Leading • Building • Growing

  • Who We Are

    We always strive for the best.

    Urban Impact, Inc.

    Urban Impact Inc. (UII) is a local place based economic development agency that advances asset building, economic opportunity and revitalization of the Historic 4th Avenue Business District and the Civil Rights District through support and services to assist individuals, businesses and developers












    Our Mission

    • To preserve the physical structure of the 4th Avenue Historical Business District, the only intact African-American Business District in the State of Alabama.
    • Promote economic development for growth and opportunity throughout the greater 4th Avenue Historical Business and Civil Rights District.
    • Create an informed public of the greater district’s cultural and historical significance and contribution to the world.

    Strategic Vision

    • Urban Impact preserves and builds assets through a thriving commercial district for future generations, while promoting and protecting the districts’ unique history and essence.
    • Urban Impact achieves a higher level of economic development impact for the district adding to the city’s attractiveness and vitality.
    • Urban Impact develops a collaborative economic development approach to district development that is uniquely Urban Impact’s.

    4th Ave Jazz Festival

    We would like to thank the following sponsors for a successful 2016 Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival

    • City of Birmingham

    • Citizens Trust Bank

    • Birmingham Airport Authority

    • Studio 2H Design, LLC

    • Birmingham Coca Cola Bottling Company

    • Green Acres

    • Urban Impact, Inc.


    Urban Impact, Inc.

    In 1980, Urban Impact, Inc. (UII) was founded with a mission which consisted of the following theme’s, preservation, redevelopment and economic development. The UII development district is defined as the "west side of 18th Street N to 15th Street N and north side of 2nd Avenue N to Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. (8th Avenue N)”. The work of the agency would be executed through a series of public/private partnerships with the City of Birmingham and others, as a result much was accomplished. The greater 4th Avenue Business District (which includes the Civil Rights District) also includes the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, The Colored Masonic Temple, Kelly Ingram Park, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church, the A.G. Gaston Motel, and a number of other district landmarks.

    4th Ave. District

    Urban Impact wanted to save and restore the remaining buildings — and save the memories of treasured places – before they were completely gone.


    In April 1980, Urban Impact worked successfully to have the Fourth Avenue Business District nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. This designation brought with it tax incentives and investment advantages to businesses and building owners. With the assistance of Mayor Richard Arrington and the Birmingham City Council, Urban Impact created many programs to improve business opportunities for socially- and economically-disadvantaged business owners in the area.


    These programs encouraged many of the black merchants – who were renting their buildings from the absentee landlords — to purchase their buildings outright. The programs and other incentives from the historic designation enabled the city and the merchants to completely renovate the inside and outside of Fourth Avenue buildings. Urban Impact also worked strategically with local media and the police to end illicit criminal activity along Fourth Avenue in the early ’80s. This activity had tarnished the district’s reputation, scared away customers and kept the area economically depressed. With newly refurbished buildings owned by the merchants themselves, and an end to distracting criminal activity, Urban Impact successfully helped revitalize the entire Fourth Avenue area.


    Today, Birmingham’s Fourth Avenue Historic District is one of only a few remaining Black business districts that remains intact in the State of Alabama.

  • Board Members 

    Mr. Greg Gratton


    Green Acres Café/Chief Executive Officer

    Peter Davis, Esq.

    Vice Chair

    Davis & Scruggs Law Offices/Attorney at Law

    Mr. Willie Etheridge, Jr.


    Etheridge Brothers Barber and Salon/Business Owner

    Rev. Arthur Price, Jr.


    Sixteenth Street Baptist Church/Pastor

    A. Jackie Robinson, III

    IBM/Consulting Executive

    Mr. Sammie Bibb, Jr.

    Booker T. Washington Insurance/Retired Executive

    Arthur Bailey

    Birmingham Coca Cola Bottling Company/Operations Business Development Manager

    Lonnie A Washington, Esq.

    The Washington Law Office/Attorney at Law

    Rick Towns

    Mainline Information Systems/Accountant Executive

    Kim Earl

    Independant Financial Consultant/Principal

    Carole Clarke

    Regions Financial Corporation/Manager, Regions Financial Education Institute

    Pricilla Cooper

    Birmingham Civil Rights Institute/Vice President Institutional Programs

    Felicia Dovi

    Etheridge Brother Carwash and Detail/Business Owner

    Quincy Moore

    Moore's Barber and Style Shop/Business Owner

    Damieone Rogers

    Magnolia Bar-Be-Bue & Fish/Business Owner

    Ralph Williams

    Alabama Power Company/Governmental and Community Affairs Manager Birmingham Division

  • Staff

    We've got a top notch team!

    Ivan W. Holloway

    Executive Director

    Carla Youngblood

    Fiscal Officer/Community Economic Development Officer

    Octavia Grady

    Executive Program Associate

  • Donations

    Urban Impact is not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. We are excited to be a partner with the City of Birmingham and receive funding, however the work that we do requires much more resources. Please consider supporting us and investing in us as we work to expand business and commercial development in the district. We are thrilled about the work that we do and future growth potential. Your donation, combined with donations from others like you will assist Urban Impact: Lead, Build and Grow a vibrant business district that will create jobs and strengthen the overall Birmingham economy.










  • F.A.Q

    You've got questions, we've got answers!

    1. What is Urban Impact?

    Urban Impact is the economic development engine for the Historic 4th Avenue Business District and the greater Civil Rights District, a nationally renowned destination district in the city of Birmingham. This prime development area is home to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame/Carver Theater, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham Civil Rights Activist Committee, Eddie Kendricks Memorial Park. Kelly Ingram Park and the historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and tourists and visitors to various parts of the district exceed 140,000 annually.

    2. What does Urban Impact do?

    Urban Impact provides services to private-sector clients who are considering locating or expanding their business in the district.

    3. How long has Urban Impact been here

    Urban Impact has been in the district since 1980. Please visit our About Page for more information.

    4. Is Urban Impact a non-profit?

    Urban Impact is a non-profit organization receiving funding from various sources to assist in the economic development of the 4th Avenue business corridors and the greater Civil Rights District.

    5. Is Urban Impact open for tours on weekends?

    Not usually, but on a case-by-case basis, and by appointment only, we have made our facility available on weekends.  Please contact us for more information.

    6. What events does Urban Impact have available for the community?

    What was formerly known as 1st Fridays in Kelly Ingram Park, we host a series of musical events from June through September. We also host the 4th Avenue Christmas Parade and various Black History events. Urban Impact is also often a sponsor for other community events as well. Please check back with us often or our website for future events.

    7. To whom does a potential merchant contact about available space in the district?

    Potential merchants can call the Urban Impact office to receive a list of space available, if applicable or see our website.

    8. What services are available for merchants and business owners in the district?

    Some of the services we offer include assisting merchants with lease agreements, applying for tax identification numbers, general clerical assistance and marketing resources. Individual counseling, workshops, financial product reviews and information exchange for merchants is also available.​

    9. What area is considered “The District” and is there expansion on the horizon?

    The 4th Avenue District covers 18th Street North to 15th Avenue North, Abraham Woods Blvd to 3rd Avenue North. Please contact our office for specific questions concerning boundaries and future expansion.

    10. What types of businesses are you looking to locate in the District?

    You name it! Currently the district is home to a number of eateries and retail shops, expanding on the theme of entertainment and retail to support the growth of the tourism industry is one opportunity. Other opportunities include professional services, technology and nonprofit agencies.

  • Connect With Us

  • Contact Us

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + us = awesome.

    1721 4th Ave. North Suite 102

    Birmingham, AL 35203