In response to COVID-related restrictions, REV worked with the City of Birmingham in 2020 to create a temporary permit giving street-level businesses options for using nearby sidewalk and parking spaces to expand their operations. We learned a lot about what worked and didn’t work for these outdoor dining setups in terms of materials, design requirements, placement etc. All that knowledge about best practices was rolled into our Shared Space Design Guide to give retail and restaurant owners an easily digestible guide filled with ideas and resources to utilize the relaxed restrictions on outdoor commerce during COVID. The design guide contained diagrams of properly executed outdoor dining spaces, as well as instructions on the required diagrams, and places to rent materials if needed.
The increased revenue and vibrancy generated by businesses who took advantage of the shared spaces permit was an amazing boost to the city. Rather than roll back that progress by ending the temporary permit, REV and the City of Birmingham Department of Transportation worked together to make a new, permanent process for shared outdoor dining and retail in 2021. The new Public Space Permit draws on almost two years of experience with outdoor dining expansion to extend the best parts, like more types of usable public space, expands the offering, now allowing outdoor retail, and includes a funding mechanism for increased oversight to ensure that all the new spaces remain safe, attractive, and ADA compliant.
In early 2022, City Council officially approved the Public Space Permit. That means businesses who created temporary outdoor spaces during COVID can now apply to make those spaces permanent additions to their serving or retail footprint (which means more revenue)! The increased certainty of a new permanent process for these spaces should make it even more attractive for businesses to invest a little time and money in creating them. We hope to see even more colorful dining set-ups dotting Birmingham sidewalks and adding vibrancy in 2022 and beyond!
Why your voice on historic preservation is essential
Filed Under: Front Page, Get Involved, Historic Preservation, Residential
President and CEO of REV Birmingham David Fleming writes about the importance of historic preservation and highlights the advocacy efforts that saved the French Quarter in New Orleans and the Forest Park neighborhood in Birmingham. The article concludes with a call to action, urging for new leaders and the implementation of various strategies to protect and celebrate Birmingham’s historic buildings and places.
It's show time at the Woodlawn Theater!
Filed Under: Filling Vacant Spaces, Front Page, Small Business, Woodlawn, Yaysayers
Lights, Camera, Action! The rebirth of the Woodlawn Theater is happening this weekend in the heart of Woodlawn. The theater is opening its doors to the public with two extraordinary opening events that are FREE to the public. The 1400 square foot venue has a wide range of amenities and even has a full-service bar. Because of the Mason Music Foundation, this venue is filling a much needed resource for local musicians to perform. Keep reading to discover how the theater came back to life and its impact on the community.
What Stallions cornerback, Brian Allen loves about Birmingham
Filed Under: Downtown Birmingham, Events, Front Page, Yaysayers
Brian Allen, a talented cornerback, has made the remarkable transition from a small town in Texas to the vibrant city of Birmingham. Choosing Birmingham for his football career for two consecutive seasons, Brian’s unwavering dedication and exceptional skills have made him a standout figure in the world of football. To dive deeper into Brian’s journey and discover his genuine appreciation for the city, watch this video with the link below!