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Mixed-use building set for Junior League site

By Lisa Brody

A mixed-use three-story building is planned for the former Junior League of Birmingham site, and has received preliminary site plan approval by the Birmingham Planning Board.

The new building, to be located at 460 N. Old Woodward, received unanimous recommended preliminary site plan approval from the planning board in late July, with conditions that must be met by final site plan approval, which is scheduled for December, including a full design review; that the applicant comply with requests from all city departments; provide a six-foot wooden gate to match the brick of the screen wall or building or request a variance; submit specifications for all rooftop units; and provide a full streetscape plan, inclusive of city-standard benches, bike racks and waste receptacles.

According to developer Ron Boji, the new three-story building, for which he anticipates an April 2022 start of demolition and construction, will consist of a bistro on the first floor; an office use on the second floor; and residential on the third floor, consisting of two residential units. He said he is hopeful that restaurateur Samy Eid, of Phoenicia and Forest, in Birmingham, and Leila in Detroit, will open a bistro on the first floor.

According to Birmingham Assistant City Manager and then-Planning Director Jana Ecker, a roof terrace is proposed above the third floor with access via an elevator and staircase. The proposed new building includes 6,771 square feet of retail and commercial space, and 2,485 square feet of residential space on the third floor. A rooftop terrace is also proposed for the residential tenants.

The new building is designed by Victor and Alex Saroki of Saroki Architecture in Birmingham, and will be constructed by John Kelly of Kelly Building & Development Company in Birmingham.

An adjacent property owner, Stephen Frank, representing 450 N. Old Woodward, stated at the planning board meeting he was interested in working with Boji on an easement agreement that would allow 450 N. Old Woodward to build to the property line. The two properties currently share driveways.


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