REV’s Woodlawn Urban Main Community Facilitator Jason Avery is focused on helping the community’s legacy business owners thrive in the growing Woodlawn commercial district. His work on Woodlawn facade refreshes, like the one at The Shoppes of Wood Station, led him to a new idea to expand impact to the whole district: a toolshare.

What’s a toolshare? It’s like a library that has tools instead of books, where business owners can borrow things like paint sprayers, a pressure washer, chainsaw, circular saws, drills, extension ladders, and scaffolding—all of which would get seriously expensive for just one business owner to buy up.

Avery plans to launch the Woodlawn Toolbox this spring. He envisions a place where equipment can be rented any day of the week, making it easier for business owners to keep their brick-and-mortars in tip-top shape.

“I was taken aback by the lack of basic maintenance materials that the businesses we were helping with facade refreshes had,” Avery said. “In addition, I discovered that several of the business owners were fine with doing basic changes and updates to their facades themselves, but did not have the extra funds to purchase the required equipment. That was my lightbulb moment.”

You can help build the toolbox!

Donate to the Woodlawn Toolbox by emailing Jason Avery at jbird@uab.edu.

An online request system is being built for Woodlawn business owners who occupy a commercial space in the district. Borrowing tools will have time limits based on the size of the job. Items will be available for up to seven days with the option of renewal if no one else has requested use.

Avery is hopeful that the shared toolbox will brighten up the district and increase walkability. He predicts businesses will be able to use the Woodlawn Toolbox for interior and exterior refreshes, landscaping, window cleaning, murals, small repairs, gutter cleaning and more.

“The outcome we hope to see is that the shared toolbox will become an attractive perk for businesses who come to Woodlawn,” Avery said. “By developing multiple support mechanisms for businesses, I hope that we are seen as more of a destination when businesses decide where to locate.”

Stay tuned for updates on this project!

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