Crestwood is an urban/suburban hybrid, which is a great real estate option if you’re committed to Birmingham living but not to the loft lifestyle. From now on, think of Crestwood as best-of-both-worlds wood.
But there are really two Crestwoods–north and south–and the differences are more than just semantic. Some of Crestwood North’s homes predate the turn of the last century, notes Greater Crestwood Inc., with Tudor homes and bungalows from the historic Woodlawn Highlands neighborhood easing into mid-century ranch designs built after World War II. (For full specs on the neighborhood’s historic housing stock, check out the Woodlawn Highlands/Crestwood North Historic District’s registration form for the National Register of Historic Places.)
Crestwood South is more firmly mid-century in its housing styles and neighborhood design, like older sections of Vestavia Hills without the commute. Commercial areas are limited to the outer boundaries of the neighborhood at Crestwood Boulevard and Montclair Road. The arrangement preserves a strictly residential feel while keeping amenities close by. Homes here are generally within 5 or 10 minutes of Trinity Medical Center, Home Depot, The Edge 12 cinemas, the Levite Jewish Community Center, and the Publix at Montclair Place.
The two neighborhoods come together at Crestwood Boulevard, where the Shoppes of Crestwood features local businesses next to the renovated Crestwood Park. The Crestwood South Neighborhood Association calls this 56th Street junction with Crestwood Boulevard “the crossroads of the Crestwood Community.” It’s certainly the heart of the area’s local business community, where Seasick Records has joined longtime favorites like Crestwood Coffee and Crestwood Tavern. The Filling Station will add pizza to the mix, and Urban Suburban is already a great place to wander away an afternoon.
Ultimately, choosing your Crestwood neighborhood is less about amenities and more about atmosphere. Crestwood South had gained ground by the early aughts, while Crestwood North’s resurgence feels more recent. If you like the proximity to Woodlawn and eastward growing Avondale, Crestwood North may be the way to go. For a more established feel, focus on Crestwood South. You might even end up with a rec room in some of the mid-century builds, a handy thing for game day hosting during football season.