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      Vestavia Hills purchases abandoned Food World

      The city of Vestavia Hills has purchased the former Food World property located in the Vestavia Plaza Shopping Center at 1052 Montgomery Highway.{} The cost is slightly over $1 million.{}

      This purchase is part of the city's commitment and support for therecently completed Highway 31 Corridor Redevelopment Plan.

      According to Fred Baughman, the Economic Development Director in Vestavia Hills, the development along the Highway 31 corridor has followed aconventional 1970's suburban format.{}

      Business is set-back from the highway with vastparking lots in front, low-rise buildings housing a variety of businesses andcommercial uses, and for the most part isolated within its own parcel, lacking connectionsto adjacent properties and the walkable urban fabric of surroundingneighborhoods.

      This purchase will change the idea.

      The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham(RPCGB) has completed and submitted the US-31 Corridor Redevelopment Plan tothe City of Vestavia Hills.

      Baughman says, "Thislong-term plan has the potential to totally transform U.S. Highway 31 throughVestavia Hills into an area which will attract the type of higher intensity,multiple-activity, and varied use development to match the upscale quality oflife expected in the community."

      Three strategies have been identified in the plan:

      • Transform Patton Creek into a greenway which;
        • Providesa recreational, educational, and civic amenity for the City and its residents,
        • Introducea new landmark and identity for the City, and
        • Re-establishesthe flood plain and ecosystem of the creek.
      • Superimpose form-based codes in strategiclocations along the corridor to jump-start and guide redevelopment efforts; and
      • Convert the US-31 corridor into a boulevardwhich will separate fast-moving traffic from slow-moving traffic and thus turnit into a more desirable and pleasant urban thoroughfare which will attract thetype of retail and commercial development requested by the community.