City of Birmingham utilizing unused space with new 1.7 million dollar parking deck renovations

Yo Mama’s moving into the space
Impact of Yo Mama's expansion
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 7:01 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - WBRC is learning more about the new million-dollar renovations set to be done to a Birmingham Parking Deck.

City leaders just approved the ground floor of an abandoned deck to be turned into a new restaurant space. They’re planning for it to be “Yo Mama’s” restaurant as the new tenant.

Yo Mama’s on 2nd Avenue North is going to move over to the parking deck on Fourth Avenue North across from the Harbert Center. It’s going to be a much larger space than what they have now and city leaders said the move is also a win for them and other local businesses.

“It really is about investing in our own assets and being able to market our underutilized spaces,” Cornell Wesley, Birmingham’s Innovation and Economic Opportunity Director, said.

The Birmingham Parking Deck on Fourth Avenue North has been vacant since 2009. It’s owned by the city and they have been searching for the perfect tenant to partner with. They are also partnering with the Parking Authority for the project.

“There was a great idea to have retail on that bottom floor, but we have not been successful in locating and or finishing that space out,” Wesley said. “Until today.”

The city will renovate the ground floor into a restaurant for $1.7 million. Yo Mama’s will pay about $400,000 towards the total for the renovations. They will also be able to upgrade from three restaurant employees to 30.

“We own the asset and we had the ability to invest in ourselves,” Wesley said. “Yo Mama’s gets the benefit of that investment.”

City leaders said they hope to partner with other local businesses in the future to improve other abandoned locations.

“What it represents is bigger than Yo Mama’s,” Wesley said. “When we engage in partnership with you, we are certainly looking for not just a win-win, but a win-win-win. Meaning it is a win for the municipality, a win for you as a private retailer, and it’s a win for us. This project checks all of those boxes.”

You’ll still be able to find Yo Mama’s on 2nd Ave. N. for a while. Construction on the parking deck is set to begin in the next four months.

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