We need more of this

Clever marketing

In a clever marketing twist on the recent “Occupy” movement, Occupy Avondale is a contest offering 6 months free rent for the commercial storefront at 200 41st Street South (above), directly across the street from the newly opened Avondale Brewing Company in the central Avondale historic district. [there is an existing loft apartment on the second floor.] A joint project of the brewery and Main Street Birmingham, preference will be given to applicants whose businesses have a food, retail, or arts related basis. Providing more foot traffic to the block is also a plus.

Getting proactive about growing their neighborhood

Kudos to the brewery (above) and Main Street  for putting together this kind of incentive to help continue the momentum in this historic commercial district just east of downtown Birmingham. This City needs creative ways like this to better market real estate that’s well positioned to build on existing synergies. We need to target incentives for businesses in a strategic way, identifying certain neighborhoods (like this one) where the investment can be best leveraged. So Birmingham, put your thinking caps on (preferably while quaffing ABC’s Spring Street Saison Ale) and come up with something fantastic for this space. Deadline is February 15. Cheers.

8 responses to “We need more of this

  1. I’m biased because this is my own neighborhood, but…

    I really believe this area is vital for the future vibrancy of the city. For years, this specific part of the neighborhood and just East of it has been a barrier between Crestwood (residential) and Lakeview, Southside and Downtown (commercial, primarily). We’re nearing a critical mass in Avondale with the park renovation, Parkside and Avondale Brewing. Slowly, a lot of the rundown apartment buildings are being renovated (increased interest in the neighborhood would speed this process up, obviously).

    The owners of the brewery have emerged as big advocates for Avondale. Of course, they have a commercial interest in it, but that’s capitalism at work. The last I spoke with the owners, they had “bought” the two-story building directly next to Parkside and were working on converting it to commercial space. However, I think title issues got in the way and I’m not sure of the current status of it.

    On a somewhat related note, do you know whatever happened to the similar “competition” for free property on Richard Arrington N that was owned by Barber Companies?

    • I agree with you 100%–given the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown, Forest Park, and Crestwood, its geography is strategically important. All of the rundown apartment buildings are a concern, as there’s a ripple-effect with the blight they portray–this is an added challenge to quicker development.

      The brewery owners’ advocacy of Avondale will hopefully be a good thing–an enlightened sense of obligation to the neighborhood in which they are now vested.

      As to the Barber lot on Richard Arrington N: the short answer is, very little. As I’ve written before on this blog, it’s a shame that Barber tore down a great, historic, small building to then “offer” the dirt underneath. Even with good financing–hard to come by over the last few years–it is hard to make the numbers work for new construction on such a small, mid-block property. It would have had much more success if they’d kept the building, done some modest renovations to prepare it, and then offered a rent incentive (or rent-to-buy) similar to Avondale. I hate to say it, but the whole project came off a bit like a cover for tearing down an old property they no longer wanted to fool with…

  2. Frozen banana stand!!!!

  3. Pingback: What “they” think of Occupy Avondale - Main Street Birmingham

  4. I’m happy for the efforts Avondale Brewery have made to completely reconstruct the facade of their historic building and to generate more commercial activity with this generous stunt. Avondale is a treasure trove of “hidden” businesses — small manufacturers and the like — that, if they had more presence on the street, would give the neighborhood a busier feeling. Jackson’s right in saying that there’s a lot of momentum between the park renovations, Bottletree, Parkside and ABC. I’m looking forward to seeing what lands in this space (a former Hill’s Food Store)

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