Historic downtown office building up for renovation

by Illyshia Parker, Birmingham Business Journal

Local developers have been tapping into preserving Birmingham’s historic charm by redeveloping historic buildings into modern, mixed-use properties.

A 10-story historic office building on Third Avenue North is next on that renovation list with construction beginning in June.

The Massey Building, located at 2025 Third Ave. N., is being renovated by Jamie Justice, managing partner of Colliers International Alabama. The 60,000-square-foot building was acquired from Massey Building Partners LLP in December 2021 for $3.5 million, according to Jefferson County public records. The cost to renovate the office building is around $8 million with about $4 million being invested into the core and shell work and another $4 million for other aspects.

A significant part of the development’s budget has been allocated to renovating the lobby. The building’s HVAC system will be replaced, and LED lighting will replace track lights and other dated lighting fixtures. Around 387 windows will also be replaced with dual-pane tinted windows to improve insulation.

The project is utilizing historic federal and state tax credits to complete the renovation, which is being designed by CCR Architecture and Interiors. Justice said the Massey project would not have been possible without government tax credits.

Several historic renovation projects have been put into motion, appealing to companies who want to experience nostalgic character while also being housed in a modern, functional environment.

“Maybe their space doesn’t work for them anymore. They love the thought of being in an older historic building, but it’s an older historic building with all new electrical, new plumbing on it. So, you get the best of both worlds,” Justice said.

Already 92% leased, the original function of the building will remain with the second and third floors featuring tenant specific construction. The remaining floors will likely be set aside for single tenants. Rental rates, based on tenant improvement packages, will start at $2,650.

Hare Wynn Newell & Newton LLP occupies the top four floors with plans to eventually relocate to the suburbs. Iberia Bank, a long-term tenant on the lower level, has a lease through 2026. Justice said the plan is to eventually add a retail tenant to the first level to contribute to the need for more downtown retail.

Southpace Properties manages the Massey Building. Colliers is currently working with CCR Architecture & Interiors making adjustments to their renovation plans in order to meet the National Park Service’s requirements, and completing construction documentation.

They will submit for permitting within the next month with construction at the Massey Building expected to begin in June.

Article originally published by Birmingham Business Journal.