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Birmingham Area Wish List

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What are the top ten things that you want to see accomplished in the Birmingham Area?

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Actual funding source established and the major overhaul of BJCTA into an actual regional mass transit system

New mayor for Birmingham who actually cares about fixing and improving the city

Full home rule for ALL Alabama counties

County Manager for Jefferson County

Pay Raise for law enforcement and fire fighters

Mims to accomplish turning around the Birmingham Schools District downward spiral

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Here's my top 10:

1) Start of construction on the 18-story hotel/office project by Melaver.

2) Start of construction on the proposed 16-story mixed-use building by Colonial Properties.

3) Start of construction on the Railroad Reservation Park.

4) A new retail center downtown (or at the very least, a few grocery stores and such).

5) Announcement of upgrades/expansion for the BJCC (along with an Entertainment District)

6) Continuation and completion of the renovations of City Federal and Leer Tower.

7) Construction around I-65 where I-22 is to connect.

8) Revitalization of 5 Points South.

9) Opening of the 12,000ft runway at BHM International (as well as gaining new international or distant domestic destinations).

10) Continued growth and expansion of Alabama Adventure Themepark (as well as beginning construction of the new indoor waterpark/hotel/resort nearby).

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QUOTE

1) Start of construction on the 18-story hotel/office project by Melaver.

2) Start of construction on the proposed 16-story mixed-use building by Colonial Properties.

3) Start of construction on the Railroad Reservation Park.

4) A new retail center downtown (or at the very least, a few grocery stores and such).

5) Announcement of upgrades/expansion for the BJCC (along with an Entertainment District)

6) Continuation and completion of the renovations of City Federal and Leer Tower.

7) Construction around I-65 where I-22 is to connect.

8) Revitalization of 5 Points South.

9) Opening of the 12,000ft runway at BHM International (as well as gaining new international or distant domestic destinations).

10) Continued growth and expansion of Alabama Adventure Themepark (as well as beginning construction of the new indoor waterpark/hotel/resort nearby).

I think all of these are reasonable expectations. For the most part, these are all things that we have been told will happen. I believe these projects (Railroad Reservation Park especially) will be catalysts for continued growth and investment in the city. These next couple of years will be pivotal as far as Birmingham reinventing itself.

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has this been mentioned as more than a hypothetical 'wish'? if so, what has been discussed and by whom?

i'm not completely sure that 5 pts south is at a nadir, even though it has its share of vacancies, recent closures, chain stores and generally high turnover for commercial tenants. yet the area always has something new around the corner (hello, new pickwick!), and never lacks for foot traffic during most hours. in that sense, i think 5 pts is still vital. i miss the hippodrum, the music hall, the short-lived taco mac and mancha's, joe muggs, etc., but at least the area isn't a victim of either high vacancy rates or gentrification.

i would like to see 5 pts improved, but i'm not sure what others' ideas are on how this can / should be done, or whether it should be done at all. but taking what's there and enhancing it has always been appealing. ideas?

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i miss the hippodrum, the music hall, the short-lived taco mac and mancha's, joe muggs, etc., but at least the area isn't a victim of either high vacancy rates or gentrification.

i would like to see 5 pts improved, but i'm not sure what others' ideas are on how this can / should be done, or whether it should be done at all. but taking what's there and enhancing it has always been appealing. ideas?

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Maybe I should add to my list a casino complex of some sort downtown... I guess I didn't include it before because I don't see it as all that likely. But it certainly would be good for the economy and also go a long way in helping to do away with the notion that "Birmingham has nothing to do."

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Agenda 2007

I wholehearted agree with this entire list because this is what Alabama and Birmingham needs to accomplish this year. Especially, the part about mass transit, the BJCC expansion, and more funding for UAB.

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Blazer85 got me thinking... How well would a 1st-class casino be received here? In my honest opinion, I think it would be a viable investment (viable, but not likely). Give a company like Harrah's, for example, exclusive rights to operate a hotel, casino, and entertainment complex downtown and watch the people pour in.

The closest competition Birmingham would have is in Mississippi, and honestly I think the Magic City would win that contest, hands down seeing as how the facility would be in the middle of a large metropolitan area. I would love to see someone go all out on this... A large lake with water fountains, a grand boulevard, towering hotels... the works! Ah, one can dream, can't he?

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The closest competition Birmingham would have is in Mississippi, and honestly I think the Magic City would win that contest,

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Blazer85 got me thinking... How well would a 1st-class casino be received here?

