BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The former Century Plaza Mall will see new life through redevelopment as a logistics and distribution center, all made possible through a rezoning approved by the Birmingham City Council Tuesday.
The council voted unanimously to rezone the former mall property from a CB-2 contingency general business district to a “Q” I-1 qualified light manufacturing district. paving the way for a logistics and distribution center. Plans are to redevelop the property into a 200,000 square-foot last-mile distribution center that could bring over 300 jobs to the city’s District 2.
Century Plaza has been closed since 2009. Councilor Hunter Williams, whose district covers the property, said this has been a major point of concern for residents over the years.
“One thing residents on the eastern side of Birmingham have been asking for is the repurposing of the old Century Plaza Mall,” Williams said in a statement. “While many options have been considered over the years, unfortunately, none of those options materialized due to the immense cost associated with rehabbing or demolishing the shuttered mall. This new facility, along with the VA Center that is currently being developed just down the street, will bring hundreds of jobs to Birmingham creating a huge synergy to the Crestwood Boulevard corridor.”
However, not everyone is in favor of the project. The Eastwood Neighborhood Association voted 6–5 against rezoning for the new logistics center. However, Williams said his office has received calls from dozens of residents who live in that area and other adjoining neighborhoods who are in favor of the project.
Here are a few of the details on the project:
- The facility will be a state-of-the-art Class A single-story building with concrete walls and glass features at the entry.
- The facility will provide significant jobs with over 1,400 delivery drivers operating to and from the property and over 320 associates and managers working within the premises.
- The proposed facility is designed for a package delivery service. Packages arriving at this facility are prepackaged in cardboard boxes and labeled for shipping within local neighborhoods and areas surrounding the facility. The packages are brought into the facility via semi trucks, using designated loading dock positions. The model limits the number of large trucks that would arrive at the facility in order to mitigate traffic concerns.
The new center is set to open by next summer.
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