BY PAT BYINGTON
Yo’ Mama’s Restaurant, one of Birmingham’s most popular downtown restaurants, will move to a much larger space on the first floor of a 4th Avenue city-owned parking deck, pending city council approval of an agreement to redevelop the long vacant site.
“Essentially what we’re going to be doing is building out the basement of the parking deck that the city owns on Fourth Avenue,” Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams told Bham Now.
According to Williams, when Parking Deck #3 at 401 North 20th Street was remodeled in 2004, the city left room for retail space at the ground level. Unfortunately, the city never found a tenant. As a result, the space has never been built out, remaining vacant for nearly two decades.
Under the proposed redevelopment agreement, the city will use $1.3 million of American Rescue Plan (ARPA) monies to prepare the space. Yo’ Mama’s will also contribute an additional $400,000 to transform the 5,500+ square foot site into a restaurant.
In addition to its own investment, Yo’ Mama’s will enter into a long term lease.
“Anytime we can support a local business with a project that the city invested tax dollars in several years ago, in this case two decades ago —and then turn an empty space into something that is on the tax rolls — I think it’s a win-win for both the public, the downtown corridor and the city of Birmingham,” said Williams.
The entire city council is expected to decide on the proposal in the coming weeks.
For more on Yo’ Mama’s, check out Bham Now stories about its nationally recognized waffles and its irresistible fried chicken. The popular eatery has also been featured on a Netflix food series called Fresh Fried and Crispy.
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