Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Blazer85

  1. The unwillingness to pass that may have some impact on some folks, but most won't think of it and it will soon be forgotten. Why? Because passing that resolution really means nothing. Anyone who has been around this state long enough will realize that Birmingham is about the most accepting community of all types of people of anywhere in Alabama. Certainly there are more accepting places in other states, but Birmingham is still the most accepting, liberal part of Alabama and is becoming increasingly accepting all the time. I don't like it necessarily, but I don't think it's nearly as horrible as some want to make it.
  2. The first phase is primarily dirt moving, building the lake and streams, etc.... basically just site work. From my understanding, I thought the site work plans were pretty much set and that the remaining planning had to deal with the latter stages of development. Either way, I hope we start seeing some dirt moved by at LEAST this fall.
  3. Performa Entertainment's $55M entertainment district and hotel for adjacent to the BJCC has been approved by all parties... construction could begin this summer. Some of the tenants that have already expressed interest: The Pig (a BBQ restaurant), the Mesquite Steakhouse, the Wet Willie (a daiquiri bar), etc. They are also in discussions with Dick Clark's American Music Cafe about bringing a location to the entertainment district. This could be a very big thing for Birmingham... I mean $55M isn't all that HUGE, but it's virtually all in entertainment... something many tourists would say is vastly lacking in downtown Birmingham. It certainly will provide an alternative to Lakeview and 5 Points (though I don't think this will be any threat to them... those areas will always have their niche market, particularly with locals). The great thing is that this entertainment venue will get the ball rolling. All the locals have been so busy playing these political games that NOTHING has happened. Getting these outsiders that seem genuinely excited about doing a project here will probably spur on further growth... more hotels, more restaurants, more residential units, etc etc. That will then force our leaders to look at serious options for expanding the BJCC. This is a very good day for downtown Birmingham.
  4. The funding for at least the first phase is in place... I've heard construction could begin anywhere from sometime this summer to sometime this fall. Of course you never know around here... seems like things just get put off and put off. No real reason not to, however, because as I understand it, everything is in place for the first phase to begin. As for housing/residential developments nearby, those depend entirely on the park. Several proposals popped up with the Railroad Park idea first came out... then they were put on hold because of the enormity of time it was taking to dot the i's and cross the t's. Probably once actual site work and construction on the park begins, you'll see and hear of more proposals springing up again. Unlike the Birmingham Dome, it's not a matter of IF so much anymore... just a matter of WHEN.
  5. Apparently next Tuesday may be a very big day in regards to this whole BJCC thing. Carol Forge Hatcher will meet with officials next Tuesday, but if she fails to answer their questions (ie, provide financial statements on the investors that would be involved), the city council will not speak with her again. While I can understand investors maybe not wanting to be really thrown out in the public eye, I can also understand local officials wanting to see the proof. It may not be the final say in this because there are so many strong voices on both sides of the issue, but it will certainly be a big day in the grand scheme of things. Tonight, Performa (the entertainment group already in talks with the BJCC) said they would do the district with or without the big arena expansion and all ,though that is certainly something they would prefer to compliment the district.
  6. The whole thing stinks and is just grown tiresome. I wish they would just move forward with some pieces of this and leave the details about the dome out so they can be ironed out. There's no reason why the expansion of convention facilities, entertainment district, etc. couldn't have already been under construction several years ago. Our political leaders here are ridiculously inept. Man do we need some new leadership all across the board.
  7. It may be in the suburbs (actually Hoover to be exact), but I read in an article today that in April, developers plan to break ground on a 10-story Embassy Suites that would be located on John Hawkins Parkway (ie, Highway 150) and right near the Riverchase Galleria.
  8. What about a horse-shoe design (or U-shape) where each side has 15,000 seats and 15,000 seats in the endzone? That would make a total of 45,000-seats for football events. And it could be blocked off for about a 25,000-seat basketball venue. The open endzone could (for the foreseeable future) be used for restaurants, shops, skyboxes, etc. At a later date, should the need arise, the open endzone could be converted to 15,000 seats bringing total capacity up to 60,000.
  9. I think it's very apparent that in the past, some bad decisions have been made that have hurt our growth and potential. But having said that, there's still so much potential. This entertainment district is going to be wildly successful if you ask me. If they do indeed get some unique-to-Birmingham retail, bars, and restaurants... I guarantee you you'll get more things going on at the BJCC at night. This new district will primarily be popular among tourists... but I think locals will embrace it as well. Personally, I think it could be great to have several options. People might get tired of going to Five Points or Lakeview night after night. A new entertainment district gives more versatility and variety. Not to mention, I think alot of people might enjoy bar-hopping and taking the DART from Five Points on up to the BJCC entertainment district or vice versa. And also, when people go to the circus or concerts or whatever, they'd be able to go shop and/or eat near there before or after. Right now, that opportunity doesn't really exist for them. I'm almost more excited about this entertainment district than the arena itself (though I am excited about that too). The Performa group doing it is very optimistic and they really see the potential there. And let's remember. This is no fly-by-night group... they've been there, done that. They know the business. I really think the north side of downtown is set to see an explosion in activity. Once the news leaks out, stalled developments will probably be revived... unknown developers will jump to the scene trying to get a jump on the activity. You'll see lots of residential, retail, and hotels springing up all around that area. I think this may send Birmingham over a tipping point. Realistically speaking, I think these developments will thrust Birmingham into a total renaissance, and personally, I can't find any reason to be pessimistic about it. Quite excited, actually.
