A new piece of urban fabric coming to Morris Ave soon
Birmingham, a “New South” industrial city created after the Civil War, never had a history of attached row houses like older cities (Richmond, VA or Charleston, SC come to mind). As part of our development company Metropolitan’s efforts to bring new concepts to the City, we’re proud to announce the development of five for-sale townhouses in the 2100 block of Morris Avenue on the historic southern edge of the CBD (front elevation along Morris Avenue, above). Our development team is working with the talented designers at BILT in Alabama on this concept; the project is called Row 5.
Goodbye parking lot, hello infill
While we sadly continue to see historic buildings demolished downtown to create more surface parking–creating harmful gaps in the important urban street edge–we’re proud to provide a small counterpoint. Two unsightly, existing surface parking lots (foreground above, looking north with Morris Avenue and CBD beyond) will be replaced with residential infill. The design is simple, crisp and modern and the scale is appropriate to a street where two, three and four story 19th century warehouse buildings predominate. Successful downtowns have diverse living options; now beyond rental apartments, lofts and condos, Row 5 brings a new option to those wanting private gardens, contemporary design, new construction, and an enviable location within easy walking (or Zyp-biking!) distance of Railroad Park, the new Publix supermarket, and other amenities. Check out the website for more images and feel free to contact our broker for more info. We plan delivery summer of 2017…thank you Birmingham for supporting Row 5 and this unique effort!
Same peanuts, new name
Strolling down Morris Avenue this week (above, looking west between Richard Arrington Blvd. and 20th Street North) it was a pleasant surprise to smell roasted peanuts–a familiar smell here for over 100 years. As we reported a couple months ago, the Peanut Depot (founded 1907) has moved to the booming Parkside District; it was the last wholesale/retail food business left on Morris Avenue, which in the late 19th and early 20th Street had been the center for this local trade. Now, it seems that while Parkside (and nearby Region’s Field) will be enjoying Peanut Depot peanuts, the new Peanut Place business is carrying on the legacy on Morris Avenue.
Hot peanut = good peanut
As it turns out, the Peanut Depot rented the space and much of the equipment; when they departed, the building’s owners decided to keep roasting and boiling peanuts with the same antique roasters, in the same space, with the same old-fashioned simplicity (one of the owners pictured above). We look forward to Peanut Place enticing passerby with that delicious aroma for many more years to come!
The Peanut Depot, a longtime fixture on Morris Avenue in downtown Birmingham (above, looking north between 20th Street North and Richard Arrington Blvd.), is perhaps the last surviving business of this street’s original incarnation as the Victorian city’s wholesale produce and warehousing center (most every building now contains lofts, professional offices, studios and bars). But you only have a few more weeks to enjoy them here, as they will be moving to Parkside in March. A downtown fixture for almost 110 years, Peanut Depot needs to expand to support their growing sales across the US; their new location near Region’s Field will also be convenient for Birmingham Barons ball games–for which they have, fittingly, the exclusive concession for peanut sales.
Sad that Morris Avenue will lose the delicious aroma of roasted peanuts–but great news this longtime business is relocating into one of the most exciting areas currently revitalizing downtown. Here’s to another century of deliciousness–and watch out for that unmistakable scent to drift over Parkside.
A man with a vision
Just as BB’s China and Glassware, located in the former Blackwell Furniture Building at First Avenue North and 25th Street, has decided to close, local urbanite David Carrigan (above) has purchased the building and plans a sensitive, creative renovation. His business–William and Carrigan Stone–will move into a portion of the building, while a stone yard will be located across Morris avenue to the rear.
An otherwise forgotten corner about to come to life
As seen above (looking west on Morris with 25th Street in the foreground), the building has lots of old, warehouse-y character complete with arched openings, original steel frame windows, and a loading area. Carrigan has quite a bit of square feet to play with–and is currently considering potential mixed-uses. Bracketed by an abandoned freeway ramp to the east, and the railroad to the south, the property has lots of potential. The rooftop views are terrific.
I see a bright future
Inside, exposed brick walls, wood floors, timber columns and beams all hint at intriguing possibilities. There’s even a massive painted mural that, once cleaned, will be super-cool.
As Birmingham continues to struggle with limited financing available for private projects, it’s heartening to see a steady stream of small entrepreneurs like Carrigan continue to invest in the downtown core. We eagerly anticipate further news about this project.