Tag: ‘five points south’

Conceptual Renderings for Five Points South Development

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The contest, Prize 2 the Future, is all about cool ideas to transform Birmingham!  And over 1,000 have been received.  So we’ve been thinking –  what makes a good idea better?  Well, most often when it becomes a reality or when it stimulates another good idea!  So ultimately every idea has to be shared to create value.

“Ideas are cheap. I’ve never had a good idea I didn’t have to cram down someone’s throat”

This is one of Bob Moody’s favorites quotes (not sure where it came from!).  It just means to him that good ideas are followed by massive amounts of work!  Yes, ideas are cheap and mostly free for the taking by those who are willing to risk all their energy and resources to make them happen, and consistently refute obstacles along the way.  Often a good idea develops from one that never happened, or maybe a better one is sparked by the ideas of others. Over the years, Bob has had LOTS of ideas for Five Points South and has spent LOTS of hours trying to sell them.  Some are still valid, and maybe it’s better that some were never financed.  Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned from all of them.

So we decided to share some of these, the good AND the not-so-good.  Below is a sketch for a mixed-use development that included a mid-rise tower on the corner of  20th and 10th Avenue South now under development by Chick Fil-A.  At one time, we hoped to create a residence over what is now Chez Fon Fon (and which used to be our design offices).  Thankfully, the developer was unable to obtain financing and it was never built. (Click on images to view larger.)


Proposed Mixed-Use Sketch for Five Points South 1986

Five Points South Proposed Site Plan Mixed Use 1986

It’s followed by one where something NEEDS to happen – but hasn’t happened yet!  It’s known as Pickwick Place, and because retailers are hidden behind The Highland Hotel, some excitement needs to be created which will draw them into the interior spaces.  Bob created a few sketches with landscaping and ‘eyewash’ to try to help stimulate investment and subsequently attract retailers.


Pickwick Place Courtyard


Site Plan Pickwick Place - Five Points South

It’s interesting to see which ideas become reality.  I hope to continue to post some that did not get built – maybe to illustrate why not – or maybe to spark a good or better idea in someone else’s mind…


Curious about where the Trolley goes in Birmingham?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

We were!  After reading a recent post about the trolleys in Lawrenceville, GA providing a tour of historical sites, we wanted to know if we could do the same in Birmingham.  We wanted to know where our trolleys go,  what the schedule is, and how much is it to ride? Does it stop at Railroad Park? How often does it make a route?  And how can we turn this into a benefit for tourists and visitors?

Well, here’s the scoop! It costs 50¢!  And here’s the full schedule! It runs every 10-20 minutes on the three routes below and The Red Line stops at Terminal Station – near Railroad Park.  Currently it travels from the City Center to the Convention Center to Five Points South.  What are the tourism possibilities?  What COULD they be?  Stay tuned!


Prize 2 the Future – Here we come!

Monday, January 31st, 2011

It’s almost the end of the month, and we’ve been wildly distracted by the “Prize 2 The Future” contest which is soliciting proposals for a key piece of property in our downtown district. Nothing excites us more than an opportunity to facilitate progress in the city that we love! So for the time being, Bob’s paintbrush and our incredible and talented teammates have been devoted to creating a concept that will make something happen, or as it’s being promoted – “The Next Big Thing”! We’ve taken dozens of photographs, brainstormed lots of ideas, and toured not just this area, but the entire downtown, and we’re seeing everything once again through new eyes!  UPDATE:  HERE’S OUR COMPLETED PROJECT!

But it’s not the first time we’ve gotten excited about Birmingham! Bob decided many years ago that Morris Avenue had promise.  So on his own time, he proceeded to create a concept, painted renderings (including those below), created enthusiasm among the merchants and landlords, convinced the city to contribute funds for lighting and paving, and sold the landowners on varied tenants and cooperation. He even created a newspaper to market the area.  And with the help of legislation written by State Legislator Richard Dominick, it became the first historic district in the State of Alabama.  An artist CAN create a lot of buzz!  And although it hasn’t remained the entertainment district that Bob envisioned, the warehouse district complementing the railroad tracks has been preserved to live again!
Morris Avenue Branding   Morris Avenue Conceptual Design   Morris Avenue Interior Concept

Five Points South featured the “Little Bomber” bar on the circle when we moved our offices there in the mid-70’s. But with the help of some conceptual renderings by Bob,  Mayor Richard Arrington along with ONB and the neighborhood association began to once again take an interest in the area. With private investment, we were able to transform the area into an exciting destination, signing a lease with a very young aspiring restauranteur named Frank Stitt.  And we appreciated the support of a talented newly elected councilor named William Bell!

For many years, we’ve thought that Birmingham was making steps toward a progressive future. But we’ve never been as optimistic as we are now. We’re seeing the downtown area make demands for amenities to serve the new loft residents. We’re seeing throngs of people with families and dogs enjoy the new Railroad Park. And we’ve seen entire communities rally via social media to protect their neighborhoods. Birmingham is changing, and changing fast! We believe this time Birmingham really is on the verge of something big! And we want to be a part of it!

We can’t wait to see the concepts that are entered. Every single one will have validity and will contribute to the winning proposal. And all that energy that is being focused on our downtown HAS to be positive. So Bob is painting, and we are so pumped! Because win or lose, we believe in Birmingham, and we believe that this project will bust things WIDE OPEN!