As the real estate market in Birmingham blooms, Black developers are ensuring the accelerated growth is reflective of the city’s cultural diversity. A collective of prominent African American real estate leaders recently inked a paramount deal to create a new housing development, WVTM 13 reported.
The project is historic as it marks the largest development transaction to be led by an all-Black team in Birmingham. The Birmingham City Council and the city’s mayor Randall L. Woodfin sold 222 acres of land near Lakeshore Parkway to the Black-owned Green Meadow Apartments firm for $1.5 million. The company—which is led by former Alabama HUD Field Office Director Michael German—will orchestrate the development of a complex that will include single-family, multi-family and senior housing for 900 residents.
The infrastructure—which will be constructed by a Black contractor—will include a grocery store and commercial retail spaces. The project will boost Birmingham’s economic ecosystem with the projected creation of 2,000 construction jobs and 240 permanent jobs. The commercial spaces will reportedly generate an estimated $500,000 in property taxes within the first few years of operation. The collective investment in the development project will be $100 million.
Cornell Wesley, who serves as the director of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, says the deal is exemplary of the importance of representation within the realm of real estate. “We want to thank the mayor and council for their support in this transformational project,” he shared in a statement. “This sends a message to the entire country that African American and minority developers have a place in Birmingham, and we are aggressive and intentional about supporting their efforts.”
This milestone comes nearly 33 years after former Birmingham mayor Richard Arrington Jr. launched the “Birmingham Plan” to ensure firms owned by people of color weren’t locked out of the city’s economic growth.