What’s happening in Bluff Park?”
That is the question that I get almost every time the subject of real estate arises. Likewise, “How can there be all this major remodeling, tearing down and rebuilding during this real estate downturn?” is a common questions. Like all good real estate, there is a good story that often holds many of the dynamics that make certain dirt more in demand than other dirt.
Here are the facts:
Bluff Park is in very close proximity to I-65 and is close to a quickly evolving downtown. About 20 years ago, employers were moving out of downtown. However, starting in about 2018, downtown Birmingham started changing quickly and employers started moving back downtown. As the next generation entered the workforce, many prospective employees wanted to work and live downtown. Start-ups, technology companies, life sciences companies, and venture capital firms want to be in the ecosystems where these employees are – and that is downtown. From Shipt to Fleetio to Founders Investment Banking, downtown is the place to be. However, as these workers enter into the next stages of life, the downtown living scene starts to lose its appeal and the desire for the classic neighborhood begins to grow. Downtown condos also price many workers out of living in downtown, so they are driving the short drive over the mountain to Bluff Park. Not only is Bluff Park one of the most affordable neighborhoods close to downtown, but also has an elementary school known for excellence.
As more people moved in, Bluff Park built more sidewalks, revitalized its retail, and longtime merchants continued to thrive. From the beach to planned urban developments, people want highly walkable neighborhoods and independent restaurants and merchants. Bluff Park is a beautiful place to walk and has a classic pool and parks. Furthermore, Moss Rock Nature Preserve was connected to Bluff Park through these new sidewalks and it has an abundance of waterfalls and rich nature trails. Not to mention, Moss Rock has restaurants, greenspaces, and regular events.
Bluff Park has larger lots than most lots in Homewood, West Homewood, and other neighborhoods in Hoover. Furthermore, Bluff Park sits high on top of Shades Mountain and a majority of the lots are very level especially relative to other Birmingham neighborhoods. Older, classic homes, big trees, sidewalks, and large lots are a unique combination. Bluff Park’s lot more easily allow for additional garages and large pools, which are nearly impossible to come by in any neighborhood close to downtown. This dirt is unique and scarce – you often find generations of families who live in Bluff Park.
One of the cornerstones of Bluff Park is its Piggly Wiggly grocery store, fondly known as “The Pig.” The Pig is a high quality, independently owned grocery store with a wonderful assortment of staples, prepared goods, and grocery items combined with true southern service.
So like many real estate stories, timing in Bluff Park was everything. A result of the revitalization of downtown was also the rise in popularity of the Mountain Brook and Homewood neighborhoods. As these areas became more and more in demand, affordability began to plummet for most families. Enter Bluff Park with its sidewalks, huge parks and pool – a neighborhood that had long been under the radar with its good lots and great-boned houses. As people started to drive over the mountain, prices started appreciating and homeowners continued to invest in their homes. Success creates success. Bluff Park is here to stay and has plenty of runway to continue its meteoric development.