Revitalization effort looks to improve business in Ensley - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Revitalization effort looks to improve business in Ensley

Posted: Updated:
Birmingham Heritage Band at a REB Birmingham event in Ensley, Tuesday, October 15, 2013. (abc3340.com) Birmingham Heritage Band at a REB Birmingham event in Ensley, Tuesday, October 15, 2013. (abc3340.com)
ENSLEY - AL -

They're communities often marked by their tragedies. Neighborhoods surrounding downtown Birmingham frequently make headlines after shootings and violence. But an organization -hoping to change that bad reputation- is working one street at a time. Tuesday night, it's putting Ensley in the spotlight.

Food trucks and various activities filled 19th Street as the Birmingham Heritage Band set the mood with its signature jazz music! But REV Birmingham says this is more than just a street fair, and its CEO, David Fleming, hopes it will help people look at Ensley a little differently.

"Sometimes people just need to believe in what is possible," Fleming said.

It was enough to convince William Robertson.

"Actually took a chance and not only relocated our business there, but we live upstairs in a loft downtown here in Ensley," Robertson said.

He started the Monumental Contracting Service company in Ensley. A move he says was the right one. 

"The city offered the building to us as an incentive to move into an area they consider to be blight," Robertson said. "As a result, we've had zero problems. There's a stigma that comes with Ensley, heavy crime, things of that nature, but we have not experienced anything such as that."

REV Birmingham will spend the rest of October hosting similar events in Woodlawn, Five Points South and East Lake with the goal to change the negative perceptions of each town while promoting new business development. 

"We want people to see this is a viable business district in a viable community," Fleming said. "Places that people could open businesses very cheaply and affordably."

"Some people look at see the vacancy, we see possibility," Auburn University School of Architecture representative Cheryl Morgan said.

The highly-regarded architecture program on the Plains is lending its hand in drawing out the plans.

"We do a lot of drawings, a lot of diagramming that aren't going to be what anyone does, but helps stimulates the imagination about what could be," Morgan said.

"This is just the beginning and I'm so happy to see all of you out here tonight because we've got some great plans for this area," Mayor William Bell said to the crowd.

"A continuation of this type of activity will boost Ensley back again and revive it," Robertson said.

For more information on REV Birmingham's Street Life Project, visit www.revbirmingham.org/neighborhood-revitalization/

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Missing swimmer sought in rough surf on Alabama coast

    Missing swimmer sought in rough surf on Alabama coast

    Monday, July 21 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-07-21 18:21:22 GMT
    Authorities are looking for a swimmer who's missing in dangerous surf on the Alabama coast. Gulf Shores police received a distress call about a male juvenile who was in distress in the water about 4 p.m. Sunday. The search had to be suspended after about three hours because of rough surf and fading light. The Gulf Shores Police Department says the search resumed Monday. A dive team is in the water looking for the missing person. The weather service says there's currently a high risk of danger...More >>
    Authorities are looking for a swimmer who's missing in dangerous surf on the Alabama coast. Gulf Shores police received a distress call about a male juvenile who was in distress in the water about 4 p.m. Sunday. The search had to be suspended after about three hours because of rough surf and fading light. The Gulf Shores Police Department says the search resumed Monday. A dive team is in the water looking for the missing person. The weather service says there's currently a high risk of danger...More >>
  • MH17: International monitors trying to secure Malaysian plane crash site

    MH17: International monitors trying to secure Malaysian plane crash site

    Saturday, July 19 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-07-20 03:29:10 GMT
    International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.More >>
    International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.
    More >>
  • NYPD officer involved in arrest of man who died in custody stripped of badge, gun

    NYPD officer involved in arrest of man who died in custody stripped of badge, gun

    Saturday, July 19 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-07-20 01:49:49 GMT
     A New York City police officer involved in the arrest of a man who died in custody after being placed in an apparent chokehold has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty, police said Saturday.
    More >>
     A New York City police officer involved in the arrest of a man who died in custody after being placed in an apparent chokehold has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty, police said Saturday.