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The effort to legalize casino gambling in Birmingham would be one of the most daunting uphill battles ever staged in this state. Can it be done? Never say never! But, such an undertaking could be a huge draw among Southern states. To borrow your phrase, Birmingham should "go for broke." Although, I can't say I'm with you on the weed coffeehouses idea... But you're pointed in the right direction -- I think.

As you mentioned, N.O. would be a more "romantic" destination but I think the convenience of Birmingham's central location in the South would serve its interests well. I'd dare to say that the city should seek support from the casino tycoons in Las Vegas. Give them, should such a proposal gain voter support, the opportunity to create another gaming destination in the middle of the fastest growning region in the U.S.

Again, "go for broke." Level the dilapidated warehouses adjacent to downtown (east of Red Mountain Expressway), design a remarkable water feature such as shooting fountains, construct family oriented theme parks, provide entertainment options for the kids as well as the parents -- the possibilities are endless. Make it where competition from Atlanta or Nashville would be virtually impossible.

I'm not a gambling enthusiast but I believe this would be the quickest method, with the least amount of risk, to "level the playing field" and close the gap between Birmingham and its peer cities that has been growing since the 1960s. I probably won't win any fans from the Conservative Right but I'd champion this thing through and through.

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I'm with you on the weed coffeehouses, but even assuming Alabama was to decriminalize pot (aka assuming George W. Bush walks on Jupiter next year and brings his pet dog with him, while wearing a flower-studded indian headband) the Feds would shut it all down before like two places opened up.

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The effort to legalize casino gambling in Birmingham would be one of the most daunting uphill battles ever staged in this state. Can it be done? Never say never!

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Make it where competition from Atlanta or Nashville would be virtually impossible.

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There is no quick method to leveling the playing field. Decent schools, decent transportation, responsible government: none of that necessarily follows from casino gambling.

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Wasn't gambling voted on a few years back in Alabama, and turned down? I thought I remembered it being on the ballot, as I know Mobile had hopes for some of it's downtown historic structures becoming casinos.

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There was a referandum on a state-run education lottery back in 1999. Other than that nobody has done anything remotely close to placing statewide legalized gambling on the ballot.

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I really hope that mayoral elections 2007 offer Birmingham an awesome mayor with vision, and actually backs up his visions. I hope each of Birmingham's neighborhoods becomes safer, more diverse with better schools...all in all, a more livable inner city. City populations back on the rise, and at least 270,000 diverse people living here by 2015.

My wishlist

-----Birmingham city

-city limits expanded to the west

-the eastern, central, and southern neighborhoods continue to prosper

-the northern and western neighborhoods make complete turn arounds

-The Summit @ ??? A smaller, more upscale version of (across 459)The Summit Birmingham...even though The Summit Birmingham is still the most upscale shopping center in the area

-Research parks(at least 1 to give Cummings Research Park competition--even though we are all Alabama)

-Downtown becomes a 24/7 tourist/local destination

-The Theater District in full swing and the red carpet is out(lol)

-Birmingham is featured in movies

-20th Street becomes more vibrant including more retail, residential, hotel, and entertainment...connecting downtown with Five Points and the BJCC

-Crime is an all time low because the B-Ham PD is so work hard and actually care more

-I-65 is smooth and expanded to 4-5 lanes in either direction

-All city streets have received better pavement

-I-20/59 lowered to grade level and expanded to 4-5 lanes in either direction

-I-22 is experiencing much growth

-I-459 is a complete perimeter, briefly passing through the new annexed Birmingham city with about 3 exits

-New towers cover the skyline with at least one really tall tower

-An upscale street near Forest Park/Highlands/Avondale with high-end restaurants, boutiques, and residents(hotels, condos, etc.)

-American Idol continues to go strong in Birmingham, with a Birmingham headquarters

-Woodlawn/East Lake is a classy, upscale neighborhood of African-Americans and is connected to the classy Forest Park/Highland neighborhoods via the diverse, classy Crestwood/Avondale neighborhoods.

