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Old 12-17-2019, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
578 posts, read 428,756 times
Reputation: 224

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Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccity3 View Post
“ The Global Forum for Freedom & Justice – the brainchild of Washington, D.C., philanthropist Wayne Reynolds – would mark a massive investment in Birmingham’s Civil Rights District, where revitalization efforts are underway.

It could include a partnership with a major university that would allow 1,000 students to study at the site – creating an opportunity to bring emerging leaders from around the world to Birmingham.

Speaking to a group of community leaders on Tuesday at the Florentine, Reynolds said the Global Forum would be designed as a gateway to America’s civil rights trail. He said it could complement major Alabama civil rights attractions like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the new Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery.

The forum would be located on Seventh Avenue North between 16th and 17th streets. A portion of the property is owned by the city of Birmingham, and a portion is owned by Alabama Power Co. It is located across from Kelly Ingram Park and across the street from the historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. It is located in an Opportunity Zone.

Several heavy hitters from Alabama’s business community are listed on the forum’s leadership council, including Alabama Power Co. CEO Mark Crosswhite, former Protective Life CEO Johnny Johns, Regions CEO John Turner and UAB President Ray Watts. Crosswhite spoke at the event on Tuesday.

Reynolds said the group will soon announce an alliance with a major university that would create a campus at the Forum that would include 1,000 students. The project would also include housing for students and faculty. While the Forum itself is a nonprofit venture, the overall project would include opportunities for adjacent for-profit development that could include a hotel and retail space. Reynolds mentioned at the meeting that the group is looking for developers to partner on the project.

Reynolds said he has been working on the project for more than a year and noted the project has garnered interest from notable organizations and entities around the world – from the ACLU and UNESCO to the White House.

Alabama Power’s Crosswhite said the company is working to support the project, as well as a master plan for the district.

Reynolds recently told the BBJ that the project could cost an estimated $40 million and that between $10 million and $20 million had been committed to the project.

Given the global scale and ambition of the project, Reynolds – who led a massive fundraising campaign at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. – believes the funding will come.“

This could be a game changer for the Civil Rights District! They have definitely assembled some very big names and heavy hitters. My hope is that the architectural design of every single piece of this campus is spectacular and world-class.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:12 AM
 
Location: 35217
1,142 posts, read 885,098 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotLuv4Bham View Post
This could be a game changer for the Civil Rights District! They have definitely assembled some very big names and heavy hitters. My hope is that the architectural design of every single piece of this campus is spectacular and world-class.
I heard this has been in the works since Bell was in office. So this isn't a spur of the moment idea of today. It probably will happen once the rest of the funds is available. Best guess, maybe 3 years from now.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:06 AM
 
349 posts, read 193,296 times
Reputation: 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcalumni01 View Post
I heard this has been in the works since Bell was in office. So this isn't a spur of the moment idea of today. It probably will happen once the rest of the funds is available. Best guess, maybe 3 years from now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccity3 View Post
I know this is very “this time is different,” but I think the plan Urban Impact has put together for the Freedom Walk, along with the National Monument Status, will make all this much more likely to happen.

Totally agree, with both sentiments here. With the Civil Rights district being a National monument and the primary Civil Rights history attraction this type of targeted investment will certainly be a game changer as far as the quality of the experience for visitors and residents will upgrade in a real way. With the Freedom Walk you have an entertainment area with several food and retail options for tourists on 4th Ave. N, and having a Global Forum for Freedom and Justice facility in the Civil Rights District would allow Birmingham to host think tanks, forums, and panels on civil rights and human rights issues. It will also allow for some of the brightest minds and emerging leaders around the world to meet and share ideas (salon style lol) and be on the cutting edge of social science specifically human and civil rights. That would do wonders for our brain drain of the 2000's and definitely bolster our reputation as a place with specialized higher learning resources. UAB, Miles, Samford, Birmingham Southern, Montevallo etc. could all utilize this space for students, very exciting!
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:25 AM
 
212 posts, read 87,741 times
Reputation: 72
Would be awesome if it comes to fruition. Seems a lot further along than pure concept stage. It's encouraging to have so many Birmingham heavy hitters on board already.

This would be a huge catalyst for that area and expand the scope of the downtown core further west towards the interstate. Maybe the biggest every day impact though would be this 1,000 student satellite campus for a "major university". My take is it's not a school nearby and would probably be a separate investment (plus associated professor jobs) from the $40M figure cited to build the Global Forum.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:50 AM
 
247 posts, read 86,924 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhamblazer View Post
Would be awesome if it comes to fruition. Seems a lot further along than pure concept stage. It's encouraging to have so many Birmingham heavy hitters on board already.

