It's right there in our mission.
REV creates vibrant commercial districts.
Why? Because vibrant business districts are hubs of cultural commerce. They create a cool factor that enhances our lives and helps attract and retain talent and business to our region.
REV focuses our work in two main areas within the city of Birmingham.
REV’s work in Woodlawn is designed to propel equitable entrepreneurship. By working closely with community facilitators and volunteer groups, REV is empowering and supporting engaged residents on projects like facade improvements in the Woodlawn business district that reduce blight and improve design.
Since 2014, Woodlawn’s 55th Place has been the site of Woodlawn Street Market, an event that creates a platform for budding entrepreneurs and that brings new audiences to Woodlawn to experience its renaissance.
Oh — also, REV’s office is in Woodlawn; come see us at SocialVenture!
With lots of input from downtown Birmingham stakeholders, REV is driving vibrancy in Downtown with a refreshed CAP Clean & Safe program, enhanced design of public spaces, the filling of vacant spaces and coordination of downtown branding.
REV manages the CAP program, whose Safety Ambassadors are downtown for you to keep things clean and safe. They help improve your City Center experience, from picking up litter from your sidewalks to helping you find parking or the perfect place to eat.
REV consults with developers who are adaptively reusing downtown’s buildings, as well as many small business owners who ultimately fill vacant spaces (both in the City Center and in neighborhood business districts). Our team provides context for specific districts and connects people with the resources and incentives they need to realize their dreams.
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.
How do we do place-based revitalization?
At the forefront of all of our place-based work is this core value: community leads, design feeds. That means we appreciate that each district is unique, with entirely different personalities, needs and definitions of impact. We examine every little piece of a community and work with stakeholders from business owners to neighborhood associations to government (and many more) to agree on a vision and design strategies that fuel it.
Based on the National Main Street Center’s best practices, REV’s place-based approach to revitalization in Birmingham can be applied differently based on what communities need. Here’s our recipe for creating for downtowns with a cool factor.
WHY WE WORK IN THESE DISTRICTS
REV’s approach works best in districts that have what we call the three P’s: Place, Partners & Payers. Geographies where REV works must have:
- A historic commercial fabric with a spark to build around;
- Willing community partners who are ready to roll up their sleeves;
- Resources to sustain the work – whether government partners, foundation grant funding or property owners banding together to form a business improvement district (BID).
Would you like your community to work with REV?
Send us a message and we’ll talk strategies.