Twice a month, the city of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee convenes at the Auburn Urban Studio to discuss plans to make alterations to structures that fall within one of the city’s many historic and commercial revitalization districts. This column summarizes recent DRC activity, with projects grouped by type and location. This edition of Design Review recaps the DRC meeting from April 22, 2015.
A new restaurant will be making an old car dealership into a new endeavor, the Wooden Goat (4100 Third Avenue South). The current shape of the roof will be removed and the exterior cleaned up. Roll up doors will be installed with a bronze store front. Plans for both signage and landscaping will be discussed at a later meeting.
Dr. Morgan’s Clinic (2010 Avenue F, Ensley) for children has plans to make an addition to the project. The addition will resemble the original finishes and colors.
A previously approved apartment construction project, Flats on 4th, (300 16th Street South) returned to the committee. The project has been scaled back and will be constrained to most of the block. It will no longer wrap the corner nor span the alley. The building has been reduced to four floors (from five) and the plans no longer include a separate parking deck. At this time, retail space will not be available and parking will be situated on the first floor. The exterior design will be able to accommodate retail in the future. The architects will return to the committee with finishes and the landscape plan. Construction will start this summer.
The Norwood Elementary School (3123 Norwood Boulevard) renovation project is entering the next phase and includes repaving and striping the parking lot, new fencing, replacing the front courtyard with a reconstruction of the original design, and fixing accessibility issues. The committee expressed concerns on the safety of the bus and parent drop-off in the public right of way on Norwood Boulevard and requested the architect look at the pedestrian access.
Status: Approved, one opposed.
Second Avenue North
Plans for the restaurant Bamboo on 2nd (2212 Second Avenue North) were brought to the committee. Exterior painting will be completed on the trim and the door will be painted red. A flat panel laser cut metal sign will hang in the illuminated alcove. No detail on the sign was presented, but the committee will allow for staff approval.
The Auburn Urban Studio (221 20th Street North) presented the signage package. Transparent decals will adorn the corner windows and above the door. The exterior will also be painted. They will return to the committee with the blade sign design.
Status: Approved, one opposed.
A representative from REV Birmingham presented the new signage for East 59 Vintage & Cafe (7619 First Avenue North). The shop’s logo will be rendered in a three-foot diameter project sign centered on the building’s façade. The right of way requirements were discussed.
Status: Approved, one recusal.
Five Points South
The signage plan for Pho Pho (1025 20th Street South) returned to the committee. A master signage plan was requested by the committee. However, the building’s owner has not determined one. The committee, however, will allow approval by email.
Status: Carry Over, one opposed.
The committee previously approved the exterior signage for Rozar’s (3003 Sixth Avenue South). However, the company has determined a need to change how the retail space is used and both entrances will now accommodate retail traffic. The main sign will be mounted to the center of the building’s façade. The committee was concerned about how the sign will obscure architectural details. The project is subject to final location and an email vote will be allowed.
Status: Approved, two opposed.
Taziki’s (301 19th Street South) is going through a re-branding campaign and all franchises will eventually be updated.. All signs on the Taziki restaurants will be updated with the new design.
Plans for a residential addition (2905 Carlisle Road) were presented to the committee. The presentation included the changes requested by the neighborhood association. The rear addition will resemble the house and will add two rooms, a screened porch, and a garage. Except in the winter, the addition cannot be seen from the road. Two parking spaces will also be added beyond the garage.