Birmingham’s Planned Urban Developments

Birmingham Area Planned Urban Developments

Shelby County and 280 Corridor (Southeast of Birmingham)

These planned urban developments are over 25 years old.  However, they have all had continuing construction and have homes built in the last 5 years.  Sewer, water, and property taxes are lower in Shelby County than in Jefferson County.  However, Highway 280 can be a congested commute if you are commuting to downtown daily.  The distance to the airport is also over 15 miles from all of them so if you are a frequent traveler, it is something to consider.

Greystone – Hoover – Spain Park

When people think Greystone, they often think country club golf and for good reason – Greystone has 36 immaculately maintained championship holes.  The practice facilities are some of the best in the nation.  Greystone is a full-service country club with a substantial swim and tennis community.  Greystone has all types of housing and sits at the base of beautiful rolling hills.  The sidewalks and social aspect of Greystone are robust.  Greystone sits right off of 280, close to lots of restaurants and retail.  Congestion in the area can be an issue.  Youth recreational fields, Berry Middle School, and Spain Park High School can be a bit of a commute on a daily basis.

Highland Lakes – Oak Mountain

If you are looking for the best residential fishing lakes in Alabama, Highland Lakes is your place.  It doesn’t have a country club, but it is very close to Greystone and Shoal Creek.  Highland Lakes sits on and below a bluff.  It is heavily treed and beautiful.  Lake lots are amazing and the neighborhood is more private and less community oriented due to the space between homes.  To add to the privacy is a well managed entrance and gate.  Zoned to award-winning Shelby County Schools, the benefit of being able to attend Mount Laurel Elementary, Oak Mountain Intermediate, Middle, and High Schools outweighs the often long commutes.

Mt. Laurel – Oak Mountain

A well-planned development that fits into its natural surroundings well, Mt. Laurel is one of a kind.  An abundance of trails (including professionally designed mountain bike trails) and a stocked lake appeal to anyone wanting to get outside.  The grocery store, restaurants, and gas station are as convenient as it gets.  However, all of this comes with a bit more of a commute.  Lots are intentionally smaller to give it a true community feel.  Landscaping is indigenous and meant to be lower maintenance.  The elementary school is an easy walk.  However, healthcare and larger gyms will be a bit of a commute.  The amazing Shoal Creek country club is conveniently located next door along with many local organic farms.  Mt. Laurel is truly one of a kind and wonderful for families.

Inverness, Brook Highland, and Meadow Brook

Conveniently located near Grandview hospital and located in North Shelby County, and within close reach of all the interstates, this area is widely appealing.  Inverness has a full service country club and rolling hills.  Homes are typically priced more competitively but are older versus other planned urban developments.  Retail and schools are relatively convenient.  Most lots are bigger and septic tanks (typically save you money versus area sewer systems) are more common than sewer connected homes.  These neighborhoods are very close to Oak Mountain State Park which has 10,000 acres to explore including world class hiking, biking, and horse trails, a golf course, outstanding campgrounds, and 2 large lakes with a cable park (wakeboarding).

Jefferson County

These planned urban developments have evolved over the years and have always been popular choices due to the school systems and proximity in the city.  These are traditional developments that are consistent with what most envision as a planned urban development.  Taxes, sewer, and water are materially higher to most in Jefferson County as compared to neighboring Shelby County.

Liberty Park and Old Overton – Vestavia Hills

Zoned for Vestavia City Schools and robust recreational fields make Liberty Park popular.  Old Overton is a private country club with a championship golf course.  Liberty Park and Old Overton take a good bit of time to get to from the interstate so some find it “too far out.”  However, the neighborhood has its own Publix, gas station, and restaurants so your weekly items are a breeze.  The neighborhood has all types of housing and wonderful pools.  Vestavia High School is a long commute and so are all the major hospitals.

Ross Bridge – Hoover – Deer Valley

Ross Bridge is the only development on this list with a hotel.  It is a wonderful hotel with a substantial spa, wonderful pool, and many dining options.  It has a public championship golf course with a great practice facility.  The sidewalks, greenspaces, and community pools are some of the best.  The proximity and commute to downtown are the best of the planned urban developments and this has driven its popularity even though it is on the outside of Hoover.  It also has a convenient and large YMCA.  The elementary school is highly sought after and there are all types of homes.  Youth recreational fields, Bumpus Middle School, and Hoover High School are moderate and sometimes congested commutes.  As advertised, Ross Bridge has a true resort feel.  It also has one of Birmingham’s only energy efficient designed “smart” subdivisions, Reynolds Landing. Kids can ride their bikes to the neighborhood store, get an ice cream at the local sweet shop, and play in the greenspaces. Ross Bridge has an old fashioned feel with all the modern conveniences.

Trace Crossings – Hoover

Zoned to Hoover City Schools and in the center of the largest sports complex, Trace Crossings with new construction in Lake Wilborn, Blackridge, Knox Square and other subdivisions has had a major resurgence.  There is new retail with great tenants and very convenient healthcare facilities.  The amenities and sidewalks connect the neighborhoods with the retail, sports facilities, and restaurants.  However, there is no golf course in the neighborhood.  Interstate access and centrality is a plus, but the neighborhood is now so large that congestion can be an issue at rush hour.  All schools are super convenient and the recreational fields couldn’t be any closer.  Golf carts are abundant.

The Preserve – Hoover – Gwin

One of Birmingham’s coziest developments, The Preserve has a mix of established and new construction. With the wide variety of housing options, The Preserve has enjoyed steady demand despite of market dynamics.  It is conveniently located to hiking trails with amazing waterfalls and is also next door to Shades Mountain Youth ballpark.  Greenspaces are abundant and neighbors are close.  Interstate access is as good as it gets.  Gwin Elementary and Simmons Middle School are convenient.  Hoover High School is a moderate commute.  Restaurants and retail are very convenient.