Birmingham, AL - It's a huge move for the city of Birmingham.
A publix will be built on the corner of 20th Street and 3rd Avenue South.
"It's going to look a lot different than it looks now."
A transformation on the horizon. The growing Parkside District getting the first downtown grocery store.
"We need businesses down here, we need people down here."
David Higginbotham is getting his wish. He'll have a quicker roll in his wheelchair to Publix, living just a mile away.
"About 2 or 3 hours faster."
Construction will begin later this year at the old Firestone site. The store will face 20th Street. Around 70 apartments will go above it.
Co-Developer, Dick Schmalz, says "We're going to have Publix on the ground floor then we'll have two floors of parking and then the apartments are gonna be pushed over on the 19th Street Side because the sub-surfaces are a little more supportive there."
Schmalz says adjacent to the site will be a Starbucks, more apartments along with parking, retail and office space.
City Councilwoman, Shelia Tyson, says "This will draw a lot of the population who moved out of the city back in. A large amount of people will be more attracted to live downtown now."
Rev Birmingham's Ceo says Publix is just one more signal of the confidence in the growing downtown market.
David Fleming says, "Now that's it's coming to fruition thanks to the leadership of the city, developers, and to all the things going on around here like UAB, RR park, baseball field and other residential developments we know this will be successful."
Schmalz says they're going to try and replicate some of the design features of the Firestone.
Starbucks is expected to open next April.
Publix could be open by the end of next year or early 2016.
Publix Super Markets will become a part of the Birmingham’s growing Parkside District. The new store will be located on the corner of 20th Street and 3rd Avenue South. April Odom with the mayor's office of public information says the new grocery store will be approximately 30,000 square feet and will contain a full service pharmacy. Publix will be a part of a multi-story, multi-block, mixed-use project. Mayor William Bell said “This project is an exciting step to enhancing the area’s amenities and a start to addressing the food desert issue in our City. To have Publix be a part of the city center is a wonderful addition and we can not wait to get this project started". Developers Scott Bryant and Dick Schmalz along with project architect, Tammy Cohen of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds are excited to be a part of the growing renaissance of the City center. Construction is scheduled to start later this year with Publix opening early 2016.