North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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August 19, 2013

Lowery likes Birmingham council's plan for former Carraway hospital site

FULTONDALE — Fultondale’s mayor is excited about action taken by the Birmingham City Council last week.

The Birmingham council voted on Aug. 13 to endorse a plan to seek out new uses for the former Carraway Methodist Medical Center, which closed in 2008.

City leaders are discussing buying the facility and using it to house a Birmingham public safety center, a mixed-use development and a green space.

Councilwoman Maxine Parker, who is proposing the plan, said the city would spend $40 million to redevelop the site or $50-60 million to build a new facility there.

Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery said he has long supported such a use of the 52-acre Carraway site.

“I think it’s important to our area to have Carraway occupied,” Lowery said. “There’s a lot of people that go back and forth right by Carraway. Right now, it’s overgrown and in need of a tenant.”

Lowery said Birmingham leaders are trying to rebrand the area as “uptown” rather than “north Birmingham,” which it has been called for years.

He added that the regeneration of the former hospital would help in revitalization efforts both in Birmingham and in Fultondale.

Bringing new life to the closed facility could help Fultondale in numerous ways, said Lowery.

“They would have a lot of employees there,” he said. “They would be shopping and going to lunch. It might even bring more residents to our area.”

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