Property values skyrocket near Railroad Park, Regions Field

Railroad Park and Regions Field are serving as catalysts for urban renewal throughout the entire downtown market in Birmingham.

But that's not the only thing the new amenities have been a catalyst for in the Parkside district. They have also caused a dramatic spike in property values in the district.

According to a BBJ review of Jefferson County appraisal data for more than 100 properties in the immediate vicinity of Railroad Park, the average increase between 2013 and 2014 was 125 percent. The total value of the 134 properties we looked at rose from $101 million to $148 million.

The trend triggered a spike in tax bills for landowners near the park – an issue we explored in-depth in last week's Cover Story.

Many landowners saw their tax bills double from 2013.

Experts say the higher tax bills may lead to more deals and developments in Parkside, where brokers have previously said landowners were holding out for higher prices when approached by developers.

Developers say the higher property values were expected due to the surge of development following the completion of Railroad Park and Regions Field.

"The properties are going to have an improved price because we're creating value with these urban anchors," said Robert Simon, president of Corporate Realty which developed the property for Regions Field and is actively developing apartments and commercial space for the area.

Corporate Realty is currently putting $5 million into the former Merita Bakery building, which will house a mix of office and retail tenants in the next year.

The property, located at 1300 First Ave. S., was appraised at $1.1 million in 2013. That value rose to $1.4 million in 2014.

The building that Good People Brewing Co. occupies at 114 14th Street S. was appraised at $588,100 last year, and that value rose to $942,800 in 2014.

The Wittichen Supply company at 1600 Third Ave. S. had its property value raised from $564,000 in 2013 to $1.9 million in 2014.

Shannon Watlchack's Railroad Square development rose from $498,300 in 2013 to $1.9 million this year, and the Powell Avenue Steam Plant, which will soon be a mixed-use development by Alabama Power, rose from $1.9 million last year to $3.4 million in 2014.

By next year, multifamily projects near Railroad Park like Venue at the Ballpark and LIV Parkside, will be nearing completion. Plans are being finalized for the Powell Avenue Steam Plant development, and the Merita Bakery building will be completed by spring.

As more projects exit the planning stages and enter the construction and completion phases, property values in the Parkside area will likely stay on their current value growth trajectory.

- By