Birminghamís new Triangle District plan calls for building taller, denser and more mixed-use buildings. The idea is to create a vibrant, urban district that complements its downtown across Woodward.
Meet the first development to fit all three criteria: 735 Forest.
"We were ahead of the curve," says John Kelly, a partner with the developer Mosher, Dolan, Cataldo & Kelly. "This building is emblematic of what they want to do with the area."
The 35,000 square foot mixed-use structure is best broken down by floor. The first is set aside for the Forest Avenue Bistro, a 65-seat restaurant that will be run by Brian Polcyn who also owns the Five Lakes Grill in Milford. The second story is dedicated as office space for the Birmingham-based developer and tenants who are currently negotiating their leases. The third floor will become 11 rental lofts, averaging 1,100 square feet each.
The cherry on top is that the building is going for LEED certification.
The building replaces three old single-family homes that had been converted to businesses. The developer razed them to make room for the project. The streets surrounding the new building will also be redeveloped in a downtown style that emphasizes walkability and openness.
735 Forest Avenue is one block east of Woodward Avenue, next to the new AAA building, in the middle of the city's Triangle District.
The area bounded by Woodward Avenue, Adams Road and Maple Road (just east of downtown) has been experiencing development pressure yet lacked a clear vision and framework for growth until recently when the City Commission approved the Triangle District plan. The new master plan is helping spur development on surface parking lots and underutilized parcels that will create a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and mixed-use district.
Source: John Kelly, a partner with the developer Mosher, Dolan, Cataldo & Kelly and Kristin Holder, founder of Holder Media Group Writer: Jon Zemke