New York Times Slide Show Featuring Sloss Real Estate


 By:  Donna Paul 
Photos By Meg McKinney For New York Times

Click Here To View Slide Show Online

Catherine Sloss Crenshaw, a descendant of one of Birmingham’s founders, is trying to invigorate a section of the city and bring people and businesses back to the urban core. Ms. Crenshaw has bought up numerous properties in the Lakeview district with the goal of creating a design-centered destination. The northern border of the district is anchored by the Pepper Place development, named for the 1930s-era brick industrial building that was once a Dr. Pepper syrup plant, closing in 1971. It was vacant until 1988, when Sloss bought it for $400,000. It has nearly 31,000 square feet.



Today, the Pepper Place complex has spaces rented by design-centric businesses, including Charlie Thigpen's Garden Gallery. Charlie Thigpen and wife Cindy (both seen here in the store) opened their business one year ago. 


“When I first walked into the Dr. Pepper plant,” Ms. Crenshaw said, “I found beautiful bell columns, a classical design and large windows that allowed the most beautiful light to fill the space.” Richard Tubb Interiors specializes in antiques, contemporary furniture and the works of Alabama artists .The building's original bell columns have been painted silver gray. The scales are original to the building and used to weigh the sugar for the Dr. Pepper plant.











Andrew Searles works at FitzMartin, an advertising firm, where employees can bring their dogs to work. FitzMartin is located in the Martin Biscuit Building, a brick industrial building in the same style as the Dr. Pepper plant.. Ms.Crenshaw bought the 51,000-square-foot Martin Biscuit building in 1999.











In the offices of B-Metro Magazine, the creative director, Robin Richeson Colter, works on a layout,. B-Metro is located in one of the Pepper Place buildings.







The Red Cat Coffee House, located in the Martin Biscuit building, is a coffee roasting company and coffee house popular with students and business people. It also hosts musical performers and comedians.







There are several restaurants at Pepper Place, and more are expected. Bettola is an Italian restaurant in the Martin Biscuit building.









Ona Watson owns Ona's Music Room, which recently moved into one of the buildings in Pepper Place.