Birmingham based Dobbins Group has tapped Arlington Construction Services as the general contractor for a new upscale 96-unit multifamily community and Arlington Property Management to market and manage the new development.

The $16.5 million project is the first new apartment complex in the Avondale area in 40 years, according to Thornton Ratliff, Dobbins Group vice president.

Located at 4211 and 4241 Third Ave. S. in Birmingham, Ala, between Avondale’s commercial 41st Street strip and the surrounding residential area, walkability was a key factor in the firm’s decision to develop this site for multifamily use. Bill Dobbins, managing principal of The Dobbins Group, said the area’s designation as an entertainment district enhances that walkability factor.

“Obviously, we’re the first ones here with new development like this, but I think the timing is perfect for it,” Dobbins said. “There is absolute demand here because people want to be next to those bars and restaurants and realize what a cool neighborhood Avondale is.”

Dobbins said the goal was to develop upscale housing in Avondale similar to the developments going up in Railroad Park and other areas downtown and to deliver it at a good price point. That would have been challenging to pull off if the properties were not located in an Opportunity Zone, he said.