RH Opening Birmingham Location, City Approves Bonds for Public Elements of Woodward Bates Development

RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, will open a retail space in a new development in Birmingham. It will include a barista bar, indoor and outdoor dining, and a wine vault. The new development will be part of the Woodward Bates redevelopment project.
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RH, a home décor retailer, will open a location in Birmingham as part of the city’s Woodward Bates redevelopment project. Pictured is RH’s location in the Somerset Collection. // Photo courtesy of Somerset Collection

RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, will open a retail space in a new development in Birmingham. It will include a barista bar, indoor and outdoor dining, and a wine vault. The new development will be part of the Woodward Bates redevelopment project.

“We’re incredibly proud that RH will be calling Birmingham home,” says Victor Saroki of Saroki Architecture of Birmingham, a Woodward Bates partner. “The passage of the bond vote in August of this year will ensure that not only will Birmingham be home to one of the most innovative retailers today, but the additional parking, public space, and retail opportunities will ensure a robust and vibrant Birmingham that fulfills the broad vision of the 2016 Plan.”

RH is a home décor retailer that brings dining, garden courtyards, and rooftop parks as part of their design. With the new location, Birmingham will join cities including New York City, Chicago, West Palm, and Boston as gallery locations. The locations have designers on-hand.

The space also will feature a rooftop garden terrace that will surround the fifth-story restaurant. The 55,000-square-foot building will feature several floors of retail space overlooked by the atrium and conservatory, as well as a glass-enclosed elevator.

The Birmingham location will be similar in size to RH’s Denver and Seattle location.

The Woodward Bates Project includes new mixed-use buildings along Willits Street as well as additional parking.

“Since its inception, the focus of the Woodward Bates project has been to increase parking capacity and walkability in a way that ensures a healthy and viable downtown, benefiting existing businesses and attracting new business,” says Joe Valentine, Birmingham city manager. “The announcement of an iconic brand like RH coming to downtown gives the city confidence we’re on the right path.”

RH’s decision was announced at a board meeting this week, along with a resolution authorizing a bond question be placed on the Aug. 6 ballot. If the bonds are approved, they will support public elements of the planned Woodward Bates development with no additional cost to taxpayers and include a new parking structure, public plaza, and an extension/connection of N. Old Woodward and Bates Road.

The bonds for the public components of the project will come from the revenues generated by the parking system, ensuring residents will not support the parking structure through property taxes. The RH building is part of the private development of the Woodward Bates Project and will be financed by the developer.

The development will complete the 20-year Downtown Birmingham 2016 plan, adopted in 1996.

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