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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2007, 6:29 PM
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Arrow Birmingham Development News

Looks like it's time for a new thread. Hopefully this year will be filled with lots of good news in terms of developments in Birmingham. Here's my wish list for 2007:

Quote:
1) Start of construction on the 18-story hotel/office project by Melaver.

2) Start of construction on the proposed 16-story mixed-use building by Colonial Properties.

3) Start of construction on the Railroad Reservation Park.

4) A new retail center downtown (or at the very least, a few grocery stores and such).

5) Announcement of upgrades/expansion for the BJCC (along with an Entertainment District)

6) Continuation and completion of the renovations of City Federal and Leer Tower.

7) Construction around I-65 where I-22 is to connect.

8) Revitalization of 5 Points South as well as growth of Lakeview District.

9) Opening of the 12,000ft runway at BHM International (as well as gaining new international or distant domestic destinations).

10) Continued growth and expansion of Alabama Adventure Themepark (as well as beginning construction of the new indoor waterpark/hotel/resort nearby).
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Last edited by Randy Sandford; Dec 24, 2007 at 2:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2007, 10:13 PM
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Here's some promising news:

Quote:
U.S. Steel agrees to help rehab old Ensley Works site

Officials with U.S. Steel today pledged to help rehabilitate the abandoned Ensley Works industrial site as part of a deal where the Birmingham City Council agreed to deannex about 2,000 acres off Interstate 20 near Leeds.

U.S. Steel plans a residential development on the Interstate 20 site

The vote came after months of delays where city leaders balked at surrendering the land. Both Mayor Bernard Kincaid and most of the council eventually agreed they were contractually bound to grant the request.

Annexation of U.S. Steel’s property occurred in 1997 during a complex land deal involving the city, U.S. Steel and Hoover. Birmingham acquired 700 acres of U.S. Steel land where Barber Motorsports Park now stands, and Hoover acquired Spain Park, which was owned by Birmingham.

A term of the deal also involved the city annexing 2,000 additional acres of U.S. Steel land and deannexing the property when the company was ready to build a residential development. U.S. Steel will build houses on most of the deannexed land but keep its related commercial development inside the city.

On Tuesday, U.S. Steel agreed to commit to several projects including rehabilitation of the abandoned Ensley Works industrial site.

Kincaid said he’s sure the former industrial site can be reclaimed although there are no specific plans for the land.

The Ensley Works once employed thousands of workers. The factory closed in 1984, and a few rusted smokestacks mark the 600-acre site off Alabama 269.

Joseph D. Bryant
BTW, wasn't this the site that those Pittsburgh developers were looking at converting into some sort of retail/mixed-use complex or was that something different?
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Last edited by Blazer85; Jan 3, 2007 at 2:00 AM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazer85 View Post
Here's some promising news:



BTW, wasn't this the site that those Pittsburgh developers were looking at converting into some sort of retail/mixed-use complex or was that something different?
I think the other development was basically downtown... across I-65 from it, by Golden Flake..
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2007, 5:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazer85 View Post
Here's some promising news:



BTW, wasn't this the site that those Pittsburgh developers were looking at converting into some sort of retail/mixed-use complex or was that something different?

No.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2007, 8:08 PM
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Anyone care to make a list of all the proposed / UC / approved towers for the HAM?
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2007, 4:45 PM
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I went to Highland area this morning (pre-8am) and took some photos... Not many people out...

It's also pretty foggy... I had wanted to take some morning shots of certain angles.. but that didn't work. Blah.

Anyway... because I'm pretty tired right now and don't want to do the link thing... I'm finishing up uploading the pictures, and may or may not add them to the MCFG pool...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabre0link/
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2007, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabre0link View Post
I went to Highland area this morning (pre-8am) and took some photos... Not many people out...

It's also pretty foggy... I had wanted to take some morning shots of certain angles.. but that didn't work. Blah.

Anyway... because I'm pretty tired right now and don't want to do the link thing... I'm finishing up uploading the pictures, and may or may not add them to the MCFG pool...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabre0link/
Great...you photographed those cool townhouses in Highland Park. I had those on my list of places to photograph last week but left the list at home.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2007, 8:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem View Post
Anyone care to make a list of all the proposed / UC / approved towers for the HAM?
I suggest taking a look at BhamWiki:List of current development proposals.

Corrections and suggestions are welcome.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2007, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Sandford View Post
Great...you photographed those cool townhouses in Highland Park. I had those on my list of places to photograph last week but left the list at home.
Heh... I parked and walked around... walked through alleys, etc.

I didn't even know where those things were really at until I saw a glimpse of them as I walked on Highland up to the Overpass with the view of St. Vincent's and Sloss...

heh.

