Homewood Magazine

2015

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46 H o m e w o o d M a g a z i n e 2 0 1 5 NEIGHBORHOOD West Homewood W E S T H O M E W O O D G E T S A FA C E L I F T A N D W E L C O M E S N E W G R O W T H . W Prominent dairy owner Raleigh Kent sold a large part of his property to developers Cobbs, Allen, and Hall, who had a vision of growing Oak Grove into another of Homewood's thriving neighborhoods. Today West Homewood is on the verge of a total renaissance. The improvements in West Homewood are due to the West Homewood Redevelopment Plan, which was fi rst presented in 2012. With support from Ward 2 City Council representatives Vance Moody and Fred Hawkins, and studies by and input from the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) of Greater Birmingham, a plan was created to increase walkability, slow traffi c, attract new business, and give the area a distinct look. After talks with the RPC, residents and business owners, a 3-phase plan was developed, starting with improvements to Patriot Park, which included adding bathroom facilities, a concrete walking path, two pavilions, and a playground. Today, the park is a popular gathering spot for West Homewood neighbors. "One of my goals was to complete Patriot Park as a neighborhood center," Councilor Vance Moody says. "We have completed much of the sidewalk project and have plans to join the west side of the Oak Grove neighborhood to the park, thus continuing to attract neighborhood-scale businesses to that area." The fi rst phase of construction is set to begin sometime this year. A section of Oak Grove Road between Oxmoor Road and Hall Avenue will be redesigned with streets repaved, brick sidewalk pavers and crosswalks added, and 21 streetlights installed. When the Oak Grove community was annexed into Homewood in 1955, it was a small, mostly rural area with several large dairy farms. Clockwise from top, right:The Homewood Diner; Homewood Patriot Park; the retail space on Oak Grove Road where Magic CIty Sweet Ice is located.

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