Birmingham City Council
5 min readMar 13, 2023

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Birmingham City Council Highlights 03.07.23

Birmingham City Council Highlights 3.7.23

Here are a few of the legislative highlights from Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting, in case you missed it.

ITEM 6

Historic Powell School could soon be redeveloped following a vote by the Birmingham City Council to terminate the current redevelopment agreement between the City and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. That agreement has been in place since 2011. In that time, several instances of fires and weathering have hindered any efforts to restore the building.

Under the ordinance, certain deed restrictions will also be terminated allowing for redevelopment from a third party – a joint proposal by Harbert Realty Services, Sloss Real Estate and Stewart Perry Construction.

The City does not own the property; the title is held by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. This agreement releases the city’s interest in the property so that redevelopment can move forward.

The history of the property is that Elyton Land Company donated the property for the use of a public school in 1878. A covenant was placed on the property stating it must be used as a school or else would be returned to Elyton Land Company, which now operates as Barber Properties.

“As part of this transaction it’s my understanding that Barber is relinquishing their claim to the property so that it can be repurposed,” Councilor Darrell O’Quinn said.

A representative of the development team said that over the last two years, many studies have been done to determine the viability of saving the structure for redevelopment. Those cost estimates are upwards of $20 million, however, there have been no successful attempts to find tenants for the property. The future of the building is yet to be determined according to the redevelopment team, but there is expressed interest in saving historical portions of the building if possible.

Here is the item as it appeared on Tuesday’s agenda:

An Ordinance approving and authorizing the Mayor to execute, for and as the act of said City, the following documents: (i) a Termination of Redevelopment Agreement under which a Redevelopment Agreement with the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation dated July 19, 2011, concerning the proposed redevelopment of Powell School by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation will be terminated; (ii) a Termination of Deed Restrictions, under which certain deed restrictions imposed by the City on the Powell School property in connection with the Redevelopment Agreement will be terminated; (iii) a Termination of Deed Restrictions to terminate certain restrictions contained in the original deed of the property to the City; and (iv) a Revocation of Limited Power of Attorney which granted rights to the City to enforce the terms of the Redevelopment Agreement and deed restrictions, and any other documents required to facilitate the transactions authorized herein, all of which documents are being terminated to enable a proposed new development of the Powell School property. [Second Reading] (Submitted by the City Attorney) (Recommended by the Director of Innovation and Economic

Opportunity and the Economic Development and Tourism Committee) (Did Not Receive Unanimous Consent; Held Over From 2/28/23 to 3/7/23) **

ITEM 9

The Council approved a plan to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for federal grant funding to address housing and services for residents experiencing homelessness.

Congress appropriated $5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funding to be used for the HOME Investment Partnership program. The City of Birmingham received $5 million as part of this program.

The eligible activities must primarily benefit the qualifying residents before 2030. Those include, but are not limited to:

• Production or preservation of affordable rental housing

• Tenant-based rental assistance

• Supportive services, homeless prevention services and housing counseling

• Purchase and development of non-congregate shelter

According to the application, the breakdown of funding is as follows:

· $200,000 for supportive services

· $3 million for Acquisition and Development of Non-congregate shelters

· $500,000 for Tenant-based rental assistance

· $1 million for Development of Affordable Rental Housing

· $374,139 for Non-profit Operation

· $700,000 for Administration and Planning

ITEM 10

The Council unanimously approved a funding agreement with Nextec LLC to redevelop and rehabilitate the approximately 65,000 square foot Edwards Motor Company Building (former Sticks ‘N’ Stuff Building) located at 1531 3rd Avenue North, which will be leased for use as flexible workspace and collaboration areas for start-up businesses graduating from Innovation Depot.

As Birmingham’s tech sector continues to grow, it’s important that the City makes efforts to retain emerging companies that started their operations here. The City will be investing $400,000 for five years to incentivize the redevelopment. There will be roughly $300,000 generated annually from occupational, sales and use tax. There will also be 311 jobs added over the next seven years.

“I just want to sincerely thank the mayor and his team for making this project happen,” Councilor O’Quinn said. “I want to also thank my colleagues on the Council because there was a time when this project was not going in this direction and the Council acted to prevent that from happening. I think this project we’re seeing today is 1,000 times better than where this was headed. This will significantly contribute to an historic area of Birmingham that deserves this type of investment.”

Here is the item as it appeared on Tuesday’s agenda:

A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute, for and as the act of said City, a Project Funding Agreement with Nextec, LLC, under which Nextec will undertake a project to redevelop and rehabilitate the approximately 65,000 square foot Edwards Motor Company Building (former Sticks ‘N’ Stuff Building) located at 1531 3rd Avenue North, which will be leased for use as flexible workspace and collaboration areas for start-up businesses graduating from Innovation Depot, and the City will provide incentives in support of the project to be paid in five (5) annual installments of $400,000.00 each provided certain leasing milestones set forth in the Project Funding Agreement are met, for a total incentive of up to $2,000,000.00, with the first such payment to be from CSLFR Funds. [First payment: 039_000.527-050 (American Rescue Plan)] (Submitted by the City Attorney) (Recommended by the Mayor, the Economic Development and Tourism Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee) **

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Birmingham City Council

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