Parkside development in Birmingham moves forward
The first phase will feature a mix of pop-up tenants, including local retailer Cahaba Cycles and retail concept Garage Sale, plus a calendar of outdoor community events. In a news release, Orchestra Partners said the recent developments are a major step forward in realizing its vision and that of renowned landscape architect Tom Leader as outlined in the Parkside master plan. The goal: to create a vibrant and walkable entertainment destination connecting surrounding neighborhoods.
A key feature in the Urban Supply project is an alleyway called “The Aisle” that will connect to integrated outdoor spaces throughout the development. Orchestra Partners said Urban Supply will offer a safe environment for Birmingham residents to get outside and enjoy the city.
“We intentionally incorporate outdoor elements throughout every Orchestra experience, and Urban Supply is the best realization of this approach to date,” said Hunter Renfroe, Orchestra Partners co-founder and principal. “Revitalizing this historic district into an outdoor-friendly destination will provide a safe community gathering place for our residents to come together throughout COVID-19 and in the future.”
The Parkside area is named for its relationship to Railroad Park, the urban greenspace in the center of the city that has sparked a surge of redevelopment in surrounding blocks. Leader was a principal designer of Railroad Park, which opened a decade ago.
Orchestra Partners is working with Alabama Power on the redevelopment of the historic Powell Steam Plant, on the east side of Railroad Park, as part of a broader master plan for the fast-evolving Parkside area.
Cahaba Cycles, an independently owned bicycle shop in the Birmingham area since 1982, plans to set up its first ever pop-up location at Urban Supply in April.
“With Railroad Park and the Rotary Trail in close proximity to Urban Supply, it’s refreshing to see downtown become more connected with so many cyclists, runners and pedestrians,” said Cahaba Cycles Owner Faris Malki. “The cycling industry has also experienced a major expansion during the pandemic. Establishing a pop-up in the heart of Parkside will help cater to this increased demand, knowing our community will soon be eager to spend more time outside enjoying the warm spring weather.”
Urban Supply’s other announced pop-up will feature Garage Sale, a throwback retail concept inspired by vintage shopping from the 1960s to the 1990s, Orchestra Partners said. Under the guidance of Good Baby Management, a Denver-based real estate company specializing in placemaking and development, Garage Sale plans to open at Urban Supply in April.
“With vinyl records, vintage clothing, live outdoor performances and a bar where you can enjoy a margarita, Garage Sale will have a little something for everyone looking to take a vintage trip down memory lane,” said Josh Sampson, founder of Good Baby Management. “Our team sees tremendous opportunity in Birmingham, and we look forward to bringing a unique twist to the downtown retail scene this spring.”
The collection of warehouses west of Railroad Park opened in 1931 to supply bulk goods during the depths of the Great Depression looking forward to better economic times – hence the name Urban Supply. Orchestra’s plans call for restoring the historic structures into a mix of restaurants, bars, retail, office and fitness concepts.
“Urban Supply is a preservation effort as much as anything else,” Renfroe said. He cited recent projects in the neighborhood that converted existing structures into residential space, entertainment venues and offices, including the Denham Building and Baker’s Row “that have been successful in paying tribute to the historic fabric of our city.”
To build excitement around The Aisle, Orchestra Partners is joining with local businesses to host a series of coronavirus-safe outdoor events at Urban Supply. The first kicks off this weekend with “Fearless Fest,” a wellness pop-up celebrating self-care and community. It is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Other events this spring include “Magic City Marketplace” March 6, April 3 and May 8; “Grub on the Lot” on March 13, April 10 and May 15; “The Barking Lot” on March 17 and a chicken and beer festival on April 16. To view the full calendar of events and to learn more about Urban Supply, visit www.urbansupplybham.com.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)