The Tuscaloosa City Council approved a new mixed-use development called Northriver Commons to be developed by Birmingham-based Capital Growth Buchalter (CGB) and Tuscaloosa-based Spaces Management. The estimated $60 million project will provide approximately 225 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, 17,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space encompassing three restaurants, a 427-space parking deck, and more—all centered around a central community greenspace.
Located at the intersection of New Watermelon Road and Rice Mine Road on a now vacant 4.68 acre-tract at 1750 Commons Loop North, the five-story development will offer shared open spaces, social hangout areas, an exercise facility and spa, plus innovative amenities to attract and serve residents and the surrounding community.
“The vision for Northriver Commons is to provide an accessible, beautiful environment for those who want to live, work, and play in North Tuscaloosa, a desirable submarket that lacks rental housing,” said Robert Buchalter, managing principal and co-chairman of Capital Growth Buchalter. “Northriver Commons will bring a high quality of housing to the area, and, perhaps more importantly, vibrant amenities and lifestyle experiences. Residents and frequent visitors will appreciate having a new luxury living and dining and retail hub so close to the lake and to University of Alabama sporting events.”
Despite its proximity to the University of Alabama campus, the project is not targeted toward students, per se. The developers’ focus is to attract and retain professionals and families to North Tuscaloosa. To help achieve their goal of an upscale, family-focused community, rental criteria will prohibit undergraduate students under the age of 23 from renting an apartment within the property.
“Northriver Commons is designed to have a strong, positive economic impact in an area which has been underserved in terms of commercial, retail, and housing projects,” said
Andy Turner, CEO and founder of Spaces Management. “We anticipate that local businesses will benefit from the project, as more people living in and enjoying the area will help to promote growth of both existing and new businesses.”
The project is a collaboration between Capital Growth Buchalter and Spaces Management, a Tuscaloosa-based property management and development firm, that has been months in the making. Spaces Management may be best known for condo and association management and third-party student housing programs, but the firm has also been involved in the development, sales, and management of more than 20 condominium projects, and six student housing projects since its founding in 2005.
“We’re excited to receive approval to move forward,” said Buchalter. “We have extensive development experience in the surrounding area and have been waiting on the right opportunity to round out the 18-year-old development. Having strong strategic alignment, prior partnerships, and a high regard for the leadership of the City of Tuscaloosa and Spaces Management will help to ensure the project’s success.”
“I have known Robert and his team at CGB since I started in real estate, and I have always admired his development acumen. The partnership of our teams for this project is great as we each bring complementary backgrounds and skills to the project to ensure its success,” said Turner from Spaces Management. “I’m glad to see the positive reception from the neighbors in the area and city leaders for this project.”
Construction is set to begin in February 2023 with a projected summer 2024 opening.
About Capital Growth Buchalter
Capital Growth Buchalter (“CGB”) is a national construction, development, investment, and management firm founded in 1953. The firm has developed more than 1,400 projects and $1.8 billion of real estate in 30 states. Over the past three years, CGB has completed an average of 90 projects per year, ranging from one to three tenant developments to more complex, opportunistic mixed-use multifamily developments. It has also partnered with a single entity to complete hundreds of projects over several decades. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, AL with regional offices in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC and Lake Charles, LA.
About Spaces Management
Spaces is a management and development firm founding in 2005. Spaces currently manages more than 1,100 multifamily and single-family rental units, and 6,000 condominium and homeowner association units in the Tuscaloosa area. The firm has also expanded to Huntsville, Alabama where it manages 360 multifamily units, and almost 1,000 homeowner association units. In the past five years, the firm has been involved in the development, management and disposition of five student housing projects in three states totaling more than 1,900 beds, and is currently developing several new student housing communities, and luxury condominiums. Spaces is headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.