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Topgolf Complex Gains Zoning Approval From Birmingham City Council

The Birmingham City Council approved commercial zoning and financial incentives last week for the development of a new Topgolf entertainment complex, set to begin construction in the new year and open to the public by late 2017.

The Dallas-based Topgolf franchise is a “high tech” indoor golfing range with climate-controlled hitting bays and chip-enabled golf balls. The new three-story Birmingham venue will also feature a full-service restaurant/bar and event space.

“We provide 450 jobs locally, and we hire locally,” said Topgolf Senior Real Estate Development Associate Mark Foster. “We provide free golf to high school golf teams. We attract 500,000 annual visitors.”

The 65,000-square foot facility will be located in the Uptown entertainment district of Birmingham, on 25th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. Topgolf will be leasing the 10-acre lot from the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority.

The City Council will also provide Topgolf with a $1.5 million financial incentive over the next eight years, equal to 30% of the project’s projected annual sales tax. While over one-third of real estate developers make more than $75,000 a year, the tax incentive is minor compared to the $264.5 million the facility is expected to generate for the overall Birmingham economy over the next 10 years.

With more than 30 locations open or in current development across the country, Topgolf bills itself as an “anchor tenant” that attracts other business developments to its locations. The company’s real estate developers said that Birmingham’s growing urban center made it an attractive location compared to places like Florida, where there are already more than 1,300 golf courses.

“As we look to expand in the Southeast, Birmingham is a key market that has been on Topgolf’s radar for a long time,” said real estate development director Devin Charhon.

“Further, Topgolf sees tremendous potential for urban growth in Birmingham and an opportunity to reinvest in the community,” Foster added.

The new complex will feature over 100 hitting bays that can be rented by the hour and accommodate up to six players at a time. A one-time membership fee of $5 allows visitors access to the lounges, restaurants, and golfing bays, suited for novice golfers and experts alike.

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