Park 35 Breathes New Life Into Historic Section

A $43 million multifamily development in Birmingham, Ala., is playing a significant role in the resurrection of one of the area’s historic neighborhoods.

📅   Wed January 06, 2016 - Southeast Edition
Cindy Riley - CEG CORRESPONDENT


Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
A $43 million multifamily development in Birmingham, Ala., is playing a significant role in the resurrection of one of the area’s historic neighborhoods.
Brasfield & Gorrie photo. A $43 million multifamily development in Birmingham, Ala., is playing a significant role in the resurrection of one of the area’s historic neighborhoods.
Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
A $43 million multifamily development in Birmingham, Ala., is playing a significant role in the resurrection of one of the area’s historic neighborhoods. Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
Park 35 on Clairmont will offer 271 luxury units when it opens its doors in 2017. Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
“This project epitomizes the exciting revitalization efforts currently underway in the city,” said Stephen Franklin, Brasfield & Gorrie senior project manager Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
Park 35 on Clairmont will cater to residents seeking  specific accommodations. Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
The project features 259 one, two and three bedroom units, plus 12 townhouse units with porches facing Clairmont Avenue. Brasfield & Gorrie photo.
Construction is expected to complete in January 2017.

A $43 million multifamily development in Birmingham, Ala., is playing a significant role in the resurrection of one of the area's historic neighborhoods. Park 35 on Clairmont will offer 271 luxury units when it opens its doors in 2017.

“This project epitomizes the exciting revitalization efforts currently underway in the city,” said Stephen Franklin, Brasfield & Gorrie senior project manager. “As a local construction firm, Brasfield & Gorrie has been a continual part of the ongoing development, and is eager to watch our city make healthy progress.”

Brasfield & Gorrie is teaming with Franklin, Tenn., based Bristol Development Group and JDavis Architects on Park 35. Located in the Lakeview community, the apartment complex will total 325,000 sq. ft. (30,193.5 sq m).

“Right now, site and foundation work are ongoing,” said Justin Drummond, Brasfield & Gorrie project manager. “Structural steel and wood framing is beginning.”

Park 35 on Clairmont will cater to residents seeking specific accommodations.

“While most all projects have unique characteristics, this project will produce high-end luxury units,” Drummond said. “Because of this, our overall planning and scheduling included this consideration.”

Drummond said Park 35 on Clairmont, like many construction projects, is not without its challenges.

“The existing site terrain and location is situated among existing multifamily developments in the area. Also, the schedule is aggressive and required careful planning, and due to the high volume of construction projects in the region generally, there is limited workforce availability.

“Extensive site work was required due to the elevation change of 50 feet from the low to high side of the site. The concrete foundation design is terraced into the slope of the terrain to maximize site efficiency. This extensive site work required several thousand linear feet of cast-in-place concrete retaining walls.”

There had been no activity on the property for quite some time, until crews began their work. Numerous development projects had been attempted, including a planned condominium in 2008. Various developers and partnerships proposed multimillion-dollar apartment projects on the site, which never materialized.

“Previously, the site housed an apartment complex that had been demolished,” Drummond said. “However, the site remained vacant for a number of years and had become grassy. The site also required 50 feet of elevation change from north to south.

“At the outset, the early planning and scheduling phases required significant time and attention,” Drummond said. “It's anticipated that the wood framing will take the most time, followed by build-out of the luxury units.”

To date, crews have removed more than 20,000 cu. yds. (15,291 cu m) of rock direct from the site. Equipment being used on the project includes a Volvo 380 excavator, a John Deere 700 dozer with Leica Icon GPS for cut/fill and grading, Komatsu HM300 rock trucks for hauling, a Komatsu 210 excavator, a Caterpillar 935 wheel loader, a Caterpillar 314 excavator and a Komatsu 228 excavator.

Crews also are using a Komatsu PC88 drill shaft rig on a track mounted Komatsu 300, a 25-ton (22.6 t) Manitowoc, ShuttleLift for hoisting drilled shaft rebar cages, a JLG 12K extended reach forklift, a Schwing 41M concrete pump truck and a 100-ton (90.7 t) Link-Belt RT crane for steel erection. Materials include concrete, steel, lumber, CMU block, #57 stone, brick, stucco and cementitious siding.

While the project is not attempting LEED certification, Drummond said sustainability is always an important consideration in the building process.

“For this project specifically, we have utilized local materials, labor and subcontractors to the greatest extent possible. Also, during the early planning stages of this project, and in an effort to ensure that responsible materials and practices are utilized, our team carefully evaluated the entire life cycle of the building.”

JDavis Architects of Raleigh, N.C., is serving as the project architect. According to Benjamin Scott, AIA, RA, “Park 35 is around the typical size of multifamily projects that JDavis is a part of. The project presents some unique opportunities. The site is in an excellent location, convenient to downtown and with great views of the golf course and the skyline.”

The project also incorporates a growing trend in construction today, with the use of stick frame design. Benefits include cost efficiency and a shorter construction timeline, in comparison to steel.

“The structure of the residential building is predominantly wood framing, with some structural steel as necessary to achieve longer spans in the club area,” said Scott. “The residential building is wrapped around a precast concrete parking garage. Wood framing is the most cost-effective way to build buildings of this type and size.”

The project features 259 one, two and three bedroom units, plus 12 townhouse units with porches facing Clairmont Avenue.

There are 9-ft. (2.7 m) ceilings on the lower floors, with 10-ft. (3 m) ceilings on the top floor.

A golf course also is offered, along with secured structured parking, a courtyard with a swimming pool and grilling area, a club room with billiards, table tennis, wet bar and seating area and a fitness room with cardio and weight equipment, as well as a separate room with a WellBeats system. An interior bicycle storage and bicycle maintenance/repair station is included, along with a pet spa and an exterior dog park.

“Park 35 draws on elements of the art deco style,” said Scott. “It's located on a steep site on Clairmont Avenue between 34th and 36th Street, bound by 8th Avenue South to the north and an alley cutting through the block. It consists of a five-story residential building stepping up the hill. A precast concrete parking garage sits along the alley at the center of the site.

“The residential building forms an interior courtyard on the west end of the site and extends along Clairmont Avenue to the east. The building steps back to create an entry court along Clairmont Avenue, with the leasing office on the first floor. The club sits above the leasing office and has an exterior terrace facing the golf course across the street.”

Construction is expected to complete in January 2017.