Ogden Deaton, SIOR of Graham & Company represented the seller in this deal.
The building formerly known as Old Car Heaven will be redeveloped into a unique workplace for growing businesses and makers, thanks to several well-known players in Birmingham’s business world who are teaming up to bring the new business incubation space to the market.
The building at 3501 First Ave. S. will be rebranded as “M2,” a space for light manufacturing and product design businesses to grow and innovate.
The team behind the project is a partnership between Bruce Lanier, founder of MAKEbhm; Tom Carruthers, principal at Red Rock Realty; and Grant Brigham, partner at ARC Realty and former executive director at Jones Valley Teaching Farm.
The partnership recently closed on the purchase of the 75,000-square-foot building for $2.14 million. Ogden Deaton of Graham & Co. represented the seller in the deal, while Carruthers represented the buyer.
Lanier said M2 will provide space for Birmingham design and manufacturing businesses, often called makers, to produce their products and operate their businesses. The M2 team said that it is important to provide space for innovation for businesses that make products that improve lives.
Similar to MAKEbhm in Avondale, the concept for M2 is to encourage collaboration and innovation between the various established companies, startups or individual entrepreneurs who would occupy the spaces.
Brigham said the team knows there is plenty of light manufacturing talent in Birmingham, but not all of those people have a place to go every day to work and collaborate.
M2 will include common areas as well as retail and event space, and some sort of food service component. Old Car Heaven operated as an event venue until late last year when the property was sold in connection with a personal bankruptcy.
Carruthers said the location of the building is a key factor in the M2 project.
Located at the corner of First Avenue South and 35th Street, right off of the Jones Valley Trail and close to the east-west corridor of Third and Fourth Avenues South, the building is positioned between the two high growth areas of Lakeview and Avondale.
Development plans call for possibly making it a two-fronted building, with better access to the property from both First Avenue South to the north and from Third Avenue South to the south.
Lanier’s Architecture Works is handling design, while Stone Building Co. is the general contractor.
Construction is expected to begin in the late spring of this year, with the first tenants occupying space by late summer or early fall. The team said that it expects to announce the first tenants at M2 later this spring.
“We want M2 to be a place that connects Birmingham’s creative and tech community to product designers and brings those groups together,” said Lanier.
MAKEbhm, located only a few blocks away in the heart of Avondale, will continue to operate as rental space for artists and makers as well as coworking office space.