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Making History: All-Black Developers Secure Property for Massive Housing Development In Birmingham

The city of Birmingham has sold 222 acres of land to an all-Black development team for $1.5 million to Green Meadow Apartments. The team will transform the land into housing units, making it the largest transaction spearheaded by Black real estate developers and contractors in the city’s history. 

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“This is a great day for the city of Birmingham,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a recent press statement. “Not only because of the jobs, the homes, and the economic impact, but because of the history that is being made.”

In recent years Birmingham’s economic development has been focused on real estate management and development as well as positioning the southern town as a financial hub in the Southern region of the United States. Other industries such as steel production, life sciences and construction are also prominent within Birmingham, creating an opportunity for MWD business enterprises to gain procurement opportunities. 

This recent real estate transaction and contracting opportunity are just one of many initiatives spearheaded by the town’s Division of Innovation and Economic Opportunity. The department — which is focused on the economic development of Birmingham — is not only committed to small business growth and scalability but also to equity and inclusion. Its VITAL (Valuing Inclusion to Accelerate and Lift) program connects MWDBE with regional corporations to develop contracts and procurement contracts. 

The project is estimated to cost $100 million. The team will be transforming 222 acres of land to develop 900 residential units including single, multi-family and senior housing units. In addition, the project will include a town center featuring a grocery store as well as commercial and retail office spaces. The revenue from commercial and retail spaces is expected to generate an estimated $500,000 in property taxes within the first three years, according to Green Meadows’ preliminary studies. 

Woodfin along with the Birmingham City Council approved Green Meadow Apartments, LLC to purchase and develop the land in early March. Michael German, CEO of Green Meadows, who is also a former Alabama HUD Field Office Director, spearheaded the initiative and represented the corporation at economic development meetings. 

“This sends a message to the entire country that African-American and minority developers have a place in Birmingham,” Cornell Wesley, director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity said in a recent press conference. “We are aggressive and intentional about supporting their efforts.”  

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