Long-time vacant building will soon be brought to life in downtown Birmingham

American Life Building redevelopment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The American Life Building has been vacant for more than 16 years but soon it will be full of tenants.

Starting October 8th, people can move in to the newly renovated building in downtown Birmingham.

Owner and Developer, Ed Ticheli, has owned the American Life building since 2004. He said six of the floors are ready, but renovations are not fully complete yet.

“The city is just like on fire here right now," Ticheli said. "I think it is going to be so well received, everyone seems to be excited about moving in.”

The $24 million renovation is now 140 apartments. Ticheli said 30% of the apartments are already claimed, leaving less than 100 apartments unclaimed.

“There is really nothing like it in downtown Birmingham proper. It’s a naturally occurring affordable housing project,” Ticheli said.

Ticheli said the 12 story building is priced with people in mind.

“We took the money from our tax credits and instead of putting money in our pocket, we brought the mortgage down with the money, and now we can provide units that start at 700 bucks and out average chunk rent is about 900 dollars a unit," Ticheli said.

The new development is in the city’s opportunity zone. It’s a certain area where the city provides tax benefits to investors to try and help spur economic growth.

“This beautiful location we have right here will change the landscape," Ticheli said. “The building was blight. It was sitting around empty for a number of years.”

Ticheli said the city spent around $700 thousand to help renovate the project.

“We are really not just another apartment complex,” Ticheli said. “We are in a historic building, which has got it own nuances.”

Five of the units will be reserved for women with the Dannon Project. Ticheli said it is an organization that helps reintegrate people into the workforce after life obstacles.

Ticheli said he plans to keep growing the area and is set to begin building an additional apartment complex in the parking lot. He said it will add hundreds of more apartments to the area.

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