If you’ve scrolled through your social media feeds lately, you’ve probably seen Birminghamians celebrating a big win for Birmingham’s economy and our growing tech scene.
Landing, an end-to-end platform from Shipt founder Bill Smith (who is also a REV investor—thanks, Bill!) that lets you book furnished apartments across the country, is relocating its headquarters from San Francisco to Birmingham. The tech company plans to create 816 new full-time jobs in Birmingham and is located on downtown’s Heaviest Corner in the historic John Hand Building. You can read more about the announcement on AL.com.
If you know anything about REV, you know we’re ecstatic about the good news and we’re celebrating another sign of Birmingham’s continued growth—#YayBham! And, of course, a big congratulations to Landing, plus all the Birmingham economic development organizations that have worked to make this happen.
This is obviously good for downtown… but why exactly? We asked REV President & CEO David Fleming for his take on what the move means for downtown Birmingham’s place in the world now and in the future.
Why do you think tech companies are choosing downtown?
Downtown’s walkability, amenities and authenticity of place are assets to attracting great talent. Innovative new companies need great talent, and downtown Birmingham attracts that level of talent.
What does Landing’s move into the John Hand mean for Birmingham’s downtown office market?
Landing represents Birmingham’s attractiveness for innovation companies and innovation jobs. We are excited to showcase Landing as another reason Birmingham is the heart and soul of the region. Landing is an asset in our innovation economy that can show other companies the value of locating in downtown Birmingham. We look forward to the job growth in downtown that Landing will produce. Great talent is attracted to great places. Landing’s commitment to downtown shows that downtown Birmingham is a great place.
What kind of positive ripple effects do you think this move will have downtown?
Job growth like this downtown supports more vibrancy. We will see that vibrancy in restaurants, storefronts and residential units. As top-level talent is attracted to these jobs, they will look nearby for places to live, eat and play.
How does Landing fit with REV Birmingham’s vision for the future of downtown?
We believe that downtown Birmingham is a historic place with an eye to the future. Landing’s location downtown builds off the great history in the John Hand Building and looks to the future of the tech industry.
We know you're a history lover; tell us about the history of the John Hand Building!
The John Hand Building was born out of Birmingham’s startup culture in the first 40 to 50 years of its history. It was part of a skyscraper collection on 20th Street North that started in 1902 and ended in 1912; it would eventually become known as the “Heaviest Corner on Earth.” When John Hand was finished it was the tallest building in Alabama for about a year, until the completion of the building we know today as City Federal. John Hand has always been home to important Birmingham businesses and commerce. Recent examples include Shipt and Cadence Bank.
2021 State of Downtown BHM Report
There’s a lot going on Downtown BHM! REV has gathered qualitative and quantitative data from downtown Birmingham stakeholders in a June 2021 State of Downtown BHM report. See where downtown is right now as well as what we see in downtown’s future (and what we have to do to get there!).
Magic City Match is a program that transforms lives and opens doors for Black entrepreneurs and business owners. Led by REV Birmingham and powered by Prosper, this initiative aims to create opportunities for Black-owned businesses by matching them with brick-and-mortar spaces where they can thrive. After a successful pilot program in 2022, Magic City Match is back in action and ready to empower a new wave of entrepreneurs.
One of the most legendary and storied neighborhoods of Birmingham is Woodlawn. It is a community, anchored by one of the great public high schools of Birmingham, that has produced many citizens who contributed to the life of our city and has had an impact beyond the neighborhood itself. In a short post like this true justice cannot be done to the rich heritage and legacy of Woodlawn. However, we hope that this narrative brings together many of the diverse threads that make up the fabric of the community’s historic arc in a concise piece.
Woof, woof! I’ve been having an absolute blast visiting my sister in Downtown Birmingham. I can hardly wait to share all the details with you once you return from your vacation. In the meantime, I wanted to put paw to paper and tell you all about it, with the hope of convincing you that moving Downtown could be the most wonderful decision ever.