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Plan for home furnishings retailer RH in downtown Birmingham moves forward

Two years after Birmingham voters nixed a proposal to build a new parking deck that would help bring RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) to downtown, another plan appears closer to reality.

The city’s planning board voted Wednesday to recommend approval of the final site plan and special land use permit for the building that would house the upscale home furnishings store, Hometown Life reported. Birmingham city commissioners unanimously approved rezoning requests for the property, as well as an application to add the site to the economic development license map on July 12, Downtown Newsmagazine reported. The site plan now goes to City Commission for final approval.

A new four-story building is planned for the southwest corner of Old Woodward Avenue and Brown Street, according to documents submitted to the planning board, Crain’s previously reported.

The 1.24-acre site, which consists of properties at 300-394 S. Old Woodward Ave. and 294 E. Brown St., is home to Capital Tile, Lutz Financial Services, Roche Bobois, Frank’s Shoe Service and Coldwell Banker Weir Manual, according to the briefing documents.

The buildings on that site, at 300 S. Old Woodward Ave. and 394 S. Old Woodward Ave., are expected to be demolished as part of the plan to make room for the new 54,000-square-foot building that would have RH as an anchor tenant, plus a restaurant on the top floor and one level of underground parking with 24 spaces, according to the memo.

The project team includes Birmingham-based Saroki Architecture, which was involved in the previous vision for RH in that city.

In 2019, a development team called Woodward Bates Partners LLC — consisting of local commercial real estate royalty Saroki, Ron Boji, John Rakolta Jr. and Paul Robertson — planned a 55,000-square-foot RH store, plus 30 rental residential units, 25,000 square feet of office space and a total of about another 10,000 square feet of retail space across multiple buildings. In addition, there would be have 1,159 parking spaces and a 530-foot extension of Bates Street to the northeast.

Although that project’s roots can be traced to the mid-1990s and the adoption of the Downtown Birmingham 2016 Master Plan, the project began moving forward in earnest in May 2016, when the city issued a request for qualifications for developers to develop the approximately 4-acre property west of Old Woodward Avenue and north of Willits Street at the north end of the central business district.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on July 16, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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