A prominent New York developer has unveiled plans for a $200 million project at the former Trinity Medical Center site after buying the property in deals that closed on Monday.
Development director Will Kadish told the Birmingham Business Journal in a statement that the site will undergo a massive overhaul for a multi-use development called “Arbor Terrace.”
It’s a $200 million project over a five-year period that would include space for a corporate headquarters as well as luxury condominiums, medical office and retail and cafe spaces. Kadish confirmed the team currently has three different deals in the works but did not disclose details on which company may be planning to relocate its headquarters to the site.
Birmingham Metro LLC, an entity belonging to Lawrence Kadish and Will Kadish, acquired two parcels totaling 20 acres from Affinity Hospital LLC for $1.35 million, according to Jefferson County public records. It also acquired 55 acres from the Baptist Health System for an undisclosed amount as financial terms of that deal were not immediately available from public records. The New York-based developer had been exploring a purchase of the site before the coronavirus crisis hit, as we previously reported.
Walter Brown and Dan Lovell of Graham & Co. represented the selling entities in the transactions.
Kadish has enlisted the help of several Birmingham-based companies as part of the team, including Schoel Engineering Co. Inc., Sirote & Permutt, Southpace Properties, Williams Blackstock Architects, Stewart/Perry Builders, Bullock Environmental, Skipper Traffic Engineering and Summit Electrical. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
Spanning 75 acres along Montclair Road, the project includes more than 300,000 square feet of renovated buildings with new high-speed elevators, life-safety systems, modern architectural design features and 1,700 parking spaces. Five graded building pads, ranging from four to 17 acres, are also available for sale or joint venture. Kadish said a senior living facility may go up on one of those pads, and a school already wants to take one of those four-acre spots. The site plans includes green space, new and expanded nature trails, and a private indoor golf range.
“We’re going to cooperate with other developers,” he said. “There’s a lot of great developers in Birmingham that didn’t want to take down the whole project, but they like parts of it.”
The campus sits on an elevated 30-acre platform embedded in Red Mountain, overlooking Crestline Village, Mountain Brook and the U.S. 280 corridor with access to Interstates 459 and 20. The site will include entrances and exits from Montclair Road, Dan Hudson Drive and 52nd Street.
“Our team is honored to be part of the continued expansion of this iconic and thriving area,” Kadish said in a release. “We look forward to welcoming new tenants, businesses and guests who are looking for a serene and upscale community experience while remaining close to Birmingham’s vibrant downtown district.”
Kadish said one goal will be to showcase the natural beauty of the area.
“Arbor Terrace will have something for everyone – from enterprising executives, career-focused professionals, avid nature enthusiasts and high-end culture connoisseurs,” he said. “We’re certain that locals will be delighted by all that the site has to offer, and we can’t wait to showcase it.”
Kadish told the BBJ the team is committed to move forward on the project despite the pressure bearing down on the local and national economies from the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We have the best country in the world. You can’t count out American ingenuity,” he said. “It’s a tough time for a lot of people. We’re praying for everybody and we’re all pitching in, but when we make our commitment to go forward with something, we don’t back out.”
Kadish serves as director of commercial real estate development and disposition at Lawrence Kadish Real Estate, where he has been responsible for development and rehabilitative projects in several states, including Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania.
In the metro Birmingham area, Kadish is known for the development of Stadium Trace Village, a large mixed-use development in Hoover with a medical facility, hotel and grocery store as well as shops, restaurants and other retailers. Kadish said crews are currently working on three construction projects at the development. He also developed The Landing in Opelika.
The former Trinity Medical Center site was vacated when the hospital relocated to U.S. 280 to become Grandview Medical Center in 2015. The buildings on site were built between the 1960s and 1980s, and the property is still zoned B6 — health and institutional district — for medical purposes, according to public records.
According to a Birmingham Metro LLC spokesperson, a zoning study has been conducted and the developer plans to present the project to the Crestwood South Neighborhood Association soon.
This is not the first time since 2015 that a project has been floated for the site. Developers have looked at repurposing the former hospital campus over the past few years.
In 2018, a Maryland-based company had the property under contract and considered a large mixed-use development for the site that included luxury apartments, condos, office space, town homes, hotel and retail with green space. But that project didn’t materialize.
Commercial real estate experts say it is not located in a growth area of town but can benefit from its proximity to Mountain Brook and the 880 Montclair building where Colliers International is located. It would be a challenging project but could potentially be a great asset to the neighborhood and city, adding to the redevelopment of several major sites in Birmingham, including the former Carraway hospital campus and Powell Avenue Steam Plant downtown.