7 exciting developments in Birmingham, including the $175M Protective Stadium


Construction on Protective Stadium in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for The Bama Buzz

Despite the pandemic, a number of exciting developments are underway in The Magic City. Keep reading to find out more about several of these developments, including the upcoming $175M Protective Stadium in downtown Birmingham.

This week’s construction update is sponsored by Williams Blackstock Architects, a Birmingham-based architecture firm focused on creating inspiring designs since their founding in 1994. Click here to learn more about Williams Blackstock Architects.

1. Legacy Arena Renovation ($125M)

Legacy Arena
Legacy Arena in downtown Birmingham under construction. Photo via Nathan Watson for The Bama Buzz

The new-and-improved Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) is nearing completion, following a renovation project than began in April 2020. For the past 16 months, construction crews with BL Harbert International have worked to bring the Legacy Arena, originally built in 1976, into the 21st century.

Once complete, the new Legacy Arena will feature a completely renovated interior with modern seats, improved restrooms, VIP suites, a club level, improved concessions stands and more. On the outside, a new green space will lead the way to the facility’s lobby, with its massive glass entryway.

The renovation project is expected to wrap up by December 2021, just in time for home games with the recently-announced Birmingham Squadron NBA G-League team and concerts like Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever World Tour.

2. Grandview Physicians Plaza II ($50M)

Construction on Grandview Medical Center Physicians Plaza II. Photo via Nathan Watson for The Bama Buzz

On October 30, 2020, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey met representatives of Grandview Medical Center, Daniel Corporation and Brasfield & Gorrie to break ground on the Grandview Physicians Plaza II, a $50M addition to the existing Grandview Medical Center. Located on five acres next to the Grandview Medical Center, the upcoming state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to open in mid-2022.

Once complete, the Grandview Physicians Plaza II will include 200,000 square-feet of space across seven stories. In addition, the Physicians Plaza II will be connected to the existing Grandview Medical Center by an elevated pedestrian bridge.

3. Protective Stadium ($175M)

Construction on Protective Stadium in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for The Bama Buzz

In late December 2019, contractor Brasfield & Gorrie kicked off construction of the Protective Stadium, a brand-new multi-purpose stadium in downtown Birmingham. The upcoming, state-of-the-art stadium is located on the north side of downtown Birmingham, adjacent to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC).

Contractors plan to have Protective Stadium complete in time for the 2021 fall football season. Once complete, the stadium will be able to seat 47,100 guests and host events such as:

  • The opening and closing ceremonies of The World Games 2022
  • Games for the UAB Blazers football team
  • The annual Birmingham Bowl
  • The AHSAA “Super Seven” high school football championship every three years

4. 20 Midtown Phase II ($110M)

Construction In Birmingham
Construction on 20 Midtown Development in downtown Birmingham earlier this year. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for The Bama Buzz

The second phase of 20 Midtown, the popular mixed-use development in downtown Birmingham, resumed construction earlier this year after several years of delays. Once complete, the five-story building will take up an entire city block with 312 apartment units and more than 40,000 square-feet of retail & commercial space. Several upcoming tenants have been announced, including a Panda Express, Milo’s Hamburgers and Nail Resort.

The project is expected to be complete in late 2022.

5. Building Trades Tower ($40M)

Building Trades Tower
The Building Trades Tower in Birmingham is getting a facelift. Photo via Nathan Watson for The Bama Buzz

In June 2021, we learned that the 12-story Building Trades Towers is getting a major facelift, coming after a devastating fire that left the building vacant since 2015. New owner Restoration Capital Partners LLC is spending $40M to renovate the 51-year-old building into a new residential workforce housing development.

Once complete, the Building Trades Towers will a mix of 242 studios & one-bedroom apartments, averaging around 500 square-feet each. In addition, the tower will include an on-site gym and 15,000 square-feet of amenity space. The renovation project is expected to be completed in 2022.

6. The Frank ($40M)

The Frank
The Frank Nelson Building in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Matthew Niblett for The Bama Buzz

Earlier this year, Orchestra Partners launched a $40M redevelopment of the historic Frank Nelson building in downtown Birmingham. The redeveloped building, dubbed “The Frank”, will eventually include 180 studio & one-bedroom apartments spread over eight floors. In addition, The Frank will continue to include space for retail & restaurants, such as UPS, Trattoria Zaza and a second, upcoming restaurant.

The redevelopment of The Frank is expected to be complete in 2022.

7. UAB’s Science & Engineering Complex ($78.5M)

New Science and Engineering Complex for UAB. Rendering via the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Over the next few months, the skyline of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s campus will be changing with the addition of the new UAB Science and Engineering Complex. Construction crews have already broken ground on the four-story, state-of-the-art facility, which is estimated to cost around $78.5M.

Once complete, the Science and Engineering Complex will add 145,784 square-feet of classroom, research lab, faculty & office space to UAB’s campus. The facility is expected to be open for student use by Fall 2023.

Which developments are you looking forward to? What did we miss? Tag us @thebamabuzz on social media to let us know!

Sponsored by:

Williams Blackstock Architects
Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.

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