Ensley HS demolition marks first steps toward new mixed-use development

244 housing units planned on old high school site

Demolition team takes bite from old Ensley High School.

Demolition of the former Ensley High School has begun, paving the way for a 244-unit mixed-use development in Birmingham.

“Neighborhood revitalization is our top priority,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “For many years, Ensley High School provided the educational foundation for this community. As the next steps are taken, this site will provide a new foundation for vibrant and livable space for our residents.”

The demolition phase is expected to take about four months, followed by a nine-month period of community input on design. Construction could begin by late next year.

Ensley High School closed in 2006 and was destroyed by fire in 2018.

Map shows overall plan for Ensley development.

Zimmerman Properties purchased the site for $50,000 as part of the redevelopment agreement, which also provides $1.5 million in city incentives, city officials explained. Plans call for the old gymnasium to be redeveloped for retail and for other parts of the 10-acre site to include stacked flats, carriage houses and a three-story apartment complex, providing 244 homes with one to three bedrooms each. The complex will also include off-street parking, green space and an early childhood learning center.

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In addition to Zimmerman, other project team members are TriStar, Star-C, East Lake Initiative and David Baker Architects.

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