Exclusive interview with Robert Simon about The Star + Southtown Court in Birmingham

Robert Simon at Railroad Park. (Real estate business)

When you start to dig into some of the big changes happening in Birmingham you realize that Robert Simon of Real estate business hands on some big projects. We’ve reached out for an exclusive interview with the man behind the redevelopment of the former Carraway site, Southtown Court and more. Keep reading to find out what we’ve learned, including why he’s very bullish about Birmingham and Jefferson County.

Meet Robert Simon, President and CEO, Corporate Realty

Robert Simon
Robert Simon of Corporate Realty in Birmingham city centre. (Real estate business)

Robert Simon and I first met when we were both working on what would become Railroad Park. Back then, he was doing what he and his company are doing now: taking neglected and underutilized parts of town, coming up with a vision, and then creating something new and awesome for the area.

Some of Corporate Realty’s completed projects include:

Here is what Simon had to say about himself:

“Raised in Birmingham, I was destined to work in the family business, selling meat to institutions and restaurants. I wanted to break away from that and got interested in real estate, which eventually led to the creation of Corporate Realty.

I had great partners, and we worked on a vision, and things worked out for us. It’s a risky business, but we had a lot of confidence and made our opportunities work. I love it.

I am blessed with two children and a wonderful wife. We are very lucky in many ways.

When I asked him which project he was most proud of, he named Regions Field and Railroad Park. He has worked in development for nearly 20 years and loves working on projects that impact entire communities.

“I’m proud that our involvement with Regions Park, coupled with Railroad Park, has transformed an underused and even shunned area of ​​Southside into a place where people live, work, play and enjoy our city.”

Robert Simon, Corporate Real Estate

Bham Now: What projects are you most excited about right now?

caraway star
Carraway Hospital has been abandoned since 2008. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Simon: “Carraway and Southtown Court. Both developments will have a significant impact on their respective neighborhoods and on our city.

I am particularly excited because the vision for these developments is the result of excellent collaboration and partnership with residents and local leaders. »

Bham Now: What impact do you think they will have on the city?

Southtown Court Demo
Demolition begins on the historic Southtown Court in Birmingham. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Simon: “When we have large properties, we have the opportunity to take something that is underutilized, remove any blight and create something that will immediately mean jobs, services and/or housing for our residents.

But you are also launching a wave of new investments that will multiply these benefits many times over. This is how we can truly revitalize neighborhoods and expand opportunities for our residents and local businesses. »

Bham Now: Can you share any details about the Carraway project?

The star
A vision for The Star in Uptown. (Real estate business)

Simon: “The Carraway site will become a mixed-use development known as The Star at Uptown. We are already at work now cleaning up the site, and finalizing plans for what will remain in place and what will be demolished. You should start seeing demolition later this year.

In addition to new multi-family units and single-family cottages, you’ll eventually see new retail, office, and entertainment options.

We’ve worked closely with the Druid Hills neighborhood, and we know how important it is to them to create something that meets their needs and complements the nearby entertainment district.

Bham Now: We are also curious about Southtown Court…

Southtown Court
A conceptual rendering of the Southtown redevelopment. (Gensler)

Simon: “Southtown Court will be transformed into a mixed-use development called EdgeHill in Southtown. Demolition work has already begun on the site, and Corporate Realty is proud to be one of the partners who will help bring new housing, retail, restaurants and offices to this property.

Due to its proximity to UAB, Southern Research and St. Vincent’s, we see unique R&D and biomanufacturing opportunities here that will have huge impacts on our city’s economic growth in the future. .

Bham Now: What else should we ask you?

Birmingham view
Birmingham. (Bham now)

Simon: “One thing I’m often asked is what I think of the future of Birmingham and Jefferson County, and the answer is that I’m incredibly optimistic.

Aside from what I’m working on, I see real momentum with the construction of the Protective Stadium and the redevelopment of major venues like Century Plaza, Trinity Hospital and Ramsay-McCormack.

Big projects like this are complicated and difficult, and they happen because of the leadership, collaboration and determination we see from the leaders of our city and county as well as our business community. . Projects like this demonstrate what can happen when many people work together to do great things, and how all of our communities can benefit.

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