Parkside groundbreaking breathes life into downtown vision

LIV Parkside, a 228-unit apartment complex next to Railroad Park, has an opening date in 2015.

LIV Parkside, a 228-unit apartment complex next to Railroad Park, has an opening date in 2015.

Downtown revitalization got a boost this week when ground was broken on the first major private investment for apartments and real estate since Regions Field and Railroad Park opened.

LIV Parkside, a $30 million development that will bring 228 apartment units and 3,000 additional square feet of space for ground-floor retail, broke ground on Monday afternoon.

LIV Development purchased the property from Corporate Realty recently for $2.5 million.

Hoar Construction will build the apartment building, financed by Regions Bank. Charlan Brock & Associates will serve as the architects.

With the University of Alabama at Birmingham strategically placed in the downtown area as the area's largest employer, the $64 million Regions Field and $19 million Railroad Park provide the city two more economic drivers that have already spurred development on hundreds of apartment units.

The L&N Parkside development was announced in January as well. It too is a $30 million development that promises another 129 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail space.

The Venue at the Ballpark apartments will also be developed on Third Avenue South and 16th Street. It will be a six-story building with 236 apartments.

Developers are also planning apartments in historic buildings like the Pizitz Building and the Booker T. Washington Insurance Building, which will be known as the Parisian.

The quality of life in the downtown area is not just enhanced by the new baseball venue, but the revitalization of the theater district by bringing the Lyric back to life will be a draw as well.

Retail experts say that these residential developments should have a direct impact on the future of retail in the downtown area.

- By Birmingham Business Journal