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
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.
We always strive for the best.
Urban Impact, Inc.
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. Tourist and visitors to various parts of the district exceed 140,000 annually, this prime development area is home to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame/Carver Theater, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham Foot Soldiers, Eddie Kendricks Memorial Park. Kelly Ingram Park and the historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The team at Urban Impact provides services to private-sector clients who are considering to either locate or expand their business in the Civil Rights District of Birmingham
New Business Development and Business Attraction
Our New Business Development and Business Attraction program is designed nurture new opportunities, facilitate commercial site readiness, recruit developers and retailers, and market initiatives. Our team and partners provide critical leadership in design review requirements, permitting and other development requirements. The team focuses on those activities that will link clients to investments and other resources to attract and spur development throughout the district.
Welcome to our newest business!
The Exclusive Clothing Boutique
1721 4th Avenue North, Suite 100, 35203
Please come by and check them out!
Available Buildings and Properties
The district has multiple properties and buildings available to help serve you and your project.
The Famous Theater/Office
1721 4th Ave. N 35203
ALL UNITS LEASED
Commercial/Mixed Use Development Opportunity
1601 4th Ave. N. 35203
This property space is 200 x 180 and is available for ground lease development. Please contact Urban Impact 205-328-1850.
A.G. Gaston Building/Multiple Offices
1527 5th Ave. N. 35203
Jazzi's On 3rd
1725 3rd Avenue North 35203
It is now available for your events. Please contact Patrice Blankenship for details and rental 205-243-4761.
Creating opportunity for business development and growth in the district is a major focus for Urban Impact. We are here to assist the merchants of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association as well as you and your business by helping you find the information and services you need to locate your business here, grow your business or keep your business thriving. We are leading the way to retain, create and develop strong entrepreneurs and businesses for future expansion and job creation. Our services include access to individual counseling, workshops, financial product reviews and information exchange.
Green Acres Café/Chief Executive Officer
Peter Davis, Esq.
Davis & Scruggs Law Offices/Attorney at Law
Willie Etheridge, Jr.
Etheridge Brothers and Sister Barber and Salon/Business Owner
Rev. Arthur Price, Jr.
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church/Pastor
Birmingham Coca Cola Bottling Company/Operations Business Development Manager
Sammie Bibb, Jr.
Booker T. Washington Insurance/Retired Executive
General Manager, Southside Development Company, LLC
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute/Vice President Institutional Programs
Independant Financial Consultant/Principal
Moore's Barber and Style Shop/Business Owner
A. Jackie Robinson, III
Magnolia BBQ & Fish/Business Owner
Mainline Information Systems/Accountant Executive
Lonnie A Washington, Esq.
The Washington Law Office/Attorney at Law
Alabama Power Company/Governmental and Community Affairs Manager Birmingham Division
From left to right-Carla Youngblood, Ivan W. Holloway, Octavia Grady
Ivan W. Holloway
Fiscal Officer/Community Economic Development Officer
Executive Program Associate
Investing in the Community
Thank you to all of the individuals and organizations that share in the vision and mission of Urban Impact by investing and partnering. Your support is greatly appreciated.
City of Birmingham-Community Development Department
City of Birmingham-Mayor’s Office and City Council
Wells Fargo Bank
A special thanks to our community partners and volunteers who assist us in so many ways.
Alabama College of Barber Instruction, Inc.
Antrice Nelson - Nelson Bros Cafe
Birmingham Coca Cola
Etheridge Brothers Car Wash
Etheridge Brother and Sister Barber Shop and Salon
Green Acres Café
Magic City Snappers Social Aid & Pleasure Pond
Magnolia BBQ & Fish
Metro Birmingham Chapter NAACP
Nelson Bros. Cafe
Sylvester Dawson - Dawson Barber Shop
Talk of the Town Barber Shop
Your Flower Shop
Marley Hicks, 2016 Intern
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.