Urban Impact

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Urban Impact Inc. (UII) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1980, whose mission is to preserve and promote business and tourism for an area on the western side of downtown Birmingham which includes the 4th Avenue Historic District, a center of black-owned business activity downtown during the decades of segregation. The executive director since 2016 is Ivan Holloway, and the group's offices are located at 1721 4th Avenue North, at the corner of 18th Street.

After Birmingham's segregation laws were overturned in the 1960s, the business district began to decline as businesses moved out to other areas of town and building owners declined to reinvest in the area. Urban Impact was established under contract to the city to manage a land bank which allowed business owners to purchase property in the area and to help overcome the problem of absentee landlords. The organization's development district includes the, "west side of 18th Street N to 15th Street N and north side of 2nd Avenue N to Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. (8th Avenue N)".

In addition to its economic development role, Urban Impact promotes tourism in the Civil Rights District by producing informational materials and coordinating tours, and organizes the annual Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival. As part of its efforts, the organization worked to put the district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

In 2010 the organization's offices were located at 319 17th Street North, at the corner of 4th Avenue. Nathan Hicks was then the executive director.


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