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Lot combination approved for new building

By Kevin Elliott


The Birmingham City Commission on Monday, February 8, approved combining two parcels at S. Old Woodward and Hazel in order to construct a five-story, mixed-use building combining retail and residential uses.


The parcels include the former Mountain King restaurant, 469 S. Old Woodward, and the former Talmer Bank, 479 S. Old Woodward. Under the plans, both buildings will be razed and their lots combined for the new building.


The applicant, Birmingham Tower Partners, received site plan approval in September. The plans call for a five-story building with retail use on the first floor and residential units on the upper floors. The building will also include two floors of underground parking.


Commissioner Rackeline Hoff asked about parking at the proposed building, which will include 14 ground-level parking spots and 70 spots underground. “At one point, they were going to ask to be included in the parking assessment district,” she said. “What happened with that?”


Birmingham City Planner Brooks Cowan said the city hasn’t received a formal application to be included in the parking assessment district; however, the plan includes adequate parking already on-site, unless more intensive retail uses are approved.


The owners did apply for a zoning variance in January 2021 to remove a total of seven parking spaces and alter the number of loading zones required by zoning ordinance.


The applicant had previously proposed construction of a nine-story, mixed-use building with three levels of underground parking, with a request to be rezoned. Planning board members in June 2020 voted 4-3 in favor of rezoning the site to allow for a larger building, but commissioners denied the rezoning request.


City commissioners on February 8 unanimously approved the lot combination request with mayor pro tem Therese Longe abstaining from the vote due to a potential conflict of interest.

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