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  Ten-building Complex Planned
Birmingham Business Journal - by Lauren B. Cooper Staff
Friday, September 28, 2007
 
Byrom Building Corp. plans to build a new $13 million, 10-building office condominium complex called Southlake Park near the fast-developing intersection of Valleydale Road and Interstate 65.

Builder Marty Byrom and his partner Jim Moncus, a local attorney, hope to draw from the success of their $8.6 million office condo project built in 2003 called Providence Park, where all 43 units were sold nearly before completion, said Gip Plott, a broker with Plott & Co. and sales agent for both complexes.

And with a pending sales contract on Harbert Management Corp.'s 65-acre campus across the interstate and other new and proposed projects near the intersection, the area could be poised for additional future office and retail growth.

In addition to Southlake Park and the pending sale of Harbert's campus, Land Resource Group recently completed a $4.5 million, 26,000-square-foot office building across Valleydale from Southlake Park.

Proposed-project, for-sale and for-lease signs also dot the landscape near the major intersection, advertising everything from retail to medical office buildings. According to Retail Specialists Inc., which


Marty Byrom & Gip Plott are working together to build an office condo
on Valleydale Road.

has nearly four acres for sale near the intersection, traffic count for the area is nearly 29,000 vehicles a day and more than 38,000 people live within a three-mile radius with a median income of $63,124.

While those figures are good for retail, they are very good for the office market, Plott said, noting the easy access to the Interstate and the recent widening of lanes.

"Corporate real estate is driven by traffic counts," Plott said.

"We'll pick up some that don't live as close but need Interstate access."

Steve Lovoy, president of Lovoy & Associates LLC, was one of the first tenants to buy in Providence Park and is now considering purchasing a newer, bigger office in Southlake Park.

The CPA firm has two other employees besides Lovoy.

Lovoy said he will probably buy more space in Southlake Park than he needs and rent the additional space until he can use it, an amenity Byrom and Plott are marketing to owners and investors.

Until a few years ago, Lovoy rented space, but when he started his accounting firm in 2003, the figures to lease space didn't seem reasonable, so he bought an office condo.

"I just don't need a whole lot of space," he said. "But I have more control with everything that goes on - from the heat on."

Lovoy lives nearby, but he said the majority of his clients are law firms located in downtown Birmingham, making easy Interstate access key.

Byrom said the interiors of the condos will not be finished until they are purchased, which gives each buyer the ability to design the space it needs.

And most interior walls are being built as knockout walls so expansion can be done with minimal difficulty.

Space in Southlake Park will range from 1,250 to 10,000 square feet, with four different building sizes and 12 different space sizes.

It is priced at an average of $190 per square foot. Office condo association fees will be around $1.55 per square foot, and there is one parking space for every 200 square feet of office space, Byrom said.

Plott said Southlake Park has already seen some interest, particularly from those in the medical industry, where as Providence Park mostly sold to accountants and those in the financial services industry.

Byrom wouldn't give specifics, but said he is considering similar office condo projects in other areas.

Byrom built Providence Park, his first office condo project, when the trend had just begun to take hold in the Birmingham area and after extensive research of the concept in the Atlanta market.

Plott said it initially took a while for everyone to get on board with the idea of tenants owning their own office space, but it quickly caught on and almost 80 percent of those that looked at Providence Park purchased.

Now, office condo projects are popping up all over town and on Valleydale Road. On nearby Riverchase Parkway, the $3 million, 24,000-square-foot Woods of Riverchase is planned and down Valleydale, closer to U.S. 280, The Offices of Beaumont Village are being built, with 46,500 square feet in eight buildings.

 

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