Scholar Birmingham (previously known as Ascend) is a $40 million, 199-unit residence tower at 1001 20th Street South in Five Points South. The project was developed as a joint venture of Rosemont, Illinois-based Opus Development Company, which first presented it to the Birmingham Design Review Committee in June 2017, along with the McKinney Fund & Company of Plano, Texas.
Myefski Architects of Chicago, Illinois designed the 17-story tower, which includes 199 units, ranging from "junior studios" to 4-bedroom apartments, with an anticipated population of 522 residents. The units, which are being marketed to students at UAB, are to be rented by the room. The building includes a multi-level secure parking deck, a fitness center and spa, study rooms and lounges, and outdoor terraces. The 17th floor houses a swimming pool, club room, coffee bar and outdoor grills. Interiors were designed by Creative License International of Tempe, Arizona.
Though Opus initially expected to begin construction in December 2017, no work began until early 2019. "ODC Collingsworth Birmingham LLC", which shares an address with Opus' parent company, was incorporated in December 2018 and acquired the existing building which formerly housed the Emily Shop and The Break, from Frederick Meeks Jr for $2.65 million. Opus announced that the project was back on track on January 8. Rabren General Contractors of Auburn was selected as the builder.
- Poe, Kelly (June 14, 2017) "High-rise $40 million apartment project planned for Five Points South." The Birmingham News
- Godwin, Brent (June 14, 2017) "17-story tower proposed in Five Points South." Birmingham Business Journal
- West, Ty (August 9, 2017) "Five Points South apartment tower project moving forward." Birmingham Business Journal
- Poe, Kelly (August 9, 2017) "High rise apartment project in Five Points South to begin construction by end of January." The Birmingham News
- Godwin, Brent (January 3, 2019) "Developer buys The Break site in Five Points South for $2.6M." Birmingham Business Journal
- Godwin, Brent (January 8, 2019) "Construction to start on 17-story Five Points South apartment tower." Birmingham Business Journal