BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Demolition is finally underway at the historic Ramsay McCormack Building in Ensley.
Thursday, Birmingham City leaders joined community members for the announcement. Crews will tear down the building while preserving parts of the old structure, which will be incorporated into the new 30,000 square foot office building.
“My excitement is that the Ramsay McCormack building will very soon symbolize going from blight, to a symbol of revitalization. It’s also about restoring this historic community to prominence,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said.
For years, the city-owned building has been the center of a legal battle. Earlier this year, a Jefferson County Circuit Judge ruled that he would not hold the city of Birmingham in contempt of court in a lawsuit brought nearly 10 years ago by members of the Ensley community to press the city to either demolish or renovate the decaying building.
We spoke with attorney Antonio Spurling who brought that original suit on behalf of businesses. He’s cautiously optimistic about the redevelopment announcement.
“Had it not been for this litigation, I don’t think they would be doing this project on a professional level. We just want to make sure that today is not just a horse and pony show. This is not our first rodeo of dealing with these people and them promising things that they don’t fulfill so that’s why I said we are cautiously optimistic,” Spurling said.
Spurling says they think very well of the developer and hopes that he will be able to fulfill his ambitions for the project.
Once its complete, possibly in 2022, the new building could house the Innovation Depot and other tenants according to our news partners at the Birmingham Business Journal.