Real estate developer Brooks Lumpkin of Lumpkin Development is facing opposition to build a five-story self-storage facility on a former McDonald’s site in Birmingham, Ala. Lumpkin’s variance request for shorter setbacks on the property along 20th Avenue S. and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard was denied by the zoning board last week, as was his appeal for a reduction of the landscape buffer between the property and the residential neighborhood behind it, according to the source.
The variance would have allowed an expansion of the building footprint so Lumpkin could build a five-story, 50-foot-high facility rather than a seven-story, 75-foot-high facility, according to John Pickering, an attorney with Balch & Bingham LLP, who represented Lumpkin during the July 13 meeting. The proposal calls for a 75,408-square-foot building and 10 parking spaces. The city’s planning and zoning staff recommended the board deny the variance, noting the developer's hardship was self-imposed and not due to constraints of the property, the source reported.
Residents from the adjacent Redmont Neighborhood also opposed the development. Resident Don Long called the building too large for the site, while Bill Mudd said self-storage wasn’t appropriate for the lot, which is near the Vulcan Park & Museum, home to a 56-foot-tall cast-iron statue that’s considered a symbol of the city.
Self-storage is an allowed use for the property under the current zoning. The maximum building height is 75 feet, the source reported.
It’s unclear if Lumpkin, who has the property under contract with McDonald’s Corp., will move forward with the project, the source reported. The sale is expected to close in less than two weeks.
The Jefferson County Property Assessor most recently valued the property at $945,840, which includes $572,540 for the land, the source reported.
Lumpkin Development owns more than 2 million square feet of commercial space in Atlanta and Central Alabama.