This would be a huge catalyst for that area and expand the scope of the downtown core further west towards the interstate. Maybe the biggest every day impact though would be this 1,000 student satellite campus for a "major university". My take is it's not a school nearby and would probably be a separate investment (plus associated professor jobs) from the $40M figure cited to build the Global Forum.
Yeah my take away when I read that was that it didn't seem like a university in the state. I could see it being something like a University of Chicago (just as an example). They have satellite campuses in Honk Kong, Paris, Beijing, etc. As you pointed out, that might be the biggest impact on the city. That's 1,000 students that would locate near the city center if not on campus. Also 1,000 more people (plus families, visitors, etc.) that come to Birmingham when maybe they wouldn't have previously.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:53 AM
 
Location: 35217
1,142 posts, read 885,098 times
Reputation: 550
They already have 20 millions in the bank for it. And I think this doesn't even includes funds from the city, county, or state either. Plus a couple more large corporations in the city might join in as well, plus those connected to non profit human rights organizations across the country.
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:38 AM
 
247 posts, read 86,924 times
Reputation: 54
This is my last comment on the article / store for the time being, but I just re-read it again.

"But there have been some concerns raised in the community, including how the project could impact the nearby Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Reynolds said the goal is not to build a competing facility, but rather a complementary one that doesn't duplicate efforts.

“We’re not replacing the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. We’re driving hundreds of thousands more visitors to them,” he said. “We don’t want to retell the same story they are telling across the street.""

How could you possibly hear about this project and think it was detrimental to the BCRI?
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:45 PM
 
349 posts, read 193,296 times
Reputation: 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccity3 View Post
This is my last comment on the article / store for the time being, but I just re-read it again.

"But there have been some concerns raised in the community, including how the project could impact the nearby Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Reynolds said the goal is not to build a competing facility, but rather a complementary one that doesn't duplicate efforts.

“We’re not replacing the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. We’re driving hundreds of thousands more visitors to them,” he said. “We don’t want to retell the same story they are telling across the street.""

How could you possibly hear about this project and think it was detrimental to the BCRI?
I always saw this as a complementary project, in fact I am hoping that it is somewhere next to or near the Civil Rights Institute. It will certainly bring more foot traffic, and tour buses to the Civil Rights Institute.
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Birmingham, AL
1,423 posts, read 909,378 times
Reputation: 621
^from the article...

The forum would be located on Seventh Avenue North between 16th and 17th streets. A portion of the property is owned by the city of Birmingham, and a portion is owned by Alabama Power Co. It is located across from Kelly Ingram Park and across the street from the historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. It is located in an Opportunity Zone.
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:44 PM
 
247 posts, read 86,924 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhamblazer View Post
Interesting item on tomorrow's city council agenda:

A Resolution setting a public hearing January 7, 2020 to consider the
adoption of an Ordinance “TO AMEND THE ZONING DISTRICT MAP
OF THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM” (Case No. ZAC2019-00038) to
change zone district boundaries from B-3 (Community Business District)
and B-1 (Neighborhood Business District) to MU-D (Mixed-Use
Downtown) in order to construct a new, mixed-use development that
includes hotel, medical office, retail and restaurant uses filed by Corporate
Realty Development, representing the owner, Southern Research Institute,
for the properties located at 817 22nd Street South, 823 22nd Street South,
825 22nd Street South, 2200 9th Avenue South, 2228 9th Avenue South,
832 23rd Street South, 828 23rd Street South, 826 23rd Street South, 824
23rd Street South, 806 23rd Street South and 2206 8th Avenue South

Looks like Southern Research is going to be demolishing some older structures and building a large mixed-use development (hotel, medical office, restaurant/retail) on the block borders by University Blvd, 22nd St S, 23rd St S, and 9th Ave S.
Here's the Corporate Realty project related to this:

https://www.bizjournals.com/birmingh..._news_headline

"Corporate Realty is seeking zoning approval that would pave the way for a project that would include medical office space as well as ground-floor retail, restaurants and a hotel on the University Boulevard corridor between UAB and St. Vincent's Birmingham.

The site, which sits between 22nd and 23rd Streets South, is made up of almost a dozen parcels that are currently owned by Southern Research Institute. Corporate Realty plans to purchase the property.

To move the project forward, the company asked that the site be rezoned from business district to mixed-use downtown. Both the Southside and Five Points South neighborhood associations unanimously recommended the request be approved, and the city of Birmingham’s zoning advisory committee also recommended approval. The city’s planning and zoning committee approved the request at a special called meeting earlier this month."

Only thing I hope for is a notable hotel. All of the hotels close to UAB are pretty mediocre / suburban.
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