ENSLEY, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Birmingham is continuing to take steps toward helping revitalize the Ensley community. On Saturday, city leaders, neighbors and business owners all came together to share their vision for the Ramsay McCormack site.
After sitting vacant for over 30 years, the city of Birmingham joined forces with the Ensley district developers to begin a new chapter.
“You can work and live here all at the same time, so it’s exciting to see it come back alive,” said John Hilliard, Birmingham City Council Member District 9.
“The new building that is going up will benefit all of the neighbors and really bring jobs and opportunities to the Ensley area,” said Aldrich Callins, Ensley business owner.
Callins has been a business owner in the Ensley community for over 40 years.
“When the major industries left the area, we have had a lot of meetings asking what can be done with the buildings. We’ve had a lot of promises but it got to the point where it was really frustrating to do talk but nothing about it,” said Callins.
Talk has finally turned into action. Developers are cleaning up debris from the demolition and finalizing the building plans for the 30,000 square-foot five-story building.
“We’re finishing the design work right now and then we will be working to get the materials ordered. You may know the materials have gone up incredibly and they are hard to get, and the lead times are hard but we’re navigating all of those difficulties as we try to do vertical construction,” said Irvin Henderson, Ensley District Developer.
The multimillion-dollar project will have commercial retail space on the bottom and four floors of office space above.
“Then we do expect to have a small coffee shop on the bottom level, we do expect to have a major regional bank as an anchor tenant, and then the rest will be logistic businesses,” said Henderson.
City leaders believe the development will be a beacon of light for the Ensley community for years to come.
“Other businesses will be coming here because of it, other housing and other living. We have the Ensley Works that is in progress. It connects to Birmingham and Oceanport, there are unlimited dreams in the Ensley area,” said Hilliard.
Developers say they plan to start construction on the new building by mid-fall.