City of Birmingham

Goodbye to Ensley High; Demolition Making Way for New Housing

Demolition begins on the old Ensley High School (Source: City of Birmingham)

Demolition has begun on the old Ensley High School and should be complete in about four months.

Redevelopment of the derelict property is aimed at making way for a 244-home mixed-used neighborhood at 2301 Avenue J for people earning between $16,000 and $45,000 annually.

“Neighborhood revitalization is our top priority,” Mayor Randall L. Woodfin said in a statement. “For many years, Ensley High School provided the educational foundation for this community. As the next steps are taken, this site will provide a new foundation for vibrant and livable space for our residents.”

The Zimmerman Development Team is overseeing the project, and members of the team said in the statement that they will have a 9-month design and community engagement period after demolition is complete. Construction of the housing development could start in late 2022.

The school building, which closed in 2006, was destroyed by fire in 2018.

Redevelopment plan for the old Ensley High School property by Zimmerman Properties.

The four-block property will give developers more than 10 acres to construct stacked flats, carriage houses and a 3-story apartment building, providing homes ranging from one to three bedrooms.

Plans include converting the gymnasium into commercial space and providing off-street parking, green space and an early childhood learning center.

The property was sold to Zimmerman for $50,000 as part of a redevelopment agreement. The agreement also provides a city grant of up to $1.5 million for the project.

The development team is made up of Zimmerman Properties, TriStar, Star-C, East Lake Initiative and David Baker Architects.