Vestavia Hills seeking grants to revitalize Cahaba Heights - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Vestavia Hills seeking grants to revitalize Cahaba Heights

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A Vestavia Hills community affected by tornadoes nearly three years ago could receive grants for revitalization efforts.

City leaders want to bring more activity and culture to the area.

Vestavia Hills city leaders have an artistic vision for Cahaba Heights.

City Manager, Jeff Downes, says "As a percentage of growth, Cahaba Heights always ranks very high, which tells me and the developer world that it's an opportunity to take the old and make it new."

The neighborhood has bounced back from the 2011 tornadoes, but Downes says they want to bring more energy and life to this already treasured location.

The city is seeking an Art Place America Grant which could bring music events and visual arts to Cahaba Heights.

Downes says "When you create an interesting unique place, people want to go to it. People want to engage in that."

The city is also a step away from getting a grant for an environmental park near the Heights Village.

Developer Raymond Gotleib would support the enhancements.

"The primary desires were to make it a walking community and by putting in sidewalks and a nice park in the area is something that would be important."

Downes says creating these qualities will attract more people and development opportunities. Vestavia Hills resident, Joann Turner couldn't agree more. She hopes her daughter will raise her family here.

"That's what kids want. They want the coziness, the friendliness, that's what the South is known for."

The city should hear something on the art grant in June. Downes says there are also 5 development projects city leaders are looking at which could bring in new shopping and commercial activities.

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