City investment into parking deck completion will enable Yo' Mama's to expand

City investment into parking deck completion will enable Yo' Mama's to expand

Yo' Mama's plans for expansion are moving forward with the recent approval for an investment in a city-owned building.

Birmingham City Council has approved a project agreement of $1.7 million that will enable the completion of Birmingham Parking Authority Deck 3 Phase 2, which began in 2009. The retail component of the project was never finished. Yo' Mama's is now investing $400,000 in the new retail space, adding to the $1.3 million invested by the city.

Cornell Wesley, director of the City's Office of Innovation, Economic Development and Opportunity, said that the retail component of BPA Deck 3 was not finished in 2009.

Wesley stated that even if Yo' Mama's was not the retailer, someone else would benefit from our investment to complete the retail floor in Deck 3. This will bring that asset back to life. We're thrilled to be able have this asset fully constructed in our downtown. It was never working for us. Even if Yo' Mama's doesn't occupy or if they stay occupied, move forward, and continue their growth (which we hope will occur for them), we now have a valuable asset that other businesses can use in the future.

Yo' Mama's is expected to be located at 2098 Fourth Ave. N. in BPA Deck 3. The retail space of 5,760 square foot will house the restaurant when completed.

Darrell O'Quinn stated that the BPA had been marketing the property for many years before Andre' Davis became CEO, but they were unable to attract a tenant.

Yo' Mama's, using its general contractor, will equip the property to be used for business purposes. The BPA will manage the entire property.

Crystal Smitherman, Councilor pro tem, reiterated the fact that the agreement was not for the benefit of a private entity. Instead it is to promote economic development and the re-use of the parking deck.