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Home > Business News from The Birmingham News > Breaking News
Birmingham's Kinetic Communications to renovate
Morris Avenue building, formerly Zen club
Published: Friday, February 17, 2012, 7:00 AM
By Stan Diel -- The Birmingham News
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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The
downtown building that was home to
The Station and Zen nightclub and
several restaurants has been acquired
by a Web design firm that plans to
renovate it and use it as office space.
Kinetic Communications paid
$210,000 for the Morris Avenue
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building and a connected one, buying
them out of foreclosure, said Jay
Brandrup, an owner of the firm. The
firm likely will move in before the end
Jay Brandrup of Kinetic Communications stands in front of the
buildings on Morris Avenue that the company plans to renovate and
use for office space. (The Birmingham News/Hal Yeager)
of the year, he said.
"We got an unbelievable deal,"
Brandrup said. "We're stoked, to say
the least."
The most well-known of the two buildings includes a red train caboose, a relic from its original life
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as a "Victoria Station" restaurant in the 1970s. The connected building, which dates back to at
least 1885, was a Dixie Coffee Co. warehouse.
Both had been vacant since 2010. The city closed the Zen nightclub after a man was stabbed to
death on the dance floor in 2009.
Kinetic will occupy 9,000 square feet in the two buildings, moving from leased offices just a couple
of doors down the street.
In tearing down walls in the buildings, the new owners found old signs from their original
restaurant life, as well as some other ephemera from their dance club past, Brandrup said.
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Birmingham's Kinetic Communications to renovate Morris Ave...
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Purpose-built in 1974 as part of the short-lived, San Francisco-based Victoria Station restaurant
chain, the main building and its caboose are a regular backdrop for photographs today. Brides can
often be seen posing for wedding photos on the steps of the caboose on weekends. Its
redevelopment is significant, and demonstrates that downtown provides a good environment for
technology companies, David Fleming, chief executive of Operation New Birmingham, said in a
statement.
Kinetic, which employs 13 people, will about double the square footage of its workspace when it
moves from its leased offices across the street from Morris Avenue's Peanut Depot. The firm has
done web development and other creative work for businesses including Alabama Power Co., MTV
and Hilton Hotels. It recently won a U.S. Olympic Committee contract for work on a Paralympic
project, Brandrup said.
Birmingham-based Appleseed Workshop will handle the renovation.
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bhamfornow
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February 17, 2012 at 7:26AM
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OK Stan. I had to look up the word "ephemera". Way to class up the al.com.
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nufocus
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February 17, 2012 at 7:30AM
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Congratulations on the favorable purchase price. Very pleasing to see businesses purchase and
renovate these vacant and unused buildings. Best wishes and much success.
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