$33 million renovation set to begin in Birmingham

Developer Ed Ticheli, center, with the development and leasing team and interns from Tuskegee University in front of the American Red Cross building in downtown Birmingham. Photo by Michael Tomberlin for Alabama NewsCenter.

The $33 million revitalization of one of Birmingham’s biggest empty eyesores is set to begin in July, and the project is getting help from a team of students from Tuskegee University.

The transformation of the five-story, 140,000-square-foot former American Red Cross building into 192 apartments, to be known as Market Lofts on Third, will begin with internal demolition work starting in mid-July. The building at 2225 Third Ave. N. has been vacant since 1999.

“We’re talking about the same style units that we have at American Life, the workforce housing units,” developer Ed Ticheli said. “They will be anywhere from 350 square feet to 650 square feet.”

Ticheli has assembled the same team that worked with him on the $24 million renovation of the 12-story, 84,000-square-foot American Life building into 140 workforce housing apartments. It is located a block away on the corner of 18th Street and Third Avenue North. The team includes Hendon & Huckestein ArchitectsWyatt Builds and LMS Real Estate Investment Management.

New to the team this summer are seven interns from Tuskegee University’s Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science (TSACS). The students were selected from the TSACS mentorship program by Charner Rodgers, associate professor and the school’s senior program coordinator of Industry Relations and Recruitment. They will live in the Lofts at American Life and learn about the entire historic renovation process with hands-on learning in architecture, construction, commercial real estate and development.

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Additionally, Opportunity AlabamaREV Birmingham and the mayor’s office have provided support for the Market Lofts on Third project, which, like Lofts at American Life, benefits from Opportunity Zone financing and state and federal historic tax credits.

For the Tuskegee students, working on a project of such significance is a huge opportunity.

For more on this story, go to Alabama NewsCenter.

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