BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Birmingham estimates that in the last decade the development of Regions Park has had a billion dollar economic impact on the city.

Now, the man behind that project has his sights set on two projects that he expects to produce a similar economic boom for Birmingham.

“Some people say why and I say why not? I don’t look at Birmingham as being a place where we can’t do things. I believe we can,” said developer Robert Simon.

Right now, Simon is piloting two massive projects that by all accounts will be major economic catalysts for Birmingham for decades to come.

It was Simon’s vision that brought Regions Field to downtown Birmingham.

“I’d like to tell you that I’m surprised but I’m not. I thought we would do exactly what we’ve done. I didn’t think we would do it as quickly. I didn’t think we would get to the economic impact that we got to as quickly as we did,” said Simon.

Simon is working on Edgehill at Southtown, a $350-400 million project that broke ground in April and will feature new mixed use housing, retail, green spaces and expand Birmingham’s burgeoning research district.

Cornell Wesley is the economic point man for the city of Birmingham. He sees the investment of the research district at Edgehill at Southtown as a wat for Birmingham to produce homegrown unicorns.

“This is important because Birmingham knows we may not recruit Google, but we can sure enough grow one,” said Wesley. “The commercial aspect of Southtown will support who we are today and who we want to be in the future.”

Additionally, there is The Star at Uptown, the centerpiece of which is a 9,500 seat amphitheater.

But the $300 million project will also bring mixed housing, retail and new life to a Norwood community after decades of decline.

“We are talking about a half a billion dollars of impact there. It’s taking a blighted part of our community and reimagining what it could become,” said Wesley.

“I think the transformation in that area is going to be a game changer for the area,” Simon said.

As for timelines, The Star at Uptown has plans to be open by 2025.

Edgehill at Southtown is being built in phases. Phase 1 is 60 urban, mid-rise apartments that are slated to be open by December of 2024.