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Vote on two RH issues set for Monday night

By Lisa Brody

A vote to rezone the newly-reconfigured parcel of land for a proposed four-story Restoration Hardware (RH) building to anchor downtown Birmingham’s shopping district to the D-4 zoning classification, as well as to permit it to be within the economic development map to obtain a liquor license, will come before the Birmingham City Commission on Monday, June 14, during a public hearing.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30, and as all city meetings continue to be virtual, can be accessed by the public via a Zoom link or on cable TV.

Plans for the RH location call for a 49,624-square-foot building with three stories of galleries, as well as a fourth floor restaurant that will double as a gallery for indoor/outdoor furnishings. Representatives for RH estimate more than $25 million will be invested into the project, with at least 130 new jobs created. Further, the location is intended to act as an anchor destination for the city’s downtown shopping area.

Designed by Birmingham architect Victor Saroki, the plans call for reconstructing more than an acre of property along Old Woodward, between Brown and Daines streets, including razing the existing Capital Title/Lutz building, Frank’s Shoe Service/Roche Bobois building, and adding the Coldwell Banker Weir Manual parking lot.

RH is seeking a rezoning of the property. Currently the property is in D3 zoning, which allows for a maximum hight of three floors. However, a planned restaurant for the fourth floor would require either a rezoning to D4 or a zoning variance.

The Birmingham Planning Board previously recommended approval of the preliminary site plans as well as a recommendation to expand the city’s economic development map, which permits liquor licenses to be established through special economic development zones. Those liquor licenses are restricted to entities investing $10 million or more into a property, or improving the value of the property by 500 percent.

On May 10, the city commission unanimously approved a series of property line zoning amendments along S. Old Woodward between E. Brown and Daines streets, to accommodate the potential RH development, or, if that does not proceed, to make it more conducive for any other future development.

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