I really like those townhouses, too... kindda iffy about the driveways, but I really like them...
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2007, 2:47 AM
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sabre, I was looking through your photos, and someone's been at the Sheraton Midtown at Colony Squarreeeee
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
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sabre, I was looking through your photos, and someone's been at the Sheraton Midtown at Colony Squarreeeee
Yup... Enjoyed it too

I want a Dunkin Donuts here in B'ham... I seriously enjoyed going out the rear of the hotel and getting breakfast for 5 people for just over $6...

I did NOT like the previous year where me and another person walked from sub-level 1 to floor #27 for a meeting...

Yes, we walked... because the group I was there with (like, the 300+ of us) and frequent use of the elevators at PACKED capacity, had made all of the working elevators not work.

Heh. We got good at that (breaking elevators).

I did enjoy Midtown, too.. and the day I went over to Piedmont Park to get away from everyone... heh I want B'ham to have a park like that... HUGE. hehe.

Basically, combine the 3 parks on Highland (Caldwell's the first one, I think Highland is the second... not sure past that.. heh :\) and it'll be near the size I want. heh. I'm insane, but that's just me.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2007, 4:01 PM
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I'm hopeful this might actually materialize now. It seems I recall there being wide support for expansion of the convention space, an entertainment center, and a new hotel. The dome itself seemed to be the big hangup. If they can get those other things going, it'll be outstanding for the area. This thing has been held up for far too long now, but I'm optimistic something might actually be approved this year.

Quote:
BJCC lists new hotel, attractions as its goals
Board says clock running on dome
Saturday, January 06, 2007
ROY L. WILLIAMS
News staff writer

The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex board reshuffled its expansion priorities Friday, moving a new major hotel and an entertainment district to the top of its projects list.

Board members, whose eight-year expansion effort has stalled, held a special meeting Friday to outline goals for 2007. They decided to focus on building the hotel and an entertainment district that would include restaurants and retail shops adjacent to the current complex, said Jack Fields, BJCC executive director.

Both projects have been on hold while the board continues to seek funding for a multipurpose domed convention center that Fields said is critical to attract more meetings, entertainment and sporting events to the city. But Fields said the BJCC can't afford to wait much longer amid continuing debate on the proposed expansion, whose $623 million price tag has galvanized critics.

"We've got to have direction in terms of our expansion plans," Fields said.

Bayer Properties, the Birmingham developer that built The Summit shopping center, has backed out of its plans to develop the entertainment center because of the delay, Fields said. He said the BJCC plans to meet with other developers who a few years ago had expressed interest in building an entertainment district.

On Friday, the board heard an update from state Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, about a meeting last week with Gov. Bob Riley about possible state funding for the BJCC. Participating in the discussion with the governor were Fields, board member Kenny Clemons and a representative of Franklin Haney Sr., a Chattanooga developer who wants to build a hotel adjacent to the convention complex.

Haney has pledged $25 million to help fund the BJCC expansion, provided the state leases space in the Social Security Administration building he owns adjacent to the complex. Haney has said he will upgrade the building once the Social Security Administration moves into a new facility that is under construction downtown.

Waggoner said Riley told the group he won't commit to lease space in Haney's building or consider any state funding until Birmingham and Jefferson County officials agree to support the project. Birmingham has committed money for the expansion, but the BJCC lacks enough votes from county commissioners.

BJCC Chairman Clyde Echols said the complex hopes to woo enough support from state lawmakers to get a bill passed committing state funding once the regular session begins this spring.

"We're studying the cost of the expansion compared to a Plan B and we will have it ready to present," Echols said. "It is clear from our recent focus groups that the public realizes the importance of expanding the BJCC. What kind of expansion it will be we don't know."

E-mail: rwilliams@bhamnews.com
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2007, 4:30 PM
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heh, i had to walk from 3rd floor to like 18 in the Colony Square a few times a few years back.

i hope they don't destroy what's left of the Ensley works. they should put more into revitalizing downtown Ensley instead, even though it's probably not as easy to get so much land, etc, etc...too bad. in my vision for Ensley works' rehab, it'd be turned into a paintball, skateboarding and other recreation site. i can picture in my head how it'd be divided up, and use the existing brick warehouse buildings that are left.

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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2007, 7:58 PM
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A little sad for Reed Books, but at least they're not going away for good. Also is good since it means Corporate Realty's big multimillion $ project is likely progressing along nicely. This is my first hearing about the project since the initial announcement probably 6 months ago.

Quote:
Cafe, bookstore make way
Sunday, January 07, 2007
VICTORIA L. COMAN
News staff writer

Reed Books and Museum of Fond Memories will move by March 1 to a new location at 2021 Third Ave. North. But a popular eatery in the same 20th Street South building, Scott's Koneys, continues its search for a new home.

