BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Five Points West area of Birmingham was the original shopping epicenter of the city.
After years of neglect, there is a new emphasis on returning the area to its past glory. Attorney and developer Eric Guster is one of those investing in the area.
”I’m an Ensley High graduate,” Guster said. “So this place is in my heart.”
Guster has started construction on a commercial development off Bessemer Highway that will house a new law office for his practice as well as medical tenants.
”We are working to revitalize this area, and Mayor Randall Woodfin has been so instrumental in trying to get quality business here,” Guster said.
A block from Guster’s development, a new McDonald’s cut the ribbon on a grand refurbishing. Nick Volluzzo, the owner and operator of the Five Points West McDonald’s, said the upgrade is an effort to bring something new and fresh to the area.
”We were ready to compete,” Volluzzo said. “We pride ourselves on being the best, and we are trying to deliver that for this community.”
Birmingham City Councilor Carol Clarke said the bustle of activity is a simple case of supply and demand.
”It’s sort of the town center of the western side of Birmingham, so we have a lot of need for retail services,” Clarke said. “So this is a great place, and it’s always been a center for commerce. It does feel like there’s a lot of traction and activity over here, and we are really excited about that.”