The Birmingham City Commission unanimously approved a request for proposal (RFP) for a review of the downtown retail area, and directed staff to issue the RFP on Monday, August 27.
The commission had sent the RFP back to the planning board for revisions and details at their meeting on August 13, and while some commissioners put a magnifying glass to the RFP once again, they did find a consensus after fine-tuning the language in order to make it clear and focused.
Planning director Jana Ecker noted in a memo they had incorporated in the commission's goal to determine how best to organize the existing redline retail district in order to continue developing a pedestrian-oriented experience in downtown Birmingham.
“Retail isn't dead – it's just changing,” pointed out mayor pro tem Patty Bordman.
Commissioner Mark Nickita said it was important in the RFP to “strengthen the downtown retail environment. We also need to find out the size of leasable spaces. We've done things a certain way for 20 years. I don't think this is restricting it at all.”