Ensley Junction

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Ensley Junction is a proposed mixed-use development for downtown Ensley. The project, estimated to cost $30 million, includes a public park, a health center, retail and office spaces, and affordable apartments. Bethel Ensley Action Task (BEAT) is developing the project with public and private funding.

BEAT had been working on mixed-use concepts for downtown Ensley for years. The Ensley Junction project was formally announced by Mayor William Bell in November 2016 as a complement to Birmingham's planned renovation of the Ramsay-McCormack building as part of a new Birmingham Public Safety Complex, housing the Birmingham Municipal Court, Birmingham Police Headquarters and administrative offices for the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service.

It was expected that Birmingham would contribute $6.5 million toward the Ensley Junction project, but since incoming mayor Randall Woodfin canceled the planned Public Safety Complex, the city's promised contribution has not been confirmed. BEAT continues to solicit corporate and grant funding, and plans to apply for New Market Tax Credits, but the project still depends on public subsidies, now estimated at $8 million.

The centerpiece of Ensley Junction would be a new public park on the block between Avenues E and F and between 17th and 18th Streets. The landscaped green space would include interactive water features, a playground, a reception area, a lawn to accommodate audiences for concerts and movies, a walking/running path, fitness spaces, educational features, and amenities for senior citizens.

Other components of the project would include 17,000 square feet of commercial retail and office space, up to 72 apartment units, an early learning center, and a new medical clinic in the former Jefferson County Western Health Center.

References

  • Johnson, Roy S. (August 21, 2016) "At Ensley Alive '16, an historic neighborhood 'on the cusp' of a revival." The Birmingham News
  • Edgemon, Erin (February 9, 2017) "Historic Ramsay McCormack building could bring office space to Ensley." The Birmingham News
  • Edgemon, Erin (July 5, 2018) "What's up with downtown Ensley development?" The Birmingham News