The city’s West Homewood redevelopment plan includes redesigning retail spaces along Oak Grove Road, widening sidewalks, adding crosswalks and installing amenities such as landscaping and outdoor seating. Image courtesy of Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.
They will be hiring other people to handle most of the day-to-day operations, but both Morgan and Tyler plan to be there serving food on weekends. “It’s always fun to serve people beer and have good conversations,” Morgan said. In addition to indoor seating, the Duncans are hoping the city will follow through on some of its redevelopment proposals, which include outdoor seating and landscaping at the corner of the current parking lot. Their business will be dependent on weather and residents’ willingness to walk, but they believe Oak and Raleigh will fill a neighborhood need. “We are really going to be hoping that the 800 houses around here like
us,” Tyler said.
Just before Oak and Raleigh gets ready to open its doors, the city of Homewood will begin phase one of the redevelopment plan it outlined in 2012. In April, the Homewood City Council approved a project to redesign the section of Oak Grove Road between Oxmoor Road and Hall Avenue. The project will include a repaved street, brick sidewalk pavers, crosswalks and 21 new acornshaped streetlights. The city made a deal with Alabama Power to maintain the lights for around $1,200 per month. Ward 2 Place 1 Representative Fred Hawkins has been heavily involved in the project’s design and said construction is planned to begin sometime after school lets out on May 21. It will be a tight
May 2015 • A23 deadline, but he’s hoping the project will be finished before the new school year begins in August so there won’t be disruption of school traffic. “This is supposed to be a catalyst,” Hawkins said, noting that this first step would encourage more retail interest in the area and lead to the remaining three phases of the redevelopment plan. The plan was originally presented to the public in 2012 after studies were performed by the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. Mikhail Alert, a senior planner at the RPCGB, said the plan is intended to make West Homewood more walkable, slow traffic, attract local retail and give the area a distinctive look much like downtown Edgewood. As proposed by the RPCGB, the rest of phase one includes redesigning the front facade of Oak and Raleigh’s building and adding pedestrian amenities such as landscaping and outdoor seating. Phase two of the plan would create a plaza on the southwest side of the Oak Grove Road-Oxmoor Road intersection, including a two-story building to house businesses, a cafe and possibly residential lofts. The third phase would improve the southeast side of the same intersection, with a new parcel being made into retail space and a paved sidewalk or fire access road connecting Gillon Drive to the intersection. The final phase proposes moving Homewood Fire Department Station 3 to the Scott Street area. None of these projects has been approved or funded by the council yet, but Hawkins said the paving project itself has already drawn attention. He wants to see it become a “destination spot” in the city. “We’ve already got three different people that heard about this that are interested in restaurants, retail and maybe housing,” Hawkins said. “I’m really hoping it will spark some growth that will clean up this area and make it a more attractive place to walk to for the neighborhood.”
CONTINUED from page A1 Brittany’s. This year the event is moving even closer to their Edgewood home. The run will begin at Homewood Central Park instead of Crestline Village, where it had previously been held. “After a great deal of discussion, we decided to move Motherwalk 2015 to Homewood so that we could bring awareness about ovarian cancer to another part of Birmingham,” said Susan Greene, executive director of the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation. “Also, we had started outgrowing the space in Crestline and we felt Homewood Park would be a great place — same great race, all new place. Homewood has a warm community atmosphere much like Crestline, the route is relatively flat and the neighborhood is welcoming and safe.” Greene said her favorite part of the event is celebrating the lives of women and families that have been touched by ovarian cancer. “It pays tribute to the courageous women who have passed their battle on to us,” she said. Stacy said it’s the survivors who stand out most to her during Motherwalk. “There are not a lot of survivors out there, but it warms my heart to see survivors at the walk,” Stacy said. The Miners said the event is very family friendly with a kids’ fun run, inflatables, music, food and drinks. Oftentimes you see moms pushing strollers and kids on scooters in the walk, while faster runners stay at the front of the pack. Todd said he is going to encourage his neighbors to participate this year. They already run around Edgewood streets, after all. The Miners also initiated creating a car tag for ovarian cancer. Last year the tags, which cost $50 each, raised $80,000. Of the price, $41.35 goes to gynecological oncology research at UAB. “It has a twofold purpose,” Todd said. “It’s the best advertisement we have.” On May 9, the Motherwalk 5K begins at 8 a.m., and the 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Pre-race packet pickup will be Wednesday, May 6, from 4-7 p.m. at the Trak Shack and Friday, May 8, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at Homewood Central Park. Registration is $35 for the 5K or for the Fun Run, and both are free for ovarian cancer survivors. To register an individual or team, visit motherwalk.com.
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