  10. The BJCC Board of Directors has now approved the 40,000-seat arena proposal... it will break down as follows: -- $380 million for the 40,000-seat arena (with 175,000 square feet of exhibit space) -- $17 million to buy land for the expansion. -- $10.5 million to expand parking. -- $10 million for infrastructure improvements. -- $6 million to upgrade the existing BJCC facade. -- $5 million to build a skywalk to the existing basketball arena. -- $2 million to refurbish the existing arena. -- $75 million to pay off existing debt.
  11. May be on the verge of something VERY big. Apparently the entertainment district tenatively named "District at the BJCC" will be about a $55M development... about $35M bigger than the initial proposed $20M entertainment district. The Performa group from Memphis that developed Beale Street plans to bring in unique restaurants, retailers, apartments, and hotel space. Here's what appears to be on the way so far: - District at the BJCC (includes restaurants, shops, and apartments on the upper levels of the retail) - A 100-room hotel developed by the same Performa group doing the District at the BJCC - A 300-room hotel developed by Starwood Properties - A 300-room hotel developed by Chattanooga developer Frank Haney (If all 3 of these new hotels were built, that would put about 1,500 hotel units within an easy walking distance of the BJCC and the arena once you include the 700+ unit Sheraton Birmingham.) - The 40,000-seat arena also seems likely, but they haven't yet selected a developer/contractor to my knowledge
  12. We may finally be on the verge of something big. The BJCC Board of Directors has selected a Memphis firm that made Beale Street in Memphis an international destination to lead the effort to create an entertainment district adjacent to the BJCC. Exactly what I was hoping. I think for many of the locals, 5 Points and Lakeview will always have their following. But as for big conventions and other tourists, this entertainment district with the BJCC has a lot of potential. Board members from Sheraton Birmingham also said they (I assume Starwood Properties) have plans for a 300-unit hotel adjacent to the entertainment district. Since Sheraton officials were commenting, I'm assuming this would be a Westin, or some other Starwood brand hotel. Very encouraged by all of this... looks like something very well might happen... finally.
  13. Supposedly I think it will be a high-end type development. Going to have a marina and I believe more of a luxury resort type feel maybe. I also believe it indicated it would stretch about 2-miles worth of lakefront property. I assume it will be mixed-use simply based on the sound of it and the way developments seem to be trending these days. Haven't seen many of the details.
  14. Apparently a Georgia developer is planning on building a $750M residential project off Logan Martin Lake (just east of Birmingham). Sounds like quite a significant investment if indeed it comes to fruition.
  15. Sounds promising... crossing my fingers.
  16. Mmmmm... the Birmingham Zoning Board is recommending that the City Council approve the request to construct an Asian Plaza along a portion of Green Springs Highway. The project is expected to include two restaurants (one with Chinese food and another with Vietnamese food). I'm sorry, but I LOVE Vietnamese food, so maybe no one else is excited but me ... Anyway, they also plan to have an Asian Market and other retail. They plan to model it after some similar areas in Atlanta. Good to see IMO. Not only does that mean one more option for Vietnamese food, but it encourages diversity and the growth of the asian community in the Birmingham region. The owners hope for it to become a regional draw and not just the local community. I say more power to them.
  17. According to a Bass Pro Shops spokesperson, the Bass Pro Shop in Leeds (east side of Birmingham) is still slated for construction despite the long delay. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall and have the project complete by November of 2008.
  18. Some pictures I snapped of the SSA Building under construction...
  19. ExpressJet is bringing to new flight destinations to Birmingham Intl. Actually, one is a return to a former destination that we had pre-Katrina... New Orleans. The other will be to Raleigh, NC. Both will be Non-Stop flights. Tickets will go on sale beginning Monday. ExpressJet will become just the 8th different carrier to have service out of Birmingham.
  20. Here's a nice picture of B'ham... from an ESPN travel editor that did an article on Birmingham... Here's the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/travel/news/story?id=2751396
  21. The BJCC expansion seems to have some real wheels to it right now. I think there's been at least 1 article on the expansion every day for the last several days. The city is committed to this. If the county will commit, the state will expectedly join as well. The ball is in the county commission's court. They claimed they would support a scaled down version NOT including the dome. Now we'll see if they intend to live up to prior statements.
  22. Well some of this is a chicken vs. the egg idea. Do you need the residents first, or do you need the entertainment? Why would many residents move in if there weren't something first there to draw them in (ie, entertainment)? Personally, I think the entertainment has to come first... restaurants, bars, shopping, etc. Then developers take an interest in the area and build new residential units. Makes sense to me.
  23. Actually... all of those seem quite likely to happen. As far as which one will come quickest, I'd probably say the Corporate Realty redevelopment at 20th St.
  24. Wow... they've got a new look to their website as well... looks MUCH more user-friendly. http://www.bjcc.org/
  25. ^ I agree. The BJCC entertainment district doesn't have to be at the expense of 5 Points or Morris Avenue. I think a Hard Rock Cafe or something like that would be cool in the BJCC entertainment district.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.