Restoration Edgewood

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Restoration Edgewood was a massive redevelopment proposal from Jacksonville, Florida-based The Iron Group for the Edgewood Urban Renewal District at Broadway and Oxmoor Road. Their proposal for a new 400,000 square-foot, $100 million mixed use "urban town center" included approximately 100,000 square feet of retail, more than 300 condominiums, and five parking decks with a total capacity of 500 cars. Iron Group CEO Frank Keasler, Jr has also said that the project would include updating utilities to the area and providing rainwater recycling and energy efficient design elements. The project would have been The Iron Group's first development.

The proposal was met with strong opposition from residents and business owners in Edgewood. In December 2006 the Homewood City Council passed an ordinance limiting new buildings in the district to 35 feet and two stories. Two citizens groups were formed after the project was first announced. One, the Citizens for a Livable Homewood successfully lobbied the city to commission a master plan from KPS Group and hopes the city will use the plan to channel development toward shared community goals. A second group, HomeOwners for a Progressive Edgewood (HOPE) acts on the assumption that denser development is inevitable in Edgewood and seeks to act as a liaison between residents' concerns and developers' goals.

The Iron Group conducted a 6-day design charette beginning February 22, 2007 to involve the community in details of the project's public spaces. Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative of Nashville was hired to coordinate that process. Keasler brought the proposal to the Homewood Planning Commission on March 6. The long-term schedule called for Phase I demolition to begin in early 2008 with project completion in 2011.

On May 30, 2007, the Alabama Historical Commission and Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation included Edgewood on their annual list of Alabama's historic "Places in Peril," in part because of the proposed project.

Ultimately, after garnering so much attention, the project was quietly dropped and both citizens' groups seem to have dissolved.

References

  • Jordan, Phillip. (February 1, 2007). "Restoration or desecration?" Birmingham Weekly.
  • Tomberlin, Michael. (February 4, 2007). "Developer pushes Edgewood plan amid holdouts, concerns." The Birmingham News.
  • Bryan, Kim. (June 1, 2007). "Edgewood, Carraway House on 'Peril' list." The Birmingham News.