There are signs other than the construction cranes in the air that Parkside District is emerging as one of the city’s hottest growth areas.
The City of Birmingham erected signage for the Parkside District this week, publicly branding the 30-block section of the city between the railroad to Fourth Avenue South and between Interstate 65 and 20th Street.
The signage will work in conjunction with other streetscape improvements to help unify the area into an identified district. Home to Railroad Park, Regions Field, and Good People Brewery, Parkside has numerous new construction and renovation projects in the works. New apartments, offices and businesses are on the way.
Alabama Power has stabilized the historic Powell Avenue Steam Plant and this week won approval from the City of Birmingham to vacate the section of Powell Avenue in front of the building for use in a public plaza as part of a multimillion-dollar redevelopment. Plans are in the works to transform the property into a multi-purpose venue.
Also this week, Dothan-based LBA Hospitality said it plans to develop a dual-branded Hilton Hotels & Resorts project with a 104-room Hilton Garden Inn attached to a 106-room Home2 Suites at Second Avenue North and 17th Street. The project must still earn certain approvals and permitting.
On May 14, officials officially broke ground for construction of the $3.5 million Rotary Trail linear park being built along First Avenue South from 20th Street to 24th Street. Though not in the Parkside District, the Rotary Trail has ties to the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere being created in the district. The Rotary Trail will have a 46-foot sign that reads “Rotary Trail in the Magic City,” recalling the historic “Birmingham the Magic City” signs from the past. The trail will include stairwells, viaduct boardwalks, amphitheaters, running and walking paths, bench seating and picnic areas.
Because the Parkside District sits centrally in Birmingham, along the very railway that separates the city’s Northside and Southside neighborhoods, the location serves as a natural starting place for those eager to explore the city.
The new Parkside logo signs help encourage walking in the neighborhood and are the first in a citywide effort to unify neighborhoods and promote healthy living.
By implementing signage, lights, sidewalks, and other pedestrian-centered facilities, the City of Birmingham hopes to encourage city-goers to explore the Parkside District—and beyond—on foot. The Parkside signs are part of the ongoing efforts to place Birmingham on par with the best cities in the world for quality of life, where walking safely is integral to the city experience.
UAB, Children’s Hospital and Alabama Power with leadership from REV Birmingham partnered on the Parkside project.
By incorporating regular walking into daily living for those visitors, community partners hope to launch initiatives to combat the health issues that plague the region. Alabama has high rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Studies show regular walking helps to fight these and disorders. Regular walking can be the beginning to healthier citizens and a healthier city.