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Vin

When will B'ham emerge from this funk?

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Will there ever be major positive news to come out of Birmingham again? All I've read about my beloved hometown for the last 3 years is corporate offices leaving town/merging, bungling of developments by leadership, all the while there are major developments in other peer Southern cities. Cities like Nashville, Jacksonville, and Charlotte have left B'ham in the dust. Even our usual partner in the cellar, Memphis, is beginning to leave us in the dust. Now we seem to be more competitive with Knoxville, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Jackson, etc.

The continued redevelopment of old buildings into lofts/condos is certainly good news, but when will the leadership of Birmingham/Jefferson County take a risk on something mega? When will the state's tallest building return to Birmingham? Will there ever be a new tower over 25 stories constructed in Birmingham again?

Do any of you read the Birmingham Business Journal weekly? It's pathetic that the front page news of the BBJ is a new Wal-Mart coming to town. Are you kidding me? Is that the best we've got?

Here's to a new mayor next election and leaders on the City Council and County Commission who are as nauseated by our lack of vision and forward thinking as I am.

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To answer your question, I think that Bham will emerge from this funk as soon as a competent and progressive mayor is elected; one who has the ability to unite the metro area. Of all the candidates, I believe Patrick Cooper is the best choice for Birmingham. The guy has a wonderful resume and he seems to be passionate about the city. I've stated this before, but I think that Coopers best quality is that he is fresh. Hopefully the citizens of Birmingham will make the right choice.

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Whew! That is the $1M question. When people in surrounding cities will start working with Birmingham rather than competing against Birmingham. When Birmingham City Schools district becomes a functioning school district again. When the City of Birmingham has a mayor and city council that cares about push towards progressive ideas rather than maintaining status quo.

You are right, Vin, Birmingham has slip in many competitive categories compared to Memphis, Louisville, Nashville, Charlotte, and Jacksonville. The only city that still seems to be stuck in neutral at this point other than Birmingham is New Orleans. But we all know why that is happening there, but there is no excuse what is occuring here stubborn, selfish, and uncooperative foolishness that has been perpetuated by the sorry ass political figures such as the Jeffco Commission and Mayor and City Council of Birmingham.

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Will there ever be major positive news to come out of Birmingham again? All I've read about my beloved hometown for the last 3 years is corporate offices leaving town/merging, bungling of developments by leadership, all the while there are major developments in other peer Southern cities. Cities like Nashville, Jacksonville, and Charlotte have left B'ham in the dust. Even our usual partner in the cellar, Memphis, is beginning to leave us in the dust. Now we seem to be more competitive with Knoxville, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Jackson, etc.

The continued redevelopment of old buildings into lofts/condos is certainly good news, but when will the leadership of Birmingham/Jefferson County take a risk on something mega? When will the state's tallest building return to Birmingham? Will there ever be a new tower over 25 stories constructed in Birmingham again?

Do any of you read the Birmingham Business Journal weekly? It's pathetic that the front page news of the BBJ is a new Wal-Mart coming to town. Are you kidding me? Is that the best we've got?

Here's to a new mayor next election and leaders on the City Council and County Commission who are as nauseated by our lack of vision and forward thinking as I am.

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I agree that there are many great "small" things going on in Birmingham, but every "big" idea that comes along seems to die or flounder for years before becoming reality (the Dome, Railroad Reservation Park are 2 good examples.) I feel that the Railroad Reservation is going to come into reality, but if we had competent leadership in Birmingham, this thing would have already broken ground. Will the proposed BJCC entertainment district ever happen? I sure hope so. Will the BJCC ever expand in any way?

When will the city stop hemorrhaging population?

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I agree that there are many great "small" things going on in Birmingham, but every "big" idea that comes along seems to die or flounder for years before becoming reality (the Dome, Railroad Reservation Park are 2 good examples.) I feel that the Railroad Reservation is going to come into reality, but if we had competent leadership in Birmingham, this thing would have already broken ground. Will the proposed BJCC entertainment district ever happen? I sure hope so. Will the BJCC ever expand in any way?