The two are making way for a proposed $100 million-plus development project along their block.

Jim Reed, a longtime rare book and Americana collector, and restaurant owner Scott Green, have leased space in the same building - Reed at 107 at and Green at 109 20th St. South - for more than 10 years. Green also manages the building.

Corporate Realty Development officials have plans for the block, which stretches between 20th Street and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard. The block also includes a Kinko's copy center, a Birmingham Water Works and Sewer Board payment site, a parking garage and a surface parking lot. Corporate Realty officials have proposed a project which could cost as much as $125 million and include a hotel, shops, restaurants, offices and condominiums. The company is expected to lease the property from the city with an option to buy.

The move is the fourth for Reed's business, which started in his Southside home and later operated from two spaces in Wooster Lofts. He moved into space above Scott's Koneys in the late 1990s.

"It's the urban experience," Reed said. "You find a funky old building that you like and some developer wants to come in and flatten it."

Reed believes many have moved downtown partly because they are attracted to th eclectic small businesses like his. That flavor is being taken away by newer developments which often push smaller businesses out, he said.

"They'll wonder, 'Where did it all go?' Well, you're living on the property where (smaller businesses) were," Reed said. "That doesn't make it any nicer, but that's just the way it is."

Reed is moving his business "uptown" as he says, into the O'Neill Building next to the Lehr Middlebrooks and Vreeland PC law firm at 2021 Third Ave. North.

The space he is leaving behind has an estimated 5,000 squaree feet in a second floor attic-like space. There, customers climb a steep staircase with signs of encouragement saying "We know these stairs have you gasping for air. The good news is you're almost there."

"It's been great," he said.

In the new space customers will go into a storefront with about 3,500 square feet of space which already includes wooden shelves. It used to house a U.S. government bookstore. "The great thing is it's on the ground floor and handicapped accessible," Reed said.

His wife Liz Reed and employee Craig Legg will be happy because the move may force the paring down of his collection.

"They have high hopes that I'll throw some of the stuff out," he said. "They keep hoping."

Scott Green, who has run Scott's Koneys in the Midtown area for 30 years, is still looking for a new location. He is exploring two that are only blocks away.

"It's been a good fit," he said. The business went from offering hot dogs and some sides to an expanded menu in 1995 to include salads, deli and hot sandwiches and breakfast plates. His hours have remained the same, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through the years. The move may prompt him to expand hours.

Green said if he doesn't find a place in the area, he'll settle into a space in his hometown, Trussville.

With the move pending he said he will miss the people most of all.

"We've got the best customers," he said. "Most of ours are repeat customers. If we don't know them on their first visit, we know their faces and what they're going to eat. People come first."

Jessie Smith, a long-time customer, was surprised to hear about Green's move. He had been referring fellow office mates at Golden & Associates to Scott's Koneys for a good meal.

"I don't like it," Smith said. "It's part of history right here."

Reed is already moving his merchandise but Green said he's not sure when his deadline is to leave the building.

"If you come in here and see the windows missing, that means we're not here," he said.

E-MAIL: vcoman@bhamnews.com
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2007, 10:12 PM
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Since Melaver bumped the proposed tower from 14-stories to 18-stories, that now will change this old projected skyline impact.




Also... does anyone know if Standard Midtown has been officially scrapped or it is just in a holding pattern right now?
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazer85 View Post
Also... does anyone know if Standard Midtown has been officially scrapped or it is just in a holding pattern right now?
Beyond what the website says? No... but in looking at the website, it seems it's in a holding pattern..

http://www.standardmidtown.com/
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Spiral beltways: giving new meaning to spiral-cut ham.

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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 3:26 AM
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Quick question... I've only recently begun posting back again after a while off. Apparently I missed something regarding Corporate Realty's development. I'm aware of their highrise proposal, but did they officially announce that the 6-story midrise they talked about was going to be a Hyatt Place? I've seen that posted other places and just never read an article that said they actually got a committment from Hyatt to build that hotel. Tried to Google it, but didn't find anything.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 9:15 AM
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There's a Hyatt opening up in Hoover....

from Hyatt's site, the address of the hotel:

Opening Fall 2007 Hyatt Place Birmingham/Riverchase
2980 John Hawkins Parkway
Hoover, Alabama, USA
35244
Opening Fall 2007

Also one is slated for Inverness area...

http://www.hyatt.com/hyatt/place/about/coming-soon.jsp

Hotel Name Location Opening Date
Hyatt Place Birmingham/Riverchase Hoover, Alabama, USA Fall 2007
Hyatt Place Birmingham/Inverness Birmingham, Alabama, USA Spring 2007

An article (see below) from the B'ham News said that the Corporate Realty project will be a Hyatt Place.

