Nextec Building

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The Nextec building, formerly the Edwards Motor Building or Edwards Motor Co. building, and Sticks ‘N’ Stuff building, is a 2-story, 64,000 square-foot brick commercial building located on the northeast corner of Block 90, on the southwest corner of 16th Street and 3rd Avenue North in Fountain Heights.

Charles M. Allen & Son began construction for the building for the Edwards Motor Co. in 1927. The showroom opened on February 26, 1928 and served the dealership until it moved west to 1400 3rd Avenue in 1944. Since then the building has housed the Railroad Furniture Co. and Sticks 'N' Stuff discount furniture.

Michael Mouron of Capstone Real Estate Investments partnered with Harbert Realty Services as Tech Village LLC, to acquire the vacant building and adjoining parking lot in 2018 for $1 million. Their redevelopment proposal, dubbed "Nextec", generated some interest from small business start-ups. The owners planned to apply for Opportunity Zone financing, and also applied for over $3 million in Historic Preservation Tax Credits to put toward renovating the structure.

Progress on the project was slowed as Mouron sought to acquire additional surface parking for the building, and focused his attention on redevelopment of the Greyhound Station. Subsequently, some of the tenant interest generated for the Nextec project dissipated, and Mouron was approached with a proposal to renovate the building for use as a self-storage warehouse. That proposal was stalled when the Birmingham City Council approved a moratorium on new self-storage developments in July 2019.

With a loan from Iberia Bank, Mouron bought out Harbert's interest in the partnership for $1.182 million in December 2019. With a deadline for the historic tax credits nearing, he contracted with Williams Blackstock Architects and Stewart Perry to perform interior demolition work, replace windows and spandrels, repair and repoint the brickwork, and repair or replace the roof. In March 2021 Mouron acquired two parcels across 3rd Avenue from Cliff and Queen Ester Muldrow for parking.

In June 2022 NexTec LLC was approved for $5.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) through UB Community Development LLC of Atmore, Escambia County. The application stipulated that the firm would lease space to small business startups and non-profit organizations, including a healthcare clinic and a locally-owned coffee shop. Much of that funding went to pay down the work already completed. Mouron commissioned a 4-ton, 25 foot-tall steel sculpture entitled "Alchemy" from Salem Barker Fine Art Sculptures of Beloit, Indiana to be displayed in an open plaza next to the building.

In February 2023 the City Council's Economic Development and Tourism Committee approved up to $2,000,000 in conditional incentive payments to NexTec LLC to complete the redevelopment of the building as a shared workspace for start-up businesses graduating from Innovation Depot.