The Pizitz Building is the former flagship department store for Pizitz, located at 1821 2nd Avenue North. The eight-story 225,000 square-foot building was designed by Harry B. Wheelock and completed in 1923. It has an attached parking deck, which was added in 1965.
The building was purchased for $1.6 million in 2000 by Bayer Properties for potential redevelopment. Bayer secured an "historic preservation certification" from the National Park Service to qualify for federal tax credits and received a $1 million low-interest loan from the City of Birmingham to facilitate redevelopment. In 2004 Operation New Birmingham put it on their 12 Most Wanted list of downtown buildings in need of renovation.
In January 2010 the company announced that Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz had signed on as lead tenants, enabling it to proceed with a $60 million renovation. Bayer will relocate its own headquarters office to the project, which is also set to include 23,000 square feet of ground level retail and restaurant space, much of it facing the McWane Science Center.
Bayer plans to seek LEED certification for the renovation. KPS Group, the architect for the project, also announced that it would move its offices to the Pizitz Building from the Steiner Building on 1st Avenue North. In March, V. Richards announced plans for a 6,000 square foot grocery store, cafe and restaurant on the ground floor. In September 2010 the Birmingham City Council approved a multi-million dollar incentives package to get the project under way. While completion was projected for the Summer or Fall of 2012, the project appears to be stagnant.
In December 2010 Baker Donelson determined that they would not be able to wait for the completion of renovations and, in March 2011, renewed their lease in the Wells Fargo Tower, forcing Bayer to search for new tenants. Meanwhile the city continued with approving parts of its incentives package for the project. Those incentives were rescinded in December 2011 pending further developments. As of July 2012, no progress toward renovation has been made at the site.
- Tomberlin, Michael (November 14, 2008) "Bayer credit eyed for Pizitz redo." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (January 29, 2010) "Downtown Birmingham's Pizitz building set to get makeover." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (February 7, 2010) "New Pizitz project leases set stage for renewal." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (March 12, 2010) "V. Richards expanding to Birmingham's Pizitz Building." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (September 7, 2010) "Birmingham City Council approves incentives for renovation of former Pizitz building downtown." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (February 13, 2011) "Downtown dreams: Renovation slow for prominent buildings." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (March 22, 2011) "Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz law firm to remain in Birmingham's Wells Fargo Tower." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (December 27, 2011) "Birmingham City Council cancels $1.9 million for Pizitz, allocates money for rec center." Birmingham News