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BJCC Expansion plans


Blazer85

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Norwood, the neighborhood immediately NE of the BJCC, is on the come up. There have been major developments in the renovation and restoration of older homes in those neighborhoods by middle-to-upper income singles and married couples in the past 3 years. I remember reading in The News real estate section back in early 2004 about how Norwood was turning around very quickly then. There is much potential with that area to become very much like Avondale, Crestwood, and Woodlawn (the southern end of course).

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Norwood, the neighborhood immediately NE of the BJCC, is on the come up. There have been major developments in the renovation and restoration of older homes in those neighborhoods by middle-to-upper income singles and married couples in the past 3 years. I remember reading in The News real estate section back in early 2004 about how Norwood was turning around very quickly then. There is much potential with that area to become very much like Avondale, Crestwood, and Woodlawn (the southern end of course).

Excellent! :thumbsup::thumbsup: This is nice to see.

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I'm glad to see this conversation continuing... And with that said, I'll add this:

- Build the dome, excuse me, multipurpose facility or just build something. I don't care if they mislead the County Commission into thinking they've abandoned the idea. Start with the hotel and entertainment district and then build the facility.

- Start kickin arse and taking names, Birmingham. If a local leader doesn't want to get on board, call them out... do something, galvanize the people. Get the media and every blogger on the Net behind this project.

- And my final wish is for naysayers to get their facts straight before they blindly denounce something. If I hear the argument about Birmingham not having a football team used one more time, I'm pissing on Bobby Humphrey's new office furniture.

- And hopefully, BJCC and the city will do something daring like, I don't know, sprucing up the surrounding neighborhood by encouraging loft developments and condo highrises... Just a thought.

Edited by Birmingham Bound
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one of the problems with Birmingham's night life is that it's too spread out (Lake View, Five Points, Pepper Place). Due to the lack of public transportation in the city, it'd make things a lot nicer if everything was concentrated in one area.
Concentrating night life in one area isn't really likely or advisable in my opinion.

Besides, how often do people go between nightlife neighborhoods in one night anyway?

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Concentrating night life in one area isn't really likely or advisable in my opinion.

Besides, how often do people go between nightlife neighborhoods in one night anyway?

I disagree. If Birmingham had a unique nightlife experience concentrated in one area, it would be a significant boost to the city's nightlife scene and could serve as a huge draw for locals, young professionals, and tourists. Morris Avenue would be an ideal area for such an entertainment district. The charm and excitement of walking down crowded cobblestone streets flanked by century old buildings adjacent to a large urban park is something that cannot be easily duplicated. One has to look no further than New Orleans and Memphis -- both about the size of Birmingham -- to see the benefits of such a district.

Such a project doesn't have to come at the expense of other, more established areas such as Lakeview and Five Points South. Rather, they can exist as complimentary districts that enhance the overall experience in Birmingham by providing their own unique slice of nightlife and entertainment options. And as for going between different nightlife neighborhoods in one night, I do it frequently. My nights have started downtown and ended in Five Points South on many occasions.

Edited by Birmingham Bound
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If Birmingham had a unique nightlife experience concentrated in one area, it would be a significant boost to the city's nightlife scene and could serve as a huge draw for locals, young professionals, and tourists. Morris Avenue would be an ideal area for such an entertainment district. ... Such a project doesn't have to come at the expense of other, more established areas such as Lakeview and Five Points South.
Then I misunderstood you to mean that Birmingham's nightlife was just too gosh darned spread out. I agree Morris Avenue would make an excellent bar and restaurant zone, and hopefully given the park nearby will become so. Private investment and the city staying out of the way are the answers to that one.

And as for going between different nightlife neighborhoods in one night, I do it frequently.
And if I understand you, you would prefer not to do so - indicating (to me anyway) adding new options is a zero sum game if and until the population increases. Other districts will lose interest and businesses when new options become available (just look at Birmingham retail.)
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for a town its size, bham's concentration of nightlife citywide is relatively dense (whether the options are abundant is another argument.) it's a stretch to call lakeview and 5 pts separate areas, but people consider them separate when going out. morris avenue isn't really that far from UAB - it just seems so. even the club thuggz district west of I-65 is relatively near (though it feels worlds apart at night). the city's core is just not that big (a good thing).

if you want to see spread-out nightlife, come to tucson. DUIs are big business here because, except for the fourth avenue entertainment district, everyone has to drive to go to more than one or two bars in the same location....and then they have to swerve home. curvy foothills driving at 2 a.m. is not for the squeamish.

by contrast, it's very possible to get out in bham (assuming you actually live IN bham) and keep the driving to a minimum. yes, you will probably have to drive a couple of miles - but no more. certainly not the 10 or 15 you'll have to drive in tucson if you want to get from downtown to that bar across town that your friend just called you from.

Edited by convulso
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Such a project doesn't have to come at the expense of other, more established areas such as Lakeview and Five Points South. Rather, they can exist as complimentary districts that enhance the overall experience in Birmingham by providing their own unique slice of nightlife and entertainment options. And as for going between different nightlife neighborhoods in one night, I do it frequently. My nights have started downtown and ended in Five Points South on many occasions.

I've always wanted to see 8th Ave / University Ave between Lakeview and 20th (at the base of Five Points South) become home to more restaurants and clubs. I guess St.Vincents would be somewhat of a barrier.