    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • House on Fire in Birmingham

    House on Fire in Birmingham

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:42 AM EDT2014-07-22 06:42:02 GMT
     Firefighters are working to put out a house fire in Ensley. It broke out just before midnight Monday near 16th street and Avenue I. We will give you more information as soon as those details become available.More >>
     Firefighters are working to put out a house fire in Ensley. It broke out just before midnight Monday near 16th street and Avenue I. We will give you more information as soon as those details become available. More >>
  • DNC's first day on Birmingham site visit

    DNC's first day on Birmingham site visit

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-07-22 01:40:54 GMT
    It's been a full day of sightseeing for a team with the Democratic National Committee.A 12-member group is touring a variety of Birmingham hotels, attractions and venues Monday as part of a two-day site visit.Birmingham is one of five cities vying to hose the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The committee is in the Magic City to see if it has the hotel and venue space to pull off the large-scale event.ABC 33/40 went alongside the team for part of its day. Members saw the Birmingham Mus...More >>
    It's been a full day of sightseeing for a team with the Democratic National Committee.A 12-member group is touring a variety of Birmingham hotels, attractions and venues Monday as part of a two-day site visit.Birmingham is one of five cities vying to hose the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The committee is in the Magic City to see if it has the hotel and venue space to pull off the large-scale event.ABC 33/40 went alongside the team for part of its day. Members saw the Birmingham Mus...More >>
  • DNC trip helps change residents’ perspective of Birmingham

    DNC trip helps change residents’ perspective of Birmingham

    Monday, July 21 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-07-21 23:35:35 GMT
    Whether Birmingham is chosen or not, the DNC selection committee's trip alone is a big win.More >>
    Whether Birmingham is chosen or not, the DNC selection committee's trip alone is a big win.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Body pulled from Weiss Lake identified as missing woman

    Body pulled from Weiss Lake identified as missing woman

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:00:41 GMT
    DeKalb County sheriff's officials say a body that was pulled from Weiss Lake in Leesburg has been identified as a 20-year-old woman who was recently reported missing. Sheriff Jimmy Harris says the body of Sarah Jane Ortiz of Valley Head was found in the lake by a fisherman on Friday. Harris says the woman's body was positively identified on Monday at a forensics lab in Huntsville. Harris says Ortiz was reported missing July 16 by friends and relatives after she failed to return home on July 1...More >>
    DeKalb County sheriff's officials say a body that was pulled from Weiss Lake in Leesburg has been identified as a 20-year-old woman who was recently reported missing. Sheriff Jimmy Harris says the body of Sarah Jane Ortiz of Valley Head was found in the lake by a fisherman on Friday. Harris says the woman's body was positively identified on Monday at a forensics lab in Huntsville. Harris says Ortiz was reported missing July 16 by friends and relatives after she failed to return home on July 1...More >>
  • JSU President announces retirement

    JSU President announces retirement

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:17 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:17:37 GMT
    The longtime president of Jacksonville State University says he will retire next year. Bill Meehan told trustees that he's stepping down as of June 2015. The school announced his decision on its Facebook page. The delay in Meehan's departure provides a chance for board members to name a successor. Meehan has been president since July 1, 1999. Meehan is a Jacksonville State alumnus who started working at the school as a biology instructor. He held other positions at the northeast Alabama campu...More >>
    The longtime president of Jacksonville State University says he will retire next year. Bill Meehan told trustees that he's stepping down as of June 2015. The school announced his decision on its Facebook page. The delay in Meehan's departure provides a chance for board members to name a successor. Meehan has been president since July 1, 1999. Meehan is a Jacksonville State alumnus who started working at the school as a biology instructor. He held other positions at the northeast Alabama campu...More >>
  • Southside woman arrested for Chemical Endangerment of a Child

    Southside woman arrested for Chemical Endangerment of a Child

    Monday, July 21 2014 2:50 PM EDT2014-07-21 18:50:43 GMT
    An Etowah County woman has been arrested for chemical endangerment of a child, according to Sheriff Todd Entrekin.Investigator Haydyn Hedgspeth states, “Christina Goodson Amberson, 36, of Southside, was charged on July 16 with one count of chemical endangerment of exposing a child to an environment in which controlled substances are ingested, produced or distributed, which is a felony.”Amberson admitted to using methamphetamine. She is approximately 5 months pregnant.“It is simply unacceptabl...More >>
    An Etowah County woman has been arrested for chemical endangerment of a child, according to Sheriff Todd Entrekin.Investigator Haydyn Hedgspeth states, “Christina Goodson Amberson, 36, of Southside, was charged on July 16 with one count of chemical endangerment of exposing a child to an environment in which controlled substances are ingested, produced or distributed, which is a felony.”Amberson admitted to using methamphetamine. She is approximately 5 months pregnant.“It is simply unacceptabl...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...