Sam Carroll, SIOR of Graham & Company represented the purchaser of the Bailey Brothers location in the transaction in article below.
Five Points South may soon have a new bar, restaurant and amusement venue. Local firm Orchestra Partners said it is planning to bring a social bowling concept to 20th Street South this year, which will be modeled after high-end bowling venues that have opened in other markets.
“There are lots of cool bars in Birmingham with arcade games, shuffleboard, darts, billiards, cornhole, bocce, etc. but these activities are rarely in the same place,” said Orchestra Partners Principal John Boone, in an email to the BBJ. “We’ll have enough space to include everything from ping-ping to bowling. When active-lifestylers are thinking of things to do on nights and weekends, we want them to think of this first.”
Boone said the social bowling venue will be located at the former Bailey Brothers Music building, located between Five Points Hardware and the newly opened Homewood Suites Hotel.
The firm started design of the social bowling concept a few months ago and closed on the building in January. Xceligent records show the property at 1006 20th St. S. sold for $1.3 million.
“The old Bailey Brothers Music Co. building on 20th Street is a fantastic location. It’s on a major commuter route in a historic district, with 15,000 cars passing by the front door daily,” said Boone. “There’s ample parking on the street and in the Pickwick deck across the road. The most important thing to us was the building’s WalkScore of 93, and proximity to affluent suburbs, Southside neighborhoods, and tens of thousands of UAB students and employees.”
Boone said similar high-end bowling venues spread through big markets in the 2000s.
“I went to one when I lived in Bethesda, and it was way better than those smoky, cavernous suburban bowling alleys,” he said. “Likewise, ‘social houses’ have become very popular across the country since Punchbowl Social opened their first one in Denver in 2012 . Pinewood Social opened in Nashville shortly after that, Charlotte is about to have two, and a solo developer built one in Chattanooga a couple of years ago.”
Boone and partner Hunter Renfroe also closed on a nearby property last year, and say they have high hopes for the future of Five Points South. The firm is also underway on a residential and commercial condominium project in the city center called Founders Station.
As for the social bowling venue, Boone said he’s seen turnarounds for these kinds of projects at between 8 and 15 months, and he feels they have a solid building that’s already zoned so they’re pretty confident in a 2017 opening.
The social bowling project comes at time of much change in the historic area. Recently nearby tenants World of Beer and Fuego closed, while Homewood Suites opened and Hotel Highland is undergoing a renovation and rebranding.
But Orchestra Partners sees much potential for revitalization in the district.
“We’re timing this project with the 130th Anniversary of Five Points South,” Boone said. “This celebration will mark the beginning of an 18-month master plan for the neighborhood, which is being developed by the Five Points Alliance together with UAB, REV, and the City of Birmingham. The impact that this project will have in conjunction with other developments in the area will be tremendous.”