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Category: Crestline

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016: A Year in Posts

One of the big questions we ask ourselves for each blog post is “What does this say about the neighborhood?” It’s the guiding editorial principle we use on the spots everyone’s talking about as well as the ones sometimes overlooked. As we round out the year, it seemed fitting to look through our posts by neighborhood and pick the single most representative one. These are the posts we think tell you most about eight major Birmingham neighborhoods in 2016 and, just maybe, where they’re headed in the new year.

From game-changing openings to quieter expressions of community, here are the highlights.

 

Avondale’s Live/Work Expansion

birmingham neighborhoods in 2016 avondale

“We’re so used to thinking about Avondale in terms of its food and entertainment options that we forget the ways it’s also increasingly becoming a business district. Already there are some retail options and small business locations, but we can’t help thinking the new MAKEbhm space is Avondale’s defining business moment.”

 

Crestwood’s Community Character

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016 Crestwood

“It’s that community atmosphere that stands out most in Crestwood’s neighborhood branding. Crestwood is less associated with hip amenities than places like Avondale, or downtown’s Loft District. Instead, it’s a great community with close access to other great parts of the city.”

 

Crestline’s Choice Location

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016 Crestline

Crestline is a best-of-both worlds kind of area, and that’s what we’ve tried to capture in siting our newest community development. The Gladstone location — 4447 Montevallo Road — lies between the neat single-family streets of Crestline Park and the everyday essentials available in the neighboring Crestwood/Irondale corridor. It’s convenient to the big-box resources of the Montclair Road Publix and the independent gems of Dunston Avenue.”

 

Downtown Loft District’s Landmark Re-Openings

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016 Downtown Loft District

Commentary on the Redmont suggests this renovation is more than just an exciting commercial project in the city center. It’s a clue to the city Birmingham once was and, we hope, an omen for what it’s becoming again.’The Redmont Hotel is important because it tells us what a particular era, the ’20s, was like in our city,’ Patricia King, then serving as a preservation consultant and as development coordinator for Operation New Birmingham, told the Birmingham Business Journal in 2000. ‘We know it was a boom time, and the richness of the hotel supports that.’ ”

 

Five Points’s Easy Patio Vibe

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016 Five Points South

With its casual vibe and blues soundtrack, Delta Blues seems destined to be a neighborhood hangout, like the ultra-Southern version of everything we love about neighboring J. Clyde. We can imagine more than a few warm evenings spent on their patio, catching up with friends over baskets of hot tamales and bottles of cold beer. ”

 

Lakeview’s Retro Future

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016 Lakeview

“The restaurant describes itself as a place “giving a nod to the past while shaping the future,” and we’re inclined to agree. With its throwback name and place in Lakeview’s premiere mixed-use development — 29 Seven — it has feet firmly planted in both local lore and present progress.”

 

Parkside’s Public Symbols

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016

In so many ways the Parkside area defines Birmingham right now, from its new construction to its existing transformation, its corporate conveniences and Smallbox startups. Baseball season at Regions Field is the epitome of Birmingham in the summer, and now Railroad Park is offering a quintessential winter balance.”

 

Woodlawn’s Modest Transformation

Birmingham Neighborhoods in 2016 Woodlawn

There’s also something very European about the idea of a modest cafe offering truly interesting food. That’s what we see as the cafe’s real strength. And it feels at home in the artsy, up-and-coming area around REV Birmingham’s office. There’s something a little under-the-radar about Woodlawn, where truly exciting things — mixed-income housing, musical hubs, an urban farm — are quietly boosting the area.”

Design Notes From a Boutique Build

h2 boutique build in crestline

h2 boutique build in crestline

The Crestline custom home in our Instagram feed is not just an H2 build but an H2 home. It belongs to one of our co-founders, and we love showing it off. But this boutique build is about more than personal style; it’s about the way we do business. We believe so much in our partners at Nequette Architecture & Design because we live with their work.

Consider the way Louis Nequette described the project in an Instagram post:

“How do you design a new roomy house in an old established neighborhood without killing the old school street scale? This courtyard house in Mountain Brook maintains a cozy Crestline cottage scale from the street while wrapping it’s floor plan all the way around a private courtyard pool. 3 Bedrooms in the attic line expand the design to support this ever-growing family.”

It’s the epitome of our boutique build philosophy, where space matters but quality matters more. Located in an older neighborhood, the design can’t rely on overblown entryways and conspicuous volume. It can’t rely on sheer square footage to carve out enough space for a family. That’s where design comes in.

It relies instead on the comfortable luxury of stairwells steeped in sunlight, of archways and corbels, and an open plan that refuses to be just another box. And while it’s true that this level of detail really only comes with custom design, we think you’ll notice elements that have made it into more turnkey builds. Into places like the Gladstone.

The bottom line is this: the folks who design your H2 community home are the same ones who design ours. Theirs is the work we know and the vision we trust.

And the trust works both ways. Designer Bill Aroosian lives at Abbey Road, where he designed the kitchens. Jeffrey Dungan, of the former Dungan Nequette partnership, also made his home there. They had enough faith in our communities they literally bought into them. It’s our favorite kind of testimonial.

H2 Builds: The Gladstone's Not-Quite-Urban Location

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One of the key drivers of home buying is convenience. Often, our clients have opted out of the suburban commute, deciding to spend their time within an increasingly interesting Birmingham. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to be right downtown. For many clients, a semi-urban location hits the sweet spot between downtown access and a residential lifestyle. Our Gladstone townhomes in Crestline are a prime example of the semi-urban location at work.

Crestline is a best-of-both worlds kind of area, and that’s what we’ve tried to capture in siting our newest community development. The Gladstone location — 4447 Montevallo Road — lies between the neat single-family streets of Crestline Park and the everyday essentials available in the neighboring Crestwood/Irondale corridor. It’s convenient to the big-box resources of the Montclair Road Publix and the independent gems of Dunston Avenue.

The Gladstone is within shouting distance of Brookwood Primary Care, Shangri-La Chinese, and multiple pharmacies. There’s even an innovative public library branch, which the Birmingham Public Library says was conceived by former BPL Associate Director Jack Bulow, who wanted “to have a branch in a mall and merchandise it like a bookstore.” Just past the shouting perimeter, you’ll find banking options at Regions and BB&T, easy eats at Milo’s or El Cazador, plus doggie day care and boarding services at We Talk Dogs.

This is not a community for folks looking to sell off their cars and commit to a walking or biking lifestyle. It’s for folks who can accept a quick drive to work but not the life-in-a-car experience of an I-65 or Highway 280 commute. It’s also one of the few options for homebuyers in Birmingham proper who want the convenience of a community development without the stacked neighbors of multi-family living.

The whole point of developing a community, after all, is to create living options that aren’t readily available. “Our focus is really to provide products that people haven’t had lately to encourage people to live in our city,” our own Carter Hughes told AL.com. If you’ve had trouble finding your perfect Birmingham spot, consider the Gladstone your Goldilocks answer.