From USA Today: More small towns thinking big: Homewood, Ala., pop. 25,000, borders the southern edge of Birmingham and has turned from an aging suburb of small single-family homes into a destination popular for its urban shops and restaurants.
The city tore down its old city hall and built one to anchor a new downtown, Mayor Scott McBrayer says. Parking is underneath. Upscale condos top shops and restaurants. A hotel is across the street.
"You can walk to grocery stores and shop downtown," he says.
Homewood's average age dropped from 60 to under 40 in about 10 years as a result.