BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to rezone the former Century Plaza property.
The property goes from CB-2 (Contingency General Business District) to “Q” I-1 (Qualified Light Manufacturing District), paving the way for a logistics and distribution center.
The redevelopment will transform the former mall into a 200,000 square-foot distribution center that could bring over 300 jobs to District 2.
The item passed with several “Q conditions” that prevent delivery trucks from entering on the Oporto Madrid Blvd side of the property. There are also restrictions of future uses, which prevent the property being used as a dairy factory, animal kennel, ministorage or a private club, among other restrictions.
The Century Plaza Mall has been closed since 2009.
Councilor Hunter Williams, who represents the district, said this has been a major point of concern for residents over the years.
“Right now it’s detracting from the neighborhood. It’s an eye sore. It’s obviously not maintained well,” said Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams, who represents the district. “Hopefully this will transform it into something that has been shuttered and abandoned for over a decade into something that’s providing jobs and hopefully providing additional car counts on this corridor which will allow more restaurants and more businesses to open as well.”
Here are a few of the details of the proposed project:
- The facility will be a state-of-the-art class-A single-story building with concrete walls and glass features at the entry.
- The facility will provide significant jobs with over 1,400 delivery drivers operating to and from the property and over 320 associates and managers working within the premises.
- The proposed facility is designed for a package delivery service. Packages arriving at this facility are prepackaged in cardboard boxes and labeled for shipping within local neighborhoods and areas surrounding the facility. The packages are brought into the facility via semi trucks, using designated loading dock positions. The model limits the number of large trucks that would arrive at the facility in order to mitigate traffic concerns.
As it stands, the new center could be opened by summer 2021. The Eastwood Neighborhood Association voted 6–5 against rezoning for the new logistics center.
However, Williams said his office has received calls from dozens of residents who live in that area and other adjoining neighborhoods who are in favor of the project.