By Alabama NewsCenter Staff
The Pizitz building held its formal grand opening in downtown Birmingham March 16, a new life for a storied property that sat vacant for nearly three decades.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell and other officials joined David Silverstein, principal with Bayer Properties, which spearheaded the $70 million renovation.
The department store built in 1923 is now home to 143 apartments and a food hall with two restaurants, a bar and 13 stalls. Warby Parker and Yellowhammer Creative also have retail outlets in the building.
“We hope this project will be transformative for downtown Birmingham in the same way other projects before us have been, such as Regions Field and Railroad Park,” Silverstein said. “The revitalization of The Pizitz is just one of many extraordinary projects helping in the resurgence of the downtown area and we are thrilled to be a part of the momentum.”
The iconic building’s rebirth is a major milestone for downtown’s continuing redevelopment.
“This is truly a joyous occasion for the city, and a time to celebrate another of its landmarks coming back to life,” Bell said. “This project has generated a lot of excitement and adds another great destination point for all of us who live here and for visitors to the great city of Birmingham to enjoy.”
The building also includes 13,000 square feet of coworking space that is flexible, shared office space popular in other cities. Pizitz will soon be home to Sidewalk Film Festival’s permanent offices, two 100-seat theaters and classrooms for educational programs. The Pizitz also has a courtyard for outdoor dining and events, plus a seven-level attached parking deck with more than 300 spaces.
The Louis is the bar that sits underneath a restored clock that was discovered during the renovation. The clock carries the letters “LP” believed to be for Louis Pizitz, the former family patriarch and founder of Pizitz.
Bayer Properties partnered with local food bloggers What to Eat in Birmingham to help identify unique restaurant concepts and best-in-class food entrepreneurs. Bayer Properties worked with contractors Brasfield & Gorrie as well as Appleseed Workshop in partnership with Golden Construction to restore the building. Bayer Properties also partnered with several architects on the project including Wisznia Architecture + Development, KPS Group, Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, and Appleseed Workshop. The Pizitz building is owned by Bayer Properties, Wisznia Architecture + Development, and Stonehenge Capital.