Vestavia Hills purchases abandoned Food World - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Vestavia Hills purchases abandoned Food World

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VESTAVIA HILLS - AL -

The city of Vestavia Hills has purchased the former Food World property located in the Vestavia Plaza Shopping Center at 1052 Montgomery Highway.  The cost is slightly over $1 million. 

This purchase is part of the city's commitment and support for the recently completed Highway 31 Corridor Redevelopment Plan.

According to Fred Baughman, the Economic Development Director in Vestavia Hills, the development along the Highway 31 corridor has followed a conventional 1970's suburban format. 

Business is set-back from the highway with vast parking lots in front, low-rise buildings housing a variety of businesses and commercial uses, and for the most part isolated within its own parcel, lacking connections to adjacent properties and the walkable urban fabric of surrounding neighborhoods.

This purchase will change the idea.

The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) has completed and submitted the US-31 Corridor Redevelopment Plan to the City of Vestavia Hills.

Baughman says, "This long-term plan has the potential to totally transform U.S. Highway 31 through Vestavia Hills into an area which will attract the type of higher intensity, multiple-activity, and varied use development to match the upscale quality of life expected in the community."

Three strategies have been identified in the plan:

  • Transform Patton Creek into a greenway which;
    • Provides a recreational, educational, and civic amenity for the City and its residents,
    • Introduce a new landmark and identity for the City, and
    • Re-establishes the flood plain and ecosystem of the creek.
  • Superimpose form-based codes in strategic locations along the corridor to jump-start and guide redevelopment efforts; and
  • Convert the US-31 corridor into a boulevard which will separate fast-moving traffic from slow-moving traffic and thus turn it into a more desirable and pleasant urban thoroughfare which will attract the type of retail and commercial development requested by the community.
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