By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
The redevelopment of the former Carraway Hospital site near downtown Birmingham moved one step closer to reality when the City Council approved a $13.2 million incentive package for the project.
The council voted unanimously on the matter after voting in November to rezone the land around the vacant hospital that runs along Carraway Boulevard, between 13th Avenue North and 20th Avenue North.
“This project is a game changer for the city of Birmingham and I’m particularly excited about the potential tenants that may be coming there but also the fact that it’s going to involve a variety of housing types including workforce housing,” said Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, who represents parts of the area.
The project is bigger than just the Northside community, he said.
“It’s not only the Carraway Hospital campus but there are surrounding parcels that were part of this deal. The total impact of this is huge. When you combine it with the work that is being done at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, the City Walk project under the 20-59 bridge, Southtown redevelopment, we’re talking billions of dollars in reinvestments in the city of Birmingham. It’s not only bringing jobs now, but projects for a great future for the city as a whole.”
The estimated $340 million mixed-used development will create a walkable district with retail, restaurants, office space, a hotel, outdoor entertainment venues and more. It will include single-family housing, townhomes, as well as multi-family residential apartment complexes.
The development will serve as an anchor for communities north of downtown and will continue the synergy between Uptown and the new Protective Life Stadium that is currently under construction. Council President William Parker, who represents the Norwood neighborhood adjacent to the Carraway site, said residents, government leaders and corporate partners all worked to bring the project to fruition.
“The Carraway redevelopment is really going to help jumpstart the economic growth in the northern corridor in Birmingham,” he said. “We’re not going to stop there. We have a lot more work to do across all our districts but today is a big day for this site and the people on that side of town.”
Corporate Realty, a Birmingham-based commercial real estate firm, which is spearheading the project, said the redevelopment will make the Northside property “a shining star for Birmingham.
“What happened today is the result of years of conversations and meetings with nearby residents, neighborhood groups, city councilors, city staff and many other with an interest in what happens at Carraway,” said Robert Simon, CEO and President of Corporate Realty. “We all have the common interest in removing this blight and making sure the property is once again a positive part of the surrounding community and for Birmingham overall.”
Simon said demolition will begin this spring. “We believe in Birmingham and investing in Birmingham,” he said.