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Everything posted by jmanhsv

  1. ^Just about anywhere in Madison is safe. The crime rate is extremely low. However, traffic, like most large suburban cities, is a nightmare about 24/7. 72 West, Hughes Road and Wall Triana Highway are pretty bad, and are long overdue for a widening. And according to Mapquest, Emerald Forest is off Wall Triana. But if your relative's job is in Research Park or the Arsenal, it will still only take about 15-20 minutes.
  2. ^Cool map. I didn't know Huntsville International was planning another passenger terminal (Maybe they could build a "people mover" train between the current terminal and the new one )I also didn't know that they are going to build another airport exit off 565. I wonder how thats going to turn out- if it's built, there's no way a County Line Road interchange can be built. And looking at the Memphis-Atl interchange- they're planning flyovers!? That's going to be weird to see in the middle of all that farmland. Then again, when it's built around the year 2075, the area will all be developed.
  3. In today's Huntsville Times, an article mentions a section of the city's website where anyone can see where residential development is taking place within Huntsville city limits. It also mentioned that 10,500 lots are being developed within the city limits alone (the number must be double in Madison County). Here's the website for the development map: http://www.hsvcity.com/gis/dev_map/development_map.pdf Note that this is a pdf file. Also in today's paper, an ad in the classifieds reveals another grocery chain is locating to North Alabama. Aldi (I guess thats how you spell it) is building a store in Decatur, probably the first in Alabama. The chain has many locations in the Midwest, but expanded to Nashville and Chattanooga recently. To anyone not familiar with the chain, I call it the "Dollar General" of grocery stores.
  4. Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that a record 2.44 million visitors visited Madison County last year, spending $688M and making Madison County the fourth most visited place in Alabama, behind Baldwin, Jefferson and Mobile counties. The bureau also noted that in the next year or so, there will be a 15% increase in hotel rooms, with Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Westin (also Comfort Suites and Vista Inn and Suites, which they did not mention) all coming soon. The bureau has hired an advertising firm to create a new advertising campaign that will be used outside of Huntsville. Times article: Promoters welcome new numbers
  5. Update on the new Calhoun Performing Arts Center proposed for downtown Decatur... An architect will be hired soon for the $30-40M project. The center will feature a 700-800 seat theater, a 200 seat "black box" theater, and classrooms. Decatur Daily article: Investment in art begins Here is a "modified" version of the picture on the Daily website. The yellow line at the top is 6th Avenue (US 31), the green box is city hall, the blue is AmSouth, and the red is where the performing arts center is proposed.
  6. This is another article about the projected BRAC growth in North Alabama/ Southern Middle Tennessee. Local congressman Bud Cramer says that much of the growth will be outside of Madison County. I agree with him- I can see a good percentage of the coming residents moving to Jackson, Marshall (near Lake Guntersville and in Arab), and Lincoln Counties. Cramer did mention the Shoals getting a lot of growth, but I highly doubt that, mainly because it is 70 miles away. Huntsville Times article: Region to share in BRAC gains
  7. ^I guess when that happens (which could be in the next few years), the state will pay for an exit exclusively for this church, adding millions of taxpayer dollars and 15 more years of planning to the project.... In other news, don't look for a large retail development next to Redstone Arsenal anytime soon. Huntsville Times article: http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind...ll=1&thispage=1 Army shoots down talk of mall near base Also, at the end of the article, there was this little blurb about the office market in Huntsville...
  8. I think this development is hilarious...Calvary Assembly, a mega-church in Decatur, broke ground Sunday on a 182-acre mixed use development, with houses, condos, a retirement community, and retail space. And of course, a very large church. What makes this development even better, it's going up along a already busy highway that connects Huntsville and Decatur, infamous for the hundreds of accidents that occur along the stretch of road every year. But wait, there's more- ALDOT is doing studies and construction just for this church. Well, I'm glad they have their priorities straight.