It looks like Hyatt Place has a set design, etc, that each will follow... here's Hyatt's development site which details the look of the building, inside and out..

http://www.hyattdevelopment.com/hp_main.html

The Article from the B'ham News from mid-Dec.. I think this has been posted before..:
http://www.al.com/business/birmingha...060.xml&coll=2

Quote:
City hotel projects edge to $100 million
Downtown `vitality' benefit seen
Friday, December 15, 2006
MICHAEL TOMBERLIN
News staff writer
Developers are spending nearly $100 million to build or renovate hotel space downtown, bringing more than 1,500 new or spruced-up rooms to the market.

The new wave of hotel rooms in the heart of the city are needed, according to Jim Smither, president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers told us what we already knew - that between 1,500 and 2,900 more hotel rooms are needed downtown," Smither said. That report did not take into account the projects under development.

Three new hotel construction projects make up around $46 million of that investment, including a Hyatt Place, the latest extended-stay concept from the hospitality giant.

Corporate Realty Development is building the $24 million hotel that will have around 150 rooms set to come on line in September 2008. The hotel will be built at the site of the former Tom Williams Cadillac on 20th Street and Third Avenue South.

Another new project is the $23 million Marriott Residence Inn that Jacksonville, Fla.-based Clarkson Group is building at 821 20th St. South. That hotel is set to be complete in February 2008. It will add 120 rooms to the market.

As many as 200 more rooms could be part of the $40 million renovation and construction at the former Federal Reserve site between Fourth and Fifth avenues North along 18th Street. Savannah, Ga.-based Melaver Inc. will construct a hotel atop an office building on the site set to open in 2009, but final plans are not complete and an operator has not been named.

The new hotel projects give a boost to a number of major renovations of existing hotels.

The famed Tutwiler Hotel at 2021 Park Place is in the final stages of an $18.5 million purchase and renovation effort that will bring 149 refurbished rooms on line in March 2007. Integral Hospitality Services, which owns the Tutwiler, is handling the renovation.

Sheraton Birmingham at 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North is spending $17 million sprucing up its 770 rooms, lobbies and other areas. High-end finishes such as granite and marble are being added along with new furnishings and other enhancements.

Atlanta-based Cox & Long Inc. recently purchased the Pickwick Hotel and plans to put $6.2 million in improvements to the 63-room hotel at Five Points South. Completion is set for fall 2007.

Columbia Sussex recently put $11 million into improvements at the DoubleTree Hotel and its 298 rooms at 808 20th St. South.

Michael Calvert, president of Operation New Birmingham, said investments in hotels is a sign of downtown's growing appeal among business and leisure travelers.

"We believe the hotel activity speaks volumes about the city center," he said. "It is certainly an important component to the overall vitality."

Although the latest round of hotel developments seem poised to take place, other planned downtown hotel projects failed to materialize.

The former Parliament House Hotel on 20th Street South was set to become a Courtyard by Marriott four years ago but now may be razed by UAB, which purchased it for $3.7 million earlier this year and plans to use the site for future expansion.

In 2004, an Orlando company wanted to spend $50 million building a 14-story Westin Grand Bohemian luxury hotel downtown overlooking Linn Park. Attempts to obtain the Birmingham Board of Education building were unsuccessful and the project has not been discussed since.

E-mail: mtomberlin@bhamnews.com
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2007, 1:15 PM
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Just for clarification, the hotels in Inverness and Hoover are already built. Last year, the Hyatt Corporation purchased the bankrupt Amerisuites chain. They are rebranding the Amerisuites properties into the midmarket "Hyatt Place" concept.

The 6 story hotel on the Tom Williams site will be a Hyatt Place. The full hotel Corporate Realty is considering on the 20th street site, IMO, will probably be a full service Hyatt Regency.

Read about Hyatt Place here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Place
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Old Posted Jan 9, 2007, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
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Just for clarification, the hotels in Inverness and Hoover are already built. Last year, the Hyatt Corporation purchased the bankrupt Amerisuites chain. They are rebranding the Amerisuites properties into the midmarket "Hyatt Place" concept.
That's one thing Hyatt failed to mention (though it's said on their site that many will be rebranded, and most will be new... they don't say WHAT will be rebranded, or go into further detail.)... I knew the hotel that's being built in Hoover looked more like a Hampton Inn than the Hyatt Place..

Though there appears to be no change with the AmeriSuites properties, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulley View Post
The 6 story hotel on the Tom Williams site will be a Hyatt Place. The full hotel Corporate Realty is considering on the 20th street site, IMO, will probably be a full service Hyatt Regency.
The Tom Williams site is on 20th.... unless the paper's wrong (like they're known to be).
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