UAB TownHouse to close in 2018

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TownHouse circa 1950s. UAB Archives copyThrough the decades, retail tenants in the UAB TownHouse have included Mrs. Todd's Cafeteria, Tracy's Cafeteria and the Apothecary Club nightclub in the space now occupied by the Sitar Indian Cuisine restaurant. The UAB TownHouse, a decades-long fixture on the corner of 20th Street South and University Boulevard, will close its doors in early 2018 and eventually will be demolished.

For several decades, the UAB TownHouse has provided a place for certain patients to stay while receiving medical care; but the building no longer meets UAB Medicine’s quality standards, and today’s stricter building codes make renovating the structure extremely costly.

The extended-stay residents, typically patients who live outside the metro area but require ongoing care for weeks after discharge following procedures such as solid organ or bone-marrow transplant, soon will have access to improved facilities, said Jordan DeMoss, vice president of UAB Hospital.

“We are grateful for the comfortable and convenient lodging the UAB TownHouse has provided to thousands of UAB Medicine patients and families over the years,” Moss said. “Unfortunately, the facility is not reflective of UAB standards, and we are excited about the opportunity to elevate our patient and family accommodations through a partnership with the DoubleTree Hotel and our continued collaboration with local organizations that provide long-term lodging for patients and their families.”

”We are excited about the opportunity to elevate our patient and family accommodations.”

All patient referrals to the UAB TownHouse will end Dec. 1. Patients and family members requesting a place to stay for clinic visits, outpatient procedures or during a hospitalization will be provided with a list of accommodations within five miles of UAB, many of which offer reduced rates as low as $35 per night for UAB patients. The Hope Lodge, Ronald McDonald House and other area organizations will continue to provide lodging accommodations for patients and families who seek care in Birmingham.

UAB Facilities is considering various options for the use of the property, and short- and longer-term plans will be announced once a decision is made. UAB will assist the owners of Sitar Indian Cuisine, which leases space on the bottom floor, in finding another location before its lease expires.

The TownHouse was built in 1950-51 as an apartment building with retail space on the ground floor, according to University Archivist Tim Pennycuff. UAB, which purchased the TownHouse in 1985, had leased space for visiting professors and patients in years prior.