I could picture this stretch being landscaped, having trolley service and being lined with restaurants, shops, etc instead of BP gas stations. Just dreaming here. :)

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it's a stretch to call lakeview and 5 pts separate areas, but people consider them separate when going out. morris avenue isn't really that far from UAB - it just seems so. even the club thuggz district west of I-65 is relatively near (though it feels worlds apart at night).
Agreed, Lakeview & 5 Points are the same "district" in my opinion. Unless the city wants to go all out with Greenwich Village vs. West Village vs. Washington Square style neighborhood naming squabbles.

And as you mention this is a very one-dimensional discussion of Birmingham nightlife and how it might develop, considering none of these areas (in my opinion) are particularly strong African-American nightlife zones. If the city does want to go all out to subsidize some dubious "entertainment district," might as well do it in a neighborhood that could really use it, like Ensley (Tuxedo Junction) or Five Points West.

if you want to see spread-out nightlife, come to tucson.
Unfortunately I've not spent much time in Tucson - a walk across the University of Arizona campus in 2001, and a stop at a decaying dead mall/outlet center I believe on I-10 West in 2004. Gorgeous scenery.
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Agreed, Lakeview & 5 Points are the same "district" in my opinion. Unless the city wants to go all out with Greenwich Village vs. West Village vs. Washington Square style neighborhood naming squabbles.

And as you mention this is a very one-dimensional discussion of Birmingham nightlife and how it might develop, considering none of these areas (in my opinion) are particularly strong African-American nightlife zones. If the city does want to go all out to subsidize some dubious "entertainment district," might as well do it in a neighborhood that could really use it, like Ensley (Tuxedo Junction) or Five Points West.

Lakeview and Five Points are very distinct and different districts in my opinion. I believe they're close enough to be loosely considered "downtown" but that's where it stops. Perhaps, it's all relative. Times Square in NYC is large enough to cover an area that would stretch from 20th and Highland to 29th and University. But, in Birmingham, there isn't a shared physicial or visual connection between Lakeview and Five Points.

Personally, I would like to see Morris Avenue develop into Birmingham's premier entertainment destination that draws from all crowds with venues that cater to everyone from Blacks (sans thugs) to whites (sans rednecks) as well as everyone in between. Given our growing Hispanic population, a few Latin themed establishments might be a welcomed addition as well.

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Kincaid stress BJCC expansion in the State of the City address

There goes Kincaid and his usual jar-jacking. :rolleyes: Meanwhile, he still wants to continuously fight with the council over law enforcement and emergency officials pay raises. I can't wait until November so he can get voted out of office. This "State of The City Address" is about authenic as a $2 bill.

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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.

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I hope so because I am so sick and tire of the footdragging. Birmingham NEEDS at least 1 sports/exhibition facility that up to modern sports events and convention standards. It's so bad nowadays that we are down to the level of cities like Little Rock and Augusta who we are competing with on convention size, and we all know most of those cities at that tier are at the most half the size of our region. It's like the government officials around here intentionally retards this region's progress.

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I hope so because I am so sick and tire of the footdragging. Birmingham NEEDS at least 1 sports/exhibition facility that up to modern sports events and convention standards. It's so bad nowadays that we are down to the level of cities like Little Rock and Augusta who we are competing with on convention size, and we all know most of those cities at that tier are at the most half the size of our region. It's like the government officials around here intentionally retards this region's progress.

I couldn't agree more... especially with your last comment. I have a belief that there are two types of leaders. You have those who simply lead; and then you have those who inspire. Birmingham has been cursed with the former. No impassioned visions, no encouraing speeches, no galvanizing forces, no clarion calls to motivation -- just the same old tired leadership characterized by promises of repairing pot holes and exploited PR opportunities of shaking hands and kissing babies. However, I find comfort when I think about how this city survives and yes, actually grows, in spite of itself. It provides me with a glimmer of hope and a positive expectation of the future.

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City Council give BJCC deadline

It seems the Birmingham City Council is giving the BJCC Board a deadline to come up with a Plan B for the expansion by March or they will pull out funding. I have mixed feeling about this because yes it is good to put some pressure on those tackheads on the BJCC Board, but we all know it takes forever things to get accomplished here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rogers want Jeffco to up ante for BJCC

This clown just doesn't quit. Doesn't he realize when you play mind games nothing ever gets accomplished. He is now wagging like a bone above 3 Stooges (Collins 'n Dem) the occupation tax. Rogers is threatening to force the county commission to support funding through 2038 with a legislation and if they don't agree he will support bill to eliminate the occupation tax also. He just doesn't get it, "Birmingham doesn't need a dome at this point!"

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Collins sees football, events if arena is built

Collins is not rethinking her position on the arena. She is just now saying that she would support the arena if college football games like UAB or the Papa Johns Bowl are played there. She is also saying that her support would only be tentative if there is an entertainment and shopping district accompanying this expansion of the BJCC. Finally, Governor Riley says that the state is now behind the plan since Birmingham and Jefferson County have came to a compromise.

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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.

:yahoo:

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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

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It is definitely a step in the right direction, but a public-private cooperative will need to be imperative if this is going to be successful. I'm hoping this will come to fruition because Birmingham needs to remain competitive with cities like Charlotte, Nashville, Memphis, Raleigh, and Louisville in the convention/trade show and event industry. With every year, we are falling farther and farther behind because of the region's footdragging.

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