday.
Roy Williams. Birmingham News. Sunday, June 19, 2005
Conference call might help dome deal:

The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex's director hopes that guidance dome backers received from a New York bond insurance firm could lead to a funding agreement with the City of Birmingham.

Jack Fields and BJCC financial adviser Jim White held a conference call Friday morning with representatives of Financial Security Assurance Inc. after their planned Thursday night flight was canceled.

"We needed them to clarify for us how we need to craft our deal with the city," Fields said.

The bottom line, he said, is that if both sides follow through on the advice they received Friday, they should be able to reach a funding agreement on the dome project.

Next, the city and BJCC officials must finalize a proposal that FSA says would persuade it to insure the $566.5 million in bonds required for the project.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2005, 10:17 PM
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Niki's West makes it onto USA Today.
-------------------------------------------------------

Sweet home Alabama has a taste all its own
As part of a series of occasional stories on classic, down-home eateries, USA TODAY's Jerry Shriver visits Alabama to dine at some of its most soulful spots. Click here for a map of other salt-of-the-earth eateries.

•Niki's West, 233 Finley Ave., Birmingham; 205-252-5751

First-timers need a plan of attack before they approach the line that snakes in front of the formidable buffet. Each day there are 10 entree specials, more than 50 vegetables and salads and a dozen desserts to choose from. The visual impact of such a spread can be deliciously discombobulating.

The line moves quickly, and the food is dispatched smartly by a small army of servers, so there's no time to dither between the collard or turnip greens or to fret over pairing salmon patties with fried green tomatoes or to drool over the lemon icebox pie. Just keep pointing and moving, take as much as you can on your tray and rest assured that you'll probably get change back from $10.

Maintaining quality on a massive scale — the 450-seat dining areas accommodate crowds of 1,100 to 1,400 a day — is a challenge, co-owners Teddy and Pete Hontzas say. Their great-uncle, a Greek immigrant, founded the restaurant in 1957. "You're just a couple of bad meals away from somebody not coming back for a while," Teddy says.

They address that by using fresh products from the region (fewer than 15% of the main ingredients are frozen or canned, Teddy says), and by maintaining a staff of veterans, some of whom have tenures of 20 years.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2005, 10:29 PM
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Pretty significant news here. NBC just reported that BJCC Chairman Jack Fields has informed them that they have indeed secured insurance on the bonds for the proposed dome and could close on the deal for the dome soon.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2005, 10:51 PM
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If this is true, great. But I still think there's a holdup--namely the county commission. Not sure how they're going to get the votes here.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2005, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoom31min
If this is true, great. But I still think there's a holdup--namely the county commission. Not sure how they're going to get the votes here.
I'm pretty sure the county commission already voted on it and did approve the $10M per year. The BJCC and County both had their money committments pretty firm as I understood it. It was the city of Birmingham that was not sure, but accordding to what I understand, the city of Birmingham has recently upped their contribution from $5M per year to $8M per year. I think everything is on track now since Haney has come in and provided private money towards the project.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2005, 7:37 PM
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From the June 17, 2005 print edition
SouthTrust Tower is getting $22M fix-up
Kaija Wilkinson
Staff
After buying the SouthTrust Tower last year for more than $50 million, Atlanta-based Barry Real Estate Cos. and VEF Advisors LLC are set to get started July 1 on a $22 million, five-year renovation designed to turn the building into one of downtown's most dazzling jewels.




Recent Company News
» Barry Real Estate Cos
» Birmingham's Brice Building Co.
» Bradley Arant
» Corporate Realty Associates Inc.
» Giattina Fisher Aycock Architects Inc.
» Sloss Real Estate Group Inc.
» SouthTrust Corp.
» VEF Advisors LLC
» Wachovia Corp.
Latest News
» Huntsville to share in new Raytheon military contract
» Metro area home sales, prices continue long ascent
» Alabama, North Carolina share top development honors
» Scrushy juror ill; no deliberations today, either
» Colonial Properties, partners to develop Nashville area center
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» People in the News





Barry is confident the makeover will take the building from 60 percent occupancy to 100 percent. Barry has hired Birmingham's Brice Building Co. for the first phase of the project.

The price tag alone speaks volumes about investors' confidence in the project, which they hope will mirror the success they enjoyed with Sloss Real Estate Group Inc. at One Federal Place, which the team built for $50 million three years ago.

"On One Federal, we had very good partnerships with Sloss, our firm, and Bradley Arant (the building's largest tenant) and I think the building hit the market at a good time," says Deming Fish, Barry's director of leasing and management. "It has an excellent floorplate, which gave some of the users in downtown Birmingham an opportunity to grow and expand."

Earlier this year, the building was sold to a New Mexico firm, but Barry's Fish remains the leasing agent. Of One Federal's 300,000 square feet, 20,000 are available, he says.

'Great bones'
Barry's success with One Federal didn't escape the notice of developer Tom Hinton and Robert Simon of Corporate Realty Associates Inc., who brought the property to the Atlanta team's attention about a year ago.

"As a result of One Federal, they thought we would be a group that would aggressively go after a building of that nature," Fish says. "It's a great location, and it's got great bones if you will."

Completed in 1986, the SouthTrust Tower was partially designed by Giattina Fisher Aycock Architects Inc. It features gleaming blue-green reflective windows and stunning views of the city.

Fish says the exterior, aside from Wachovia logos replacing the four giant SouthTrust S's, will not be touched. The building also will get a new name.

Harvey Rudy, Barry's vice president of development, says his firm got a "great price" on the 454-foot tower, currently the tallest building in the state. Rudy is confident in the future of Birmingham's downtown office community, and says it will continue to recover as buildings like the SouthTrust Tower are renovated and parking becomes available.
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