BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — An effort to start revitalization of downtown Ensley’s Ramsay-McCormack building has taken a new step.
The Birmingham City Council has approved Ensley District Developers to spearhead the project, paying the group $200,000 to develop a preliminary plan for redevelopment for the historic building. According to a press release from city hall, once the plan is approved, an additional $3.5 million will be given for expenses related to securing funding for the project, as well as getting a project manager, architect and contractor. Another $2.5 million would be given by the city for construction and infrastructure costs.
“We’re excited about it. This is a big deal,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a statement following the approval of the project. “We want to be the catalyst for seeing Ensley business owners be successful. This building represents a catalyst for the business owners in Ensley.”
The 10-story Ramsay-McCormack was first built in 1929 at the corner of Avenue E and 19th Street Ensley. The building has been vacant since 1983, when it was sold for $1 to the city.
For a time, former mayor William Bell had plans to turn the building into a public safety complex, but a Jefferson County judge ordered the city to demolish the building. However, that decision was later reversed.
“Revitalizing it now attracts the commercial jobs that create foot traffic for the retail and commerce around it,” said Josh Carpenter, director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity in a written statement. “It’s a huge stimulus and a testament to the city’s commitment to invest in Ensley.”
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