CRE Consulting Corps: Making a Difference in Birmingham

“The team CRE assembled was outstanding; team members fully grasped the issues surrounding the Trinity property.  I was concerned the team might become frustrated because of the external dynamics that continue to create so much uncertainty about the redevelopment of the property, but they understood the limitations presented by those issues and were sensitive to the clients’ concerns.”

Jay Rhodes, Attorney—Montclair Redevelopment Task Force


CLIENT:  The Trinity Medical Center campus, situated on 120 acres, includes a hospital, physican office buildings and parking decks.  Trinity plans to relocate to a site ten miles south of the current campus pending state approval, with specific timeframes being uncertain due to ongoing litigation.  The issue facing the City of Birmingham is how to position the current campus to fill the void created by relocation of the hospital.  A Redevelopment Task Force has been created by a consortium of the City of Birmingham, City of Mountain Brook, Trinity Medical, Baptist Health System, and local residents.  The task force is charged with determining the scope and nature of an adaptive reuse of existing improvements or redevelopment of the site.


CHALLENGE:  This assignment presented a unique real estate problem for the Consulting Corps.  Rather than dealing with an immediate problem, the extended time frame for resolution allows the City of Birmingham to explore and consider various alternative uses for the Campus.  The CRE Consulting Corps was engaged to create a Strategic Plan of Action for the adaptive reuse and/or redevelopment of the site.

ASSESSMENT:  Over a five-day period, the six-member CRE Consulting Corps team gathered market data, reviewed trends and forecasts, and interviewed a myriad of stakeholders.  Interviewees included elected officials and staff from the cities of Birmingham and Mountain Brook, Trinity Medical Center executives, area real estate experts, representatives of the business community, area residents, and fellow Counselors.  The team researched redevelopment plans of similar hospitals nationally, analyzed the current market and associated forecasts, assessed zoning codes and city planning objectives, examined market demographics, and explored financial implications.

RECOMMENDATIONS:  The study team delivered a strategic roadmap for the City of Birmingham and Montclair Redevelopment Task Force that provided insight regarding redevelopment timelines, land use planning considerations, market intelligence, likely disposition and demolition costs, and property/site evaluation.  Its conclusions and recommendations listed alternative uses for the site, ruled out unlikely uses, and even presented potential floor-by-floor alternative uses for the hospital building.  The team cautioned that repurposing the complex Campus would not be easy and underscored the importance of continued collaboration among various stakeholder interests to ensure successful accomplishment of this important transition.

“The team members assembled had a very diverse background and set of experiences, and they seemed to work well together and fill roles accordingly.  The exit presentation with the mayor was well received and contained a great deal of insight as to the coming years and certain issues that will be required to be addressed prior to and immediately after our relocation.”

Paul T. Graham, CPA, Chief Administrative Officer, Trinity Medical Center


THE TEAM: Team members included: P. Barton DeLacy, CRE, Chicago, IL; Craig T. Beam, CRE, Newport Beach, CA; Michael J. Dinn, CRE, Wilder, KY; Angela E. Dugick, CRE, Tega Cay, SC; Andrew J. Gibb, CRE, Richmond, VA; and Timothy R. Lowe, CRE, El Segundo, CA.  Barton DeLacy served as team leader and Thomas M. Justin, CRE, represented the Consulting Corps Steering Committee in procuring the engagement.  The Consulting Corps extends its appreciation to Birmingham native Steven V. Graham, CRE, who initially recommended the CRE Consulting Corps for this assignment.

If you are aware of an organization in your community who could benefit from CRE Consulting Corps assistance, please contact Samantha DeKoven in the CRE office (312-329-8431;