Demolition preps begin at Birmingham’s Southtown housing complex

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Demolition work could soon begin at Southtown Court Apartments, a Birmingham housing complex in the heart of the city.

A fence has gone up around much of the property and old appliances are being removed from the now vacant units to prepare for the work.

“You can see a lot of bricks falling in the next few months, for certain,” said David Northern, CEO of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD).

Plans have been in place to tear down the aging facility that has also dealt with shootings and other violent crimes. A new mixed-use development will be built on the property in phases over the next few years.

Most of Southtown’s residents have already been relocated to other properties and can apply to return after the work is complete.

“A lot of people see the fences going up and we are ready for demo now. We had a lot of issues related to dotting I’s and crossing T’s to make sure we completely prepare the property in the process of moving forward and it is exciting that it is getting ready to happen,” said Northern.

City leaders said the complex will offer more services to residents, similar to other large cities in the south.

“New public housing communities are more mixed, more integrated into the community where there is actually services and opportunities built into those developments,” said Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, who represents the area.

While O’Quinn said there may be some inconveniences during construction, he expects the positives to outweigh any negatives. The new project is expected to bring jobs and other benefits to returning and future residents.

“Office space, maybe even lab space, potentially a hotel, other retail, retailers, restaurants, improved public transit stops,” O’Quinn said.

Other HABD properties may also see future improvements. Northern said the board plans to look for additional developers in hopes of improving the quality of life in complexes across the city.

“In Southtown, we moved a lot of clients with the voucher program where they were able to lease with landlords, but we want to work with some more of our development partners to create some new housing so that our clients can move into new housing now while we work on some of the older properties that we have in our inventory,” said Northern.

When asked about a timeline for the demolition, Northern said some of the plans are still in the works.

“Our goal and our hopes is to have demolition start before the end of the year or 2022,” said Northern.

Stay with CBS 42 for updates.

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