We are approaching the finish line for the 20th Street Refresh, which calls for a celebration – and you’re invited! The City Center Business Improvement District (BID), funded by downtown property owners, is partnering with the City of Birmingham and REV Birmingham to celebrate a refreshed Birmingham Green.
We started working on this project back in October, so here’s a little refresher on what you can expect to see at the end of it:
expansion of and new designs for the bike and flex lanes installed on a portion of the
street in 2020
native and drought-resistant landscaping, consistent with the plant palette found in
Railroad Park and Rotary Trail
flexible cafe-style public seating plus interactive elements
sidewalk and crosswalk improvements
The project, which includes five years of street maintenance and programming, is funded by
proceeds of the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District. TIF funds are a portion of downtown
property taxes that are set aside and, by law, can only be used to fund capital projects like this in the downtown district.
The City Center BID’s board of directors partnered with REV Birmingham and collaborated with community partners to instigate planning and design for the project. PNC, the Hugh Kaul
Foundation, and the Robert R. Meyer Foundation supported pre-development work. Cawaco
RC&D funded the installation of new trees along 20th Street. Renta Urban Land Design was the landscape architect and Taylor Miree was the general contractor. Landscape design partners Dix Hite + Partners, Golightly Landscape Architecture, Goodwin Mills Cawood, Macknally Land Design, Renta Urban Land Design and Studio A Design contributed pro bono conceptual designs.
As The World Games 2022 approaches, the street has been designated “World Games Boulevard.” The refreshed streetscape will be a thoroughfare of activity for the 3,600 competing athletes and tons of international visitors, and the street now houses seven of 20 The World Games sculptures making their home across the city. The colorful structural pieces line up to show athletes playing a variety of sports when viewed from certain angles. On 20th Street, pedestrians can see sumo, lacrosse, flying disc, karate, tug of war, waterski and handball sculptures. Designed by Brian Roberson and Dan Taylor from local architectural firm, bDot, they are a legacy gift to the Magic City from The Games and its partners, including Brasfield &Gorrie, Altec, O’Neal Steel, Craneworks, and Structural Design Group.
“What we’ve done together on 20th Street is revolutionary and a sign of Birmingham investing in itself,” said David Williams, Chair of the City Center BID’s Board (CAP) and President & CEO of Harbert Realty Services. “This kind of public-private partnership makes Downtown Birmingham more attractive for new businesses and talent, and a strong downtown creates growth throughout the entire Birmingham region. It is an example that things can get done in downtown.”
The Rainbow Viaduct, one of Birmingham’s oldest bridges, has been transporting people between the south and north sides of downtown for more than 130 years! Now as we look toward its future, you’ll see a pilot project on the bridge to make it more pedestrian and cyclist friendly while we determine the best next steps.
NiEl' Atelier Grand Opening Showcases Inspirational Journey of Ukrainian Family Achieving the American Dream
In less than a year after arriving in the United States, the Vyshyvanyuk family, who recently fled from Ukraine, is now launching NiEl’ Bridal Atelier, a custom wedding dress and alterations business in Forest Park. Olena and Mykola Vyshyvanyuk, along with their three children – Viktoriia Vyshyvanyuk, Eva Vyshyvanyuk, and Loanna Vyshyvanyuk – made the courageous decision to leave Ukraine on November 7, 2022. This family’s inspiring story serves as a testament to the boundless opportunities that small businesses can achieve in Birmingham.
Are you a startup looking for a foot in the door? Did you know we have an accelerator program that helps founders begin their entrepreneurial journey right here in the Switch district? TechStars is a dynamic three-month program that empowers entrepreneurs in their quest to discover product-market fit, gain traction, and access both capital and global mentorship. Operating in more than 30 cities worldwide, Techstars added Birmingham as a host for their energy-focused cohort.