Michael Symes

City Center District Manager


As the City Center District Manager, I want to always keep my finger on the pulse of downtown. Whether it’s through our Clean & Safe program, community outreach, special projects, or daring problem-solving for our stakeholders, my focus is on adding that next level of MAGIC for living, working, and playing in the downtown City Center. Whew – that’s a mouthful. In short, I want to be the property manager for our downtown property managers. What would YOU like to see in the City Center? Let me know!

Get to know Michael: 

> Memoir about your life, what would you title it?

Accidental Roots: How I came to live in (and love) The Magic City.

With no family ties to Birmingham, my move here after college was intended to be short-lived. Just long enough for me to acquire some work experience and then run off to a “big city”. Back then, I traveled constantly for work, which took me to these other major cities I had built up in my head to be unattainably amazing. But somewhere along the way – and to my surprise – I started missing certain things about Birmingham. Maybe it was the newness of Railroad Park or the excitement over having a brewery (Free The Hops!). It was momentum. That’s when I realized, “Why move to a city whose identity is already established, when I could actually be involved and help create that growth here??” … 16 years later, I’m still here.

> How do you enjoy spending time with friends in the City?

I tend to be a pretty competitive person (but not a sore loser) – whether it’s in sports, board games or random useless knowledge. On a weekend, you can probably find me cheering on our teams at Protective Stadium and Regions Park; or at TopGolf swinging for the nets with no aim. On weekdays, I love a good night of trivia or bingo at some of our local watering holes.