Category Archives: Population

Gardendale, Irondale, & Fultondale: The devil made us do it!

The devil
Drawing by Adam Stermer

The national media continue to beat us up–First The New York Times and now The Wall Street Journal.

In December of last year, The New York Times wrote a piece subtitled, “Nashville and others are thriving…while cities like Birmingham, Ala., fall behind.”

Continue reading Gardendale, Irondale, & Fultondale: The devil made us do it!

Could be the biggest day in modern Birmingham history

Jefferson County population 1970-2017
Jefferson County population 1970-2017

April 3, 2019 could be the biggest day in Birmingham history.

This is not an exaggeration.

Our region has historically been plagued with distrust and dysfunction. Continue reading Could be the biggest day in modern Birmingham history

The rocket fuel that could launch Birmingham!

Jim, Dixon, President of Arlington Properties
Jim Dixon, President of Arlington Properties

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a more prosperous Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is  Jim Dixon.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

What makes a city great?

My team should know—we evaluate cities every day.

Our work as real estate developers requires us to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of cities and towns before we ever search for and underwrite development or investment opportunities. Continue reading The rocket fuel that could launch Birmingham!

There’s the guy who wants to get rid of Mountain Brook

Shades Creek along Jemison Trail in Mountain Brook
Shades Creek along Jemison Trail in Mountain Brook

“There’s the guy who wants to get rid of Mountain Brook.”

It’s a bit unsettling, but that’s what a prominent Mountain Brook man says to me every time he sees me.

If you follow his logic, then you would assume I also would be the guy who would like to get rid of Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Trussville, and every other Jefferson County municipality. Continue reading There’s the guy who wants to get rid of Mountain Brook

Nashville’s goof may be Birmingham’s big break

Jefferson County Mayors Kenneth Gulley, Bessemer; Stan Hogeland, Gardendale; Randall Woodfin, Birmingham; Stuart Welch, Mtn. Brook; Ashley Curry, Vestavia Hills; Frank Brocato, Hoover (photo courtesy BBJ)
Jefferson County Mayors Kenneth Gulley, Bessemer; Stan Hogeland, Gardendale; Randall Woodfin, Birmingham; Stuart Welch, Mtn. Brook; Ashley Curry, Vestavia Hills; Frank Brocato, Hoover at BBJ Mayors’ Roundtable (photo courtesy BBJ)

There’s an old joke about the highly addicted smoker who complains, “I’ve read  so much about the dangers of smoking that I’ve decided to quit reading.

That is how I feel about Nashville.

I read story after story about Nashville’s continued economic successes—recruiting companies—large and small to their city. Continue reading Nashville’s goof may be Birmingham’s big break

Why we should worry about what’s happening to Hoover

Galleria in HooverYou’ve probably had the misfortune of noticing a few ants crawling around in your kitchen cabinet.

This is almost always a tell-tale sign that there are a lot more ants nearby.

That’s what we’re beginning to see with Hoover.
Continue reading Why we should worry about what’s happening to Hoover

Is Birmingham mayor crazy?

Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin jumps from airplane

I’m impressed with Birmingham’s new Mayor–Randall Woodfin.

His first few months in office have been a whirlwind of positive energy.

He’s surrounded himself with good people, sought feedback from anyone who will talk to him, and slowly and methodically identified and prioritized Birmingham’s problems and opportunities. Continue reading Is Birmingham mayor crazy?

Mtn. Brook, Homewood, Vestavia wannabe gambles & loses

Gardendale High School
Gardendale High School

Rarely do you have an opportunity to read an article that clearly shows why we’ve had virtually no job growth in our metropolitan area.

Erin Edgemon of al.com recently wrote a piece about how a Jefferson County municipality took a big gamble and lost.

Continue reading Mtn. Brook, Homewood, Vestavia wannabe gambles & loses

Confronted by a Vestavia man

Publix Vestavia Hills
Publix Vestavia Hills

It’s uncomfortable to talk about race.

It seems that most whites don’t like to discuss race–and neither do some blacks.

However, how can we have an intelligent conversation about Birmingham without race when race is almost always the central issue?

Last week I was wheeling my shopping cart through the produce section of Publix in Vestavia Hills when I was confronted by a casual acquaintance. Continue reading Confronted by a Vestavia man