The project was developed Dick Schmalz of RGS Properties and Scott Bryant. Bryant had purchased the former Firestone Building and Adamson Ford car lot in 2003 and had pursued various unsuccessful redevelopment schemes with Schmalz before announcing 20 Midtown in 2014. The project was conceived as "suburban urbanism," offering amenities such a supermarket, drive-thru restaurants, and ample parking, within a decidedly urban building form in the heart of Midtown. The City of Birmingham approved a $6.4 million incentives package, including partial sales tax reimbursements for ten years.
The first phase, budgeted at $100 million, included two separate buildings west of 20th Street on either side of 3rd Avenue. Together they include around 400 apartment units, an enclosed parking deck, an amenity center, and leased office and retail space. The project was designed by Tammy Cohen of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds and built by Stewart Perry Construction.
The anchor tenant is Publix supermarket occupying 34,000 square feet on the north side of the project, with Starbucks Coffee and a Chipotle restaurant on the south side. Office tenants include RGE Properties, SRS Real Estate Partners and Systematic Services. The first 36 apartment units, ranging from 665 to 1,139 square feet, were constructed on the southern part of the development. Another 86 apartments, with indoor access to the supermarket, was completed in early 2017.
A third building, constituting the second phase of construction, was begun in 2016. It was originally planned to have 274 residential units and 38,800 square feet of retail space. Construction was delayed by utility and right-of-way issues, and eventually necessitated refinancing the project. The cleared site remained idle for several years.
When development work resumed in autumn 2019, the design had evolved to include 312 apartments ranging from 400 to 1,700 square feet. The retail areas were made tall enough to accommodate a mezzanine, which could be accessed directly from the interior parking garage. The building would also house a fitness center and courtyard "amenity area" for residential tenants. Actual construction was restarted in November 2020 with an anticipated opening in 2022.
- 220 20th Street South: Publix, opened February 2017
- 302 20th Street South: Chipotle restaurant, opened December 2015
- 306 20th Street South: Live Mobile LLC, opened September 2016
- 308 20th Street South: Starbucks Coffee, opened August 2015
- Tomberlin, Michael (May 18, 2014) "Publix to build grocery store in downtown Birmingham as part of $30 million project." The Birmingham News
- Davis, Bryan (November 4, 2014) "City unanimously approves incentives for Public development." Birmingham Business Journal
- Poe, Kelly (January 21, 2015) "Downtown Publix development gets name, new renderings." The Birmingham News
- Davis, Bryan (January 22, 2015) "Downtown Publix project will be larger than initially planned." Birmingham Business Journal
- Poe, Kelly (March 25, 2015) "20 Midtown wins design approval; downtown Publix one step closer." The Birmingham News
- Davis, Bryan (July 9, 2015) "First 20 Midtown apartments to be ready by October." Birmingham Business Journal
- Poe, Kelly (January 17, 2017) "Downtown Birmingham Publix sets opening date." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (August 8, 2018) "Construction restarting on large apartment, retail building in downtown Birmingham." The Birmingham News
- "What's the latest on the third 20 Midtown building?" (July 12, 2019) Birmingham Business Journal
- "What's the latest on the third building for 20 Midtown?" (November 15, 2019) Birmingham Business Journal
- Van der Bijl, Hanno (November 11, 2020) "Third building for 20 Midtown moving forward as developers recapitalize, secure financing." Birmingham Business Journal
- 20 Midtown website