Developer Partners with Tuskegee Students, Minority-Owned Contractors To Revitalize Old American Red Cross Building

The old American Red Cross Building

The old American Red Cross building thats been vacant since 1999.

Cody Short, WBHM

The former American Red Cross building that’s been sitting vacant for over 21 years will finally have new life, adding to dramatic redevelopment in downtown Birmingham.

Ed Tichelli, who considers himself a social impact developer, has already redeveloped another downtown building, the former American Life Building that’s now called Lofts at American Life. His focus is on bringing jobs and affordable living to residents.

“I’m very excited to bring forth another 192 units of naturally occurring, affordable housing,” said Tichelli.

Tichelli is partnering with Birmingham Public Library to use extra space in the building for an outreach library. This will be done with the help of students from Tuskegee University’s Construction Science Program. The group of students just completed a mobile public library bus in conjunction with the city library.

The student project manager, Lawrence Thompson, said he loves being able to work hands-on in a redevelopment project.

“This is my first time being onsite for a project and it’s been great! It’s a lot more than what I experienced before, and it’s a lot more than what I expected to experience,” Thompson said, who is a senior at Tuskegee.

The Birmingham Constructive Industry Authority has also been appointed to this project to ensure that minority constructors are included.

Although this building is not considered an opportunity zone like Tichelli’s first building, he received federal and state tax credits along with local incentives. The estimated total cost is $33 million.


Despite pushback, the organizers of Cullman’s first PRIDE event are pushing forward

The announcement of Saturday’s event drew threats and calls for counter-protests. In response, LGBTQ+ communities across the state have offered their support.

6 ways the conversation around a guaranteed income in the US has changed

A guaranteed income conference held in Atlanta shows how the movement has progressed since 2017, with more than 50 pilots currently handing out cash.

New mental health crisis center aims to interrupt revolving door of jail and ER visits

The new clinic in Jefferson County will offer short-term crisis care to people who might otherwise wait hours at a hospital or wind up in jail.

Mississippi’s latest move in its anti-abortion agenda? A tax break for corporate donations

Tax documents show energy company foundations financed the anti-abortion movement in the Gulf South for years. Now, they could get a tax break for that support.

Commission rejects opening courthouse for Saturday absentee voting

Commissioner Sheila Tyson presented the resolution to open the Jefferson County Courthouse for Saturday absentee voting. Others felt the special circumstances of the pandemic had passed.

Birmingham City Council moves toward approval of cannabis dispensaries

Birmingham has taken “the first step” on the road to legalizing medical marijuana. The City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance authorizing medical cannabis dispensaries to operate within Birmingham city limits.

More Economy Coverage