By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
The former Carraway Hospital property in North Birmingham may get new life.
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday scheduled a public hearing for November 10 to rezone property around hospital which had been vacant since 2008 and runs along Carraway Boulevard, between 13th Avenue North and 20th Avenue North.
Plans for the site have been on again-off again for years and this is the fifth time this year the rezoning public hearing has been scheduled due to COVID-19 pandemic and other matters that needed to be worked out, according to Councilor John Hilliard.
Developers want property around the site rezoned to pave way for a mixed-use district to include residential, retail, restaurants, office space and hotel and entertainment venues.
“We need all the tax-based dollars we can get in Birmingham,” said Hilliard, chair of the economic development committee. “To see that community and that area thrive . . . I’m just envisioning right now the Carraway facility repurposed and redone and seeing hopefully a beautiful amphitheater and new housing in the area.
The property borders several neighborhoods near the northern edge of downtown including Norwood, Druid Hills, Evergreen and North Birmingham.
Corporate Realty, a Birmingham-based commercial real estate firm is looking to transform the area around the vacant 50-acre site and tie into other development around downtown.
In 2017, a new Top Golf sports complex opened near the Uptown entertainment district and currently more than $300 million is going toward the expansion of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) and a new downtown stadium, with construction underway on both.
“This is going to be huge,” Hilliard said. “When you think about all of the foot traffic this will create just within that area and the economic dollars that will go into supporting the new restaurants, housing, the amphitheater and all of the new building it kind of puts us in the market with Nashville or Atlanta.
“We have to improve our footprint in order to compete with medium-sized cities around us. It is very important that we continue to concentrate on building Birmingham’s footprint so our restaurant business can come back. We’ve lost a tremendous amount of businesses during this pandemic… the leaders of Birmingham are thinking for the future so the sooner we can make this happen, the better for all of us.”