Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Tech Meets Adaptive Reuse

The “urban renewal” trend is still going strong, and showing no hints of changing anytime soon. As we build and re-develop downtowns, architectural diversity is one of the major benefits. Tax credits provide even more motivation to adaptively reuse some of these treasured vintage buildings. We’ve been privileged to work on several redevelopment projects in our hometown, including this current project pictured above.

The structure was originally a 3-story Chevrolet dealership built in the1930s, comprised of about 60,000 ft.². We were planning a contemporary building adjoining this vintage structure, but in the end, did not need the additional GLA. The space evolved into a cool amphitheater and adjacent park for the tenants of the building to use.

We have worked closely with the National Park Service, along with the design team, to preserve the building while simultaneously preparing it for the current needs of a full service tech center. There will be a 10-gig data pipeline, raised access flooring throughout and a 750 KW backup emergency service generator. The updated building will also include a mesh wifi system, access control and security for the entire building. The ground floor will have multiple meeting and conference rooms to seat 300 with latest AV technology.

This almost 100-year-old building will be a true union of new functionality and historical significance. It’s all about respect. 

{Image credit: Williams Blackstock Architects}

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.