A $16.5 million development on Birmingham’s Southside has announced its first tenants, and two are new to the Magic City. Birmingham’s Retail Specialists is developing the old Waite’s Building at the corner of 7th Avenue South and Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard. It also announced a new name: The Waites, a nod to the building’s history as Waite’s bakery and deli, a Southside landmark known for its ice cream and cakes for more than 60 years until it closed in 1988. It’s original name was Central City.

The tenants are:

  • Farm Burger: A Georgia-based grass-fed burger joint that recently opened a restaurant in Huntsville.
  • Blaze Pizza: A national design-your-own pizza restaurant with more than 100 locations. This is the first location in Alabama.
  • Smoothie King: The national New Orleans-based smoothie bar has stores in more than 32 states.

The project is planned on the space of the former Waite’s bakery and deli, which was a Southside landmark known for its ice cream and cakes for more than 60 years until it closed in 1988. Construction is expected to take about a year. Retailers should start opening in early Spring 2017 with apartments available in May 2017.

“The close proximity to UAB and Kirkland Clinic makes these apartments ideal for medical, dental, and optometry students as well as medical residents and interns,” Rodney Barstein, Chief Development Officer for Retail Specialists said in a statement.
Bill Segrest of Williams Blackstock Architects is the architect. DeeDee Everitt of Retail Specialists is leasing the retail space. Schoel is the project’s engineer. The four story development will have 30 1-bedroom units and 15 2-bedroom units. The retail and residential portions will have their own parking lot.