BIRMINGHAM, AL — Redevelopment of the Ramsay-McCormack Building in the Ensley Business District is about to get underway, according Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. The project will be the catalyst for redevelopment of the business district and overall Ensley community, he said.
“For decades, the Ramsay-McCormack Building symbolized Ensley’s thriving business district. Sadly, in more recent years, it has only signified blight,” Mayor Woodfin said. “That’s why I’m so excited about this project – the Ramsay-McCormack Building site will very soon symbolize revitalization in this cherished neighborhood. We will focus investment not in a building alone, but through a comprehensive plan in the community.”
The redevelopment of the historic Ramsay-McCormack Building site will begin with a deconstruction of the original 10-story structure. City officials said the process is estimated to take up to 75 days.
Materials salvaged from the existing building will be used in a new five story, 30,000 square foot structure in order to reflect its historic architecture style. Those materials will support character-defining features such as integration of the bricks, some marble, some terra cotta and overall architectural design. Like the original building, the new construction will be the tallest building in Ensley.
According to the city, Ensley District Developers will guide the reconstruction with a focus on creating a multipurpose use for the building designed to drive additional foot traffic in the Ensley Business District. The vision for the community redevelopment plan is the creation of a logistics hub, wrapped in an entertainment district. Existing logistics firms and newly recruited firms will attract the investment and the workers to stimulate the economy.
Two tenants have already publicly committed to leasing space in the completed project. Innovation Depot will bring its extensive and impressive track record of accelerating the growth and development of tech firms, which will bring workers to the area and increase foot traffic. Birmingham Promise, Inc. will open its headquarters in the building.
The original Ramsay-McCormack Building was completed in 1929. The City of Birmingham acquired the building in 1983. The city called for proposals for the catalytic redevelopment of the historic Ramsay-McCormack Building and other signature properties owned by the City of Birmingham in Ensley’s historic business district in February 2019. The city had previously issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for private developers for renovation plans in 2018. Those initial proposals were rejected.
Ensley District Developers entered a contract with the city in September 2019. The estimated completion date of the redevelopment of the Ramsay-McCormack site is near the end of 2022.