Parkview Financial announced it has provided a $25.5 million construction loan to Orchestra Partners Development for the conversion of the Frank Nelson Building in Birmingham, AL. The 10-story, 79,000-square-foot (sf) historic office building will be converted to a 180-unit apartment community and will include four units totaling 9,000 sf of ground floor retail space. Construction of the adaptive reuse project is anticipated to complete in late 2022.
Built in 1903 as the First National Bank Building, the Frank Nelson Building is located on the northeast corner of 20th Street and 2nd Avenue North at 205 20th Street North in the heart of the city’s central business district (CBD). The property is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
“The overall financing for this asset included state and federal historic tax credits, opportunity zone investors and a mezzanine loan to bridge the tax credit equity requiring significant structuring and collaboration amongst the parties for closing,” said Managing Director and lead underwriter Fabio Baum with Parkview Financial. “Without the vision of the parties and creative financing, the repurposing of this asset would not have been possible.”
“With office buildings experiencing an increase in vacancies across the nation, and a demand for housing near employment hubs, this project is a prime example of adaptive reuse to create a better fit for a local community,” added Paul Rahimian, CEO and Founder of Parkview Financial. “We anticipate this trend to continue as companies choose to work from home permanently or look to a hybrid work model.”
The residential units will include 135 studios with an average of 398 sf, and 45 one-bedroom units averaging 532 sf. The units will feature solid surface countertops, stainless steel appliances, ventless washer/dryers, custom cabinets, polished concrete floors or the reclaiming of original flooring (when possible). The retail portion will include a UPS store and Trattoria ZaZa restaurant as well as two suites that are currently available for lease. On-site amenities will include a dog park/run, fitness center, pool table, outdoor deck, conference rooms, and basement storage areas.
The property is in a prime downtown core location on 20th Street, which runs from the center of the CBD south to Birmingham’s University of Alabama Medical Campus and Hospital System and is five blocks to the Jefferson County Courthouse, City Hall and City Museum campus.