When will the city stop hemorrhaging population?

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I feel your pain Vin. I too am terribly frustrated with the city's leadership. I also think Jeff Co/Bham blew a huge opportunity by not educating folks about the MAPS plan. The same MAPS plan that OKC voters passed and they now have a sweet basketball/convention center arena and downtown Bricktown development because of it. Huge mistake. Having said that, Bham is doing incredibly well in areas that don't necessarily show in flashy ways but are very important aspects. I was very pleasantly shocked and suprised to see that Bham was #1 in the NATION among the Top 100 metros in per capita income growth over the last 25 years. In fact, Bham leads Atlanta and all other Southeastern cities except for Nashville, Charlotte, Richmond, and Miami in per capita income. Bham's economy can compete with any of our Southeastern counterparts despite the mergers.

www.bizjournals.com/edit_special/52.html?t=printable

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Although it is not full of glam news.....I like the direction. I like the slow approach to development. I like the idea that Birmingham is on the track of being one of the most unique cities in the south. I know that Nashville has tower after tower going in right now....but go and look to see how many units are either unsold...or people taking a hit on flips. Or Atlanta....who wants the distinction of growing at such an unsustainable rate? I love my old hometown.....it is just a matter of time before developers realize how cheap it is to develop in the city as compared to other southern cities. Birmingham is lucky that it retained so much of the historic infrastructure that other cities lost in the mad dash to redevelop. They do an good job of encouraging infill development.....the area is full of great districts....which...as we all know is not true of many southern cities.

A new tall building does not mark the degree of excellence of a city. Charleston, SC is a good example.....or Asheville, NC. I lived in Nashville for years....they had their problems...many of which continue till this day. Look at Louisville....one of the greatest old river cities in America....but.....they knocked down so much in the 60's and 70's that their contextual connection to the past was almost lost....still a great city however. Or Atlanta....who wants to grow by more than 800,000 residents in the metro over a six year period. Birmingham......I think the Jones Valley Urban farms is a testament to the unique nature of the citizens of the HAM.....also...the movement toward sustainable development. Birmingham has a great symphony....zoo....and museum....and arts culture. The city is well on its way of overtaking Minneapolis in the arena of having the most park space per resident. So many good things going on.....but I do agree....the City of Birmingham needs new leadership.

It will happen in time....and when it does....the citizens will be ready to accept infill development that reinforces the character of the city.

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I would like to bring about the talk of the "can do" attitude with the civic pride that seemed to made Birmingham a great urban area. It is obvious that we already have the highest quality-of-life in the state with a well-put together urban core with massive potential, a large and growing regional zoo, growing arts and performing arts community, increasing young professional population in the City Center and some surrounding neighborhoods, and the massive campus known as UAB. In addition, we recently have had 3 county commissioners admit that the region needs a modern regional mass transit system for this area to truly prosper and boost its ability to attract more economic development. We have all the pieces in place to revitalize the city, but what exactly is going to have to happen if we want this to be truly embraced as whole?

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I would like to bring about the talk of the "can do" attitude with the civic pride that seemed to made Birmingham a great urban area. It is obvious that we already have the highest quality-of-life in the state with a well-put together urban core with massive potential, a large and growing regional zoo, growing arts and performing arts community, increasing young professional population in the City Center and some surrounding neighborhoods, and the massive campus known as UAB. In addition, we recently have had 3 county commissioners admit that the region needs a modern regional mass transit system for this area to truly prosper and boost its ability to attract more economic development. We have all the pieces in place to revitalize the city, but what exactly is going to have to happen if we want this to be truly embraced as whole?

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First, on Oct 9., the citizens of Birmingham needs to elect a mayor with a "Can-Do" attitude that would help move the city forward and be willing to try to incorporate the cooperation of the region. Me being orginally from B'ham, I care about the condition and direction the region is taking for the future. There is no region unity in Birmingham-Hoover MSA at this time. If the region can provide a sense of regional pride vs. the "me.myself, and I" mentality among the cities, then the Birmingham MSA would definitely be over the hump in my opinion.

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