Revitalization of the Parkside District

September 23, 2015

The June 10th news article, “Regions Field, from idea to home run”, outlined how the recent development of Regions Field has ignited growth throughout the Parkside District.  The growth began 6 years ago when the President of Corporate Realty, Robert Simon, pitched the idea of a downtown ballpark to Don Logan, the owner of the Birmingham Barons.  Simon and other developers and investors put together a proposal and feasibility study for the ballpark.  That report estimated the park would generate direct and indirect spending of more than $500 million over 30 years, and economic impacts similar to parks in other cities.  Simon knew the importance of location for the new ballpark and strategically planned for Regions Field to be developed around the new Railroad Park, which opened in 2010.  Stretching from 14th Street to 18th Street along First Avenue South, Railroad Park has been a monumental success for the City of Birmingham, and was recently named among “10 Best” parks that have helped revive cities.  On February 2, 2012, Regions Field broke ground, and on April 10, 2013, the park celebrated its grand opening.  Since its opening, the Barons have drawn more than a million fans to Regions Field, and fan attendance has increased every year.  The tremendous success of both Regions Field and Railroad Park has fueled growth throughout the Parkside district.  Corporate Realty has turned the former Merita Bakery into restaurant and office space now known as Baker’s Row.  LIV Development is finishing construction on their $30 million LIV Parkside multi-family and retail project.  Inland American is also nearing completion of their multi-family building just beyond the left-center field wall of Regions Field.  These three supporting projects will continue to transform the downtown area.  Regions Field and Railroad Park have contributed immeasurably to the renaissance of Birmingham that we are experiencing today.

Schoel Engineering could not be more proud to have been a part of the design team for many of the projects the article speaks about that have helped revitalize the Parkside district and the City of Birmingham.  For Regions Field, Schoel Engineering provided lead Civil Engineering and Surveying services, including the site work design; ALTA, topographic, and boundary surveying services along with coordination for various approvals for the development.  In the development of Railroad Park, Schoel Engineering worked closely with the rest of the design team throughout the entire design process. Macknally Land Design developed the initial concept of the stormwater collection and filtration systems and worked closely with Schoel Engineering for the civil engineering and hydrology design.  The other projects currently underway in the Parkside District – The Venue, LIV Parkside, and Bakers Row – are all projects that Schoel is proud to serve as the civil engineering and land surveyor.  Having surveyed these original downtown city blocks in the 1880s and getting to work on them again today, almost 130 years later, makes this area very special to the team at Schoel Engineering.