  9. A Marshall County developer is getting ready to construct phase 1 of a new riverfront development called Parches Cove. Located in Union Grove, the 3000 acre, $20M development will feature 200 homes, a marina, and a lodge/restaurant. Of the 47 lots in the first phase, 22 have already been sold at $150,000-$275,000. The homes will start at $500,000. Huntsville Times article: High-end lifestyle set for river
  10. In 25 years, I don't see Huntsville's skyline looking like another city's skyline. However, I do see it getting a lot denser and taller, looking more like a traditional skyline. Huntsville will get a few 25-30 story skyscrapers and a lot of <20 high-rises in both downtown and Research Park.
  11. The Huntsville Times reports that the finishing touches are being put onto the 301 East condo midrise. The completion date is now early 2007. Condo sales started in late April. The condos cost a pretty penny for the Huntsville housing market- the smallest condos start at $319,000, with the penthouse (already reserved according to the 301 East website) posted at over $1 million.
  12. ^Nope, that's where the new Westminster Christian Academy campus is going to be. The new Catholic High campus is going up on Old Madison Pike, near Slaughter Road.
  13. In the Outlook 2006 section of the Huntsville Times today, Ralph Gipson, president of Huntsville downtown development company CityScapes (remember Electric Avenue?) said a recent study showed that there is a potential for 1600 condos downtown. Think about it: right now, there are only about 20-30 condos. 301 East will open later this year, adding another 25. Ovation will open either late next year or early 2008 with another 40-45 condos. That will leave downtown with about 100 condos. Then there's the undefined number of condos coming with the redevelopment of Marketsquare and the 21-story condo tower (that is probably dead). To fill the need, there's going to have to be a heck of a lot of residential development downtown in the next few years.
  14. Welcome to Huntsville! Being from Lawrenceburg, you're probably already familiar with the area. In regards to Huntsville being a "seller's market", that probably won't happen until school lets out, and BRAC families will be looking here for housing. Catholic High School is moving to a new location in Thornton Research Park. The first phase of the $12M project, scheduled to be complete in 2008, will include a 1000 seat gymnasium, a multi-purpose center, and choral and band rooms. The second phase will be the school, which will eventually hold 600 (the current size is 250). Though the plans have been released for a few months, the funding drive is starting this weekend. Huntsville Times article: Catholic High set to launch campaign for bigger campus
  15. The City Planning Board approved the new Thrasher Fountain last night. Expect the fountain to be operational by August, just before the opening of the new Embassy Suites. And remember that "large commercial development?" (see post 122) It was just an office park. Article: Big Spring Fountain on tap for August And in other news... News Channel 19 reports that public transit ridership in Huntsville has increased by 25% from this time last year. Also note too that we were complaining about $2 a gallon gas back then.
  16. I noticed this little blurb while reading the paper this morning. It was in the article about the new fountain downtown (see posts 17 and 18 for more info and a pic). hmmm....
  17. ^Well, it's about time! I am getting tired of the 30-minute cross-town trips to the Cracker Barrel in Madison.
  18. Some Research Park stuff I forgot to mention... Raytheon had the groundbreaking for their new $20M, 120,000 sq ft building this week. Remember this building? (it could easily have six floors...) Article: Raytheon has a new vision Also, Sparta, Inc., a California-based/Huntsville-founded company, broke ground on their new 97,000 sq ft building. I can't find a rendering online, but it's as bad as the one above, just with only 2 floors. Article:Sparta poised for ''growth spurt''
  19. The first of 2 new megaplex movie theaters expected to open in Huntsville over the next year or so will open on May 5 in Jones Valley. The second, a Regal theater, will open at Bridge Street sometime next year. This press release was taken from the Rave Motion Pictures website. RMP VALLEY BEND 18 OPENING MAY 5 IN HUNTSVILLE, AL THE ULTIMATE STADIUM THEATER TO OPEN IN Huntsville on May 5, 2006 Dallas, TX. -Rave Motion Pictures
  20. And while we're on the topic of rankings.... I saw this in the Austin subforum. The Green Guide ranked Huntsville the 9th "greenest" city in the nation. Here's what they had to say about the city: 9. Huntsville, AL (score 7.035, pop. 158,216) New to the top 10 list this year, Huntsville has devoted almost a third of its land to green spaces including undeveloped forest and nature preserves, along with public gardens, parks and waterfront. The city-funded Operation Green Team has been remarkably successful in their public education