Tag: economic development
In a setting that felt more like a tent revival than a press conference, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announced Wednesday that Birmingham had landed a $50 million community redevelopment grant. Read more.
Eight West Birmingham properties have been rezoned to make way for a federally funded “transformation plan” in the city’s Graymont, Smithfield and College Hills neighborhoods.
The properties rezoned by the City Council Tuesday include the Smithfield Library, the Smithfield Court Housing Community, the former Hill Elementary School and the former Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity headquarters, all of which were redesignated as either “mixed-use medium” or “multiple-dwelling districts” on Tuesday.
The rezoning is intended to support the city’s bid for a Choice Neighborhood Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city has been announced as a finalist for the $50 million grant, which would be used to redevelop much of the area surrounding Legion Field. Read more.
A Birmingham restaurant will receive $1.3 million in city incentives to renovate part of a downtown parking deck into a 5,760-square-foot eatery.
Yo’ Mama’s, a counter-serve restaurant that has operated on Second Avenue South since 2014, will take over the ground floor of the city-owned Birmingham Parking Authority Deck 3, at 2098 Fourth Avenue North. The deck was initially constructed in 1976 and expanded in 2009, but that expansion left an incomplete, street-level retail space that the Birmingham Parking Authority unsuccessfully attempted to lease out over the subsequent 14 years. Read more.
Following a presentation from Innovation Depot, the Jefferson County Commission Tuesday moved to its Thursday meeting agenda a package of more than $1.6 million supporting the business accelerator.
Brooke Gillis, CEO of Innovation Depot, told commissioners about the depot’s aim to nurture the efforts of entrepreneurs so that their businesses can grow beyond the walls of the business center in downtown Birmingham. Read more.
Alabama college students rank cost of living, job opportunities and salaries as key factors in deciding where they’ll live after graduation, and about 43% of them are undecided about staying in Alabama, according to a recent survey. Read more.
Businesses in Jefferson County will be able to apply for more money to help them combat the effects of COVID-19 if the County Commission approves a resolution being considered Thursday.
The resolution, presented by the Office of Community Services and Workforce Development, seeks up $1.15 million in supplemental funds for the county’s revolving loan fund grant from the state’s Economic Development Administration. Jefferson County commissioners in their committee meeting Tuesday decided to place the issue on the agenda for action Thursday. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve $680,949.46 in program funding for seven local organizations as part of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development initiative.
Adah International, the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Birmingham Business Resource Center, Jefferson State Community College, REV Birmingham, the Salvation Army, and the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham were the beneficiaries in Bold’s second year, following approval of the program’s “inaugural class” last November.
Several of the projects will help small businesses, with a focus on women-owned, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses, while others will support underprivileged mothers and children and help residents improve their work skills. Read more.
Updated with video — Despite the “very, very strong” objection of Economic Development Chairman Steve Ammons, the Jefferson County Commission today established new guidelines for using money from the commission’s economic development fund.
In a roll call vote, Ammons voted a “very, very strong no” on a presented resolution. Commission President Jimmie Stephens joined Ammons in voting no, but the matter passed on the yes votes of Commissioners Lashunda Scales, Joe Knight and Sheila Tyson.
Scales offered a resolution at the last meeting that required spending from that fund to be approved by the full commission. Ammons asked that the matter be held over so that he and his staff could make a presentation about economic development. Commissioners agreed Tuesday for a special economic development committee meeting to take place Nov. 18, at which the presentation would take place.
In the meantime, Knight sent a draft of a resolution to his fellow commissioners to address how and when money can be used from the economic development fund. Scales offered that resolution as a substitution for the one she presented at the Oct. 24 meeting in Bessemer.
“This is not to be a fund for everyone to travel on,” Knight said. Read more.
Birmingham has gained attention for its downtown rebirth. But the Birmingham area economy still falls behind similar cities, particularly when it comes to job growth. A partnership announced in December between the city and the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank, aims to boost the Birmingham economy with an eye toward making those gains more equitable. Read more.
Lashunda Scales used a discussion of a possible development in Warrior to remind her fellow Jefferson County commissioners that there are other underdeveloped areas in the county.
Commissioner Steve Ammons agreed. “We have a lot out in McCalla. We don’t have as much opportunity in north Jefferson County. We’re trying to take those opportunities and distribute them,” he said. Read more.