Avondale one of Birmingham's hippest neighborhood

Birmingham's Avondale neighborhood is not the same place it was just five years ago. Young people are revitalizing houses and starting businesses.

Southern Living magazine calls Avondale "one of Birmingham's hippest places to live and visit."

Elizabeth Barbaree-Tasker is COO of REV Birmingham, an economic development organization.

She also lives in Avondale.

Barbaree-Tasker says the area has come a long way since she moved in 15 years ago.

"In the past year and a half, life has emerged on this street in ways that we had been waiting for, for way too long," says Barbaree-Tasker. "We saw it as something that could be, so much more."She goes on to say, "I think it started with it being a destination that drove retail cliental here that weren't afraid to come. People saw it as a new and different thing to come to, and it has exploded from there."Now, Avondale has been named one of Birmingham's hippest places to live and visit.

So, what makes Avondale "hip"?"They can eat, they can drink, they can shop, they can choose different places to experience on different nights, and there aren't a lot of places in the city of Birmingham where that's possible in a concentrated, and walkable area," Barbaree-Tasker explains.Jen Barnett co-founder of Freshfully market in Avondale has her own theory on what makes the area "hip"."I{} think that now young people are into 'old fogey stuff.' So we are kind of traditional businesses, farm grown food and homemade beer and homesteading supplies. But, what used to be old, is new again," says Barnett.35-year-old Brian Gosdin works at the 41st Street Pub and Aircraft Sales, a business listed in Southern Living's article.

He agrees with Barnett's theory.

"It just really seemed to be a happening neighborhood," says Gosdin. "What's old is absolutely new. The neighborhood's improving, and I think property values are going to go up."Barbaree-Tasker sees even more growth potential. "I think we'll see over time, underutilized properties converting to better uses, more pedestrian friendly uses, more retail friendly uses. More housing stock will end up being redeveloped and that's going to drive additional businesses to the business district"