The skyline of Birmingham's Highlands neighborhood is about to change in a major way.
Wednesday, Harbert Realty announced plans to build a 15-story apartment tower on Highland Avenue.
What's now a vacant parking lot and the former home of the Birmingham Diagnostic Clinic on Highland Avenue could soon become a 15-story glass tower with a parking deck attached in the back and a total of more than 300 apartment units.
"We think the address of Highland Avenue is about as prestigious as it gets in Birmingham. With the amenities that are in that area, we think it is such a great opportunity to have a walkable solution for apartments and to attract people from somewhere else to give them the option to live in the city but have all the amenities of the suburbs," Dean Nix, Senior Vice President of Harbert Realty, said.
Harbert is partnering with Cortland Partners out of Atlanta to build and then manage the project with their target market being upscale renters or buyers between the ages of 25-45.
That's slightly different than the hundreds of new apartments about to go up in the Railroad Park and Regions Gield area.
"I'm sure there will be some competition for that. But we just think with the amenities that are offered in the Highlands Avenue area, with the walkability of restaurants, grocery, that we will have an advantage," Nix said.
Any major new building in the historic highlands neighborhood is guaranteed to get heavy scrutiny from neighbors, but Harbert says the feedback they've heard so far from the city's design review committee and others has been good and they welcome input.
"There's a lot of checks and balances and we've already been given great input from those groups that we will do our very best to incorporate into our design," Nix said.
The first floor of the complex may have a retail or restaurant component in it. Developers hope to break ground next spring and begin opening up some of the apartments by early to mid-2015.
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