-Century Plaza has done a complete turnaround with new anchors(Macy's and Dillard's along with Sears), an outdoor portion in front of the mall(similar to Brookwood Village Mall), and an ice skating rink

-The upscale Mall at Crestwood Blvd--the old Century Plaza--caters to the upscale Woodlawn/Eastlake, Forest Park/Highland, and Avondale/Crestwood

-----Urban sprawl continues, however the city is on a rise

-St.Clair county continues to grow

-Western and Northern JeffCo is experiencing amazing growth

-Blount, Chilton, Cullman, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, and Walker Counties are experiencing amazing growth

-growth covers Shelby and Jefferson Counties

-Even Bibb County experiences amazing growth

-The St.Clair MallMoody/Leeds gets a large, enclosed mall which competes even with the new Mall at Crestwood Blvd(old Century Plaza),but the market is stable enough to maintain both--off I-20

-A new large enclosed mall, and areas last enclosed mall(for now)...Mall of Alabama located between Gardendale and Warrior/Kimberly off I-65

-The Pinnacle at Tutwiler Farms(in Trussville) is doing well with it's 2 phases and 60+ stores and now affected by The St. Clair Mall

-The Riverchase Galleria is still a great mall, but not the top dawg anymore

-Brookwood Village Mall is still a favorite for Mountain Brookies, Vestavians, and Homewood residents

-Watermark Place Outlets with new addition still does great for Bessemer, Alabama Adventures, and the western suburbs

-Alabama Adventures is one of the top theme parks in the country with it's indoor water park, etc.

-"The Beach" is now opened...a huge public lake with at least a mile of white sandy beaches and a few hotels, restaurants, and condos

-Hoover is Alabama's 5th largest city...passing Tuscaloosa

-Vestavia Hills, and Bessemer are apart of Alabama's big cities

-Metro area has over 1.6 million people by 2013

-All area governments work together for a better region

-Birmingham becomes known around the world as a great city for all

I had a lot of time on my hands

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Yea, that is QUITE a list. I like most of those, if not all. But, you left one major thing out. What about mass transit. Here's my Bham wish list. Not that your's is bad, cause it's great! I just wanna make my own. :)

This is all by 2025

*Birmingham is no long losing population is has hit 250,000.

*The Metro area is now at 2.0 Million

*Growth in southern suburbs continues at a strong pace, and is all smart growth.

*A multi faceted transit system encompasses all of the major points of the area

*There are more skyscrapers, at least one about 800 ft, 3 at about 600 ft, and 4 more at 400-500 ft

*The educational system is much much better

*The crime rate is cut in half

*The city was able to build some type of sports facility

*The new entertainment districts are gaining world notice because THEY ARE ALL LINKED TOGETHER NOW

*Birmingham finally has a Hard Rock Cafe

*The city now hosts at least two pro sports teams

*There is now a world class research park

*UAB is THE foremost medical school in the Southeast

*Birmingham International Airport is now a focus city for at least one airline

*There is now a north south Amtrak line. So that all but three of the 10 largest cities in AL are linked.

*Interstate access is controlled correctly

*Interstates are in good condition and function as intended

*The city is finally known for something major that attracts tourists year round

That is all I ask for. Someone tell me that isn't realistic. You can be all, it's never gonna happen cause of the city and yadda yadda. That's probably true, but, the fact is, ALL of this could actually happen if we just work for it.

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Yea, that is QUITE a list. I like most of those, if not all. But, you left one major thing out. What about mass transit. Here's my Bham wish list. Not that your's is bad, cause it's great! I just wanna make my own. :)

This is all by 2025

*Birmingham is no long losing population is has hit 250,000.

*The Metro area is now at 2.0 Million

*Growth in southern suburbs continues at a strong pace, and is all smart growth.

*A multi faceted transit system encompasses all of the major points of the area

*There are more skyscrapers, at least one about 800 ft, 3 at about 600 ft, and 4 more at 400-500 ft

*The educational system is much much better

*The crime rate is cut in half

*The city was able to build some type of sports facility

*The new entertainment districts are gaining world notice because THEY ARE ALL LINKED TOGETHER NOW

*Birmingham finally has a Hard Rock Cafe

*The city now hosts at least two pro sports teams

*There is now a world class research park

*UAB is THE foremost medical school in the Southeast

*Birmingham International Airport is now a focus city for at least one airline

*There is now a north south Amtrak line. So that all but three of the 10 largest cities in AL are linked.

*Interstate access is controlled correctly

*Interstates are in good condition and function as intended

*The city is finally known for something major that attracts tourists year round

That is all I ask for. Someone tell me that isn't realistic. You can be all, it's never gonna happen cause of the city and yadda yadda. That's probably true, but, the fact is, ALL of this could actually happen if we just work for it.

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You are so right, and I just hope that we could elect the right leaders now to make it happen NOW. Those are very realistic...even though a lot of mine weren't. lol

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