Bank of Tuscaloosa Plaza: Contribution to the City's Riverfront Development
May 1, 2009
The Black Warrior River has become one of the most scenic attractions in Tuscaloosa, thanks to the City’s Riverfront Development project. The Riverwalk along its banks provides a picturesque setting for outdoor activities. On the south side of the river, the walkways convene at the Park at Manderson Landing. With its expanding river views, the park is located across Jack Warner Parkway from the University of Alabama campus.
The goal of the City is to develop the river into its highest and best use, maximizing its potential as both a private and public place. A key component of the City’s plan, private development is intended to stimulate use of the public areas by bringing people to the riverfront. The Bank of Tuscaloosa Plaza is the first private development on the south side of the river.
Originally owned by brothers Gary Fitts and James Fitts, the 8-acre plaza site had not been occupied for 35 years. Three local businesses, along with the Fitts brothers, became partners to develop the riverfront real estate into an architectural showpiece. Completed in 2009, the Bank of Tuscaloosa Plaza is occupied by the three businesses—Bank of Tuscaloosa, Rosen Harwood, and the accounting firm of JamisonMoneyFarmer—as well as Hunt Refining Company who leases the fourth floor.
The office plaza was designed to be compatible with its environment. The site was cleared just enough for the footprint of the building and parking to prevent disturbance of the surrounding natural habitat. As a result, various types of wildlife are often spotted from office windows. The reflective glass façade of the building is intended to reflect the images of surrounding trees and blend into the background.
Rosen Harwood occupies the second floor of the Plaza. The boardroom overlooks the Riverwalk and the Black Warrior River, which inspired the interior design of the law firm. Each of the conference rooms is named for an Alabama waterway, and is decorated with locally commissioned artwork depicting its respective waterway.