Daniel Payne Legacy Village
The Genesis Development Corporation, headed by firefighter John Richard, initially announced plans for a 1,500-acre site off Daniel Payne Drive and the intersection of Coalburg Road and Cherry Avenue with access to I-65 and I-22. With funding from Development Capital International of Chicago, Illinois, Genesis planned to construct a massive live-work community between 2009 and 2014 with 350 new single-family homes, as well as a dense "town center" with office, retail, and entertainment developments, as well as loft-style apartments and assisted living for seniors. The development as a whole was designed to provide a 1-to-1 ratio of new jobs to new homes.
The 3.3 million square-foot town center would include retail, entertainment, office and light industrial space. Other planned amenities included a 10 million gallon aquarium, an 800-room resort hotel and conference center with golf course, a health clinic, a recreation center with a 150,000 square-foot indoor water park, a planetarium, and other museums. The 600,000 square-foot shopping area was planned as a "destination" retail center with a cinema, bowling center and arcade. The design would encourage pedestrian activity and minimize automobile traffic.
The developers planned to preserve the area's natural beauty by protecting wooded areas and natural drainage basins and enacting design controls for new buildings. A trail network would provide pedestrian connections to schools, libraries, neighborhood retail and recreation areas.
Dorsey Architects and Associates provided master planning services to Genesis. Other development partners announced at the time included Loop Capital Markets, the Aquatic Development Group and the Southwest Water Company (owners of the Riverview Wastewater Treatment Plant). In May 2009 the Birmingham City Council approved the creation of a "capital improvement cooperative district" which could levy its own taxes within the development and issue bonds.
A much smaller alternative, developed by TyCam Development of Atlanta, Georgia, as a "live, work, play, pray" community, broke ground in February 2011. The $24 million project will be constructed in phases. In the first phase, a 40,000-square-foot retreat center will be constructed and an existing dormitory building renovated to accommodate as many as 400 guests. The district's offices will return to the campus, and the existing Jefferson County Metro Clinic will remain.
In a second phase, as many as 250 single-family, bungalow-style homes will be constructed for retired clergy of the 9th Episcopal District. Commercial retail space on Daniel Payne Drive will follow in a third phase. A former administration building on the site will be renovated for a day care center and anchor office tenant in phase four.
The plan includes more than 50-acres of preserved green space and wetlands with trails for recreational use. The Birmingham City Council approved rezoning the land for commercial and residential uses in late 2010.
- Cooper, Lauren B. (May 19, 2009) "Birmingham City Council OKs taxing district for Daniel Payne development." Birmingham Business Journal
- Cooper, Lauren B. (November 12, 2010) "Former Daniel Payne College site eyed for retreat, homes." Birmingham Business Journal
- Cooper, Lauren B. (February 18, 2011) "Construction to begin on $24M Daniel Payne project." Birmingham Business Journal