Proposed Northriver Commons would add new restaurants and community space

TUSCALOOSA, AL — A new mixed-use development is being considered by the City of Tuscaloosa for North of the Black Warrior River that would merge a community-oriented apartment complex with numerous restaurants just off New Watermelon Road.

The red arrow marks the location of the proposed mixed-use development

Spaces Management CEO and owner Andy Turner was on hand to answer questions Monday at the city of Tuscaloosa’s Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals meeting.

The meeting ultimately saw the advisory council approve an exception to the city’s on-street parking regulations, following a debate over the potential need for a dedicated parking space for each bedroom. Plans for Northriver Commons call for a parking deck with more than 400 nine-foot parking spaces, 51 of which would be reserved for the public.

In total, the property will have 427 parking spaces, which is below the 495 required by law.

The project itself, however, has received overwhelming vocal support for its concept, as Spaces Management aims to meet multiple needs at once.

As for the commercial component of the property, Turner explained that he had previously had conversations with restaurants like Birmingham-based Slim’s Pizzeria; a tapas concept by Jheovanny Gomez; an unnamed but familiar American pub that serves burgers and a cluster of breakfast restaurants.

“The focus is on creating a high quality community landing point in this area because right now that’s where one of the big things where the area is underserved is having quality food options and a fun place to gather,” Turner said.

To address parking, Turner said the development would be adequately staffed, particularly when it comes to its parking lot. He went on to say that the first level will be dedicated to free and open parking for the public, while a gate will separate the private parking area for residents from the apartments.

The project, if approved by the full city council, will also include a common “green village” area which will include a stage and a large TV screen, which could be used for events, football matches and entertainment. other community activities.

“We wanted to create a property that really adds something to the community in this area, Turner said.

The Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals has approved the special exception for on-street parking regulations for the project, which also received a favorable recommendation from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and will now be subject to review. of the full Council.

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