Capping off years of planning and discussions, the Birmingham City Council has voted to rezone the Southtown Court public housing community, paving the way for a mixed-use redevelopment with residential, retail, restaurants and green space.
During a public hearing, the Council heard from the developers (Southside Development Co.), representatives with the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District and members of the public.
The mixed-use redevelopment will include multi-family housing with 220 affordable units, 850,000 square feet of office and commercial space, multiple pocket parks, bike lanes and restaurant space. Demolition is expected to begin in June and construction of replacement housing will begin in the fall.
Current residents were able to apply for housing vouchers to return to the site. Residents who did not wish to return have worked with HABD to relocate to other communities across the city.
Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, who represents the district, said he has been encouraged by the efforts taken place to ensure that residents are not being displaced.
“This is a project that precedes my time on the Council but I have had continued conversations with HABD and the developers over the last few years,” O’Quinn said. “We’re also engaging with the residents of Southtown independently and making sure we’re hearing their perspective on this situation. I’ve been quite pleased with the process and I know a lot of residents were excited about the voucher program and return to the site.”
Councilor John Hilliard, chair of the Economic Development Committee, said projects like this are a huge step for Birmingham’s continued growth.
“I see developments like this all the time in other cities,” Hilliard said. “We’re going to have to continue to work with public and private enterprise to keep this momentum going. I salute people involved and the work to make it a transparent and inclusive process for the residents. Today is a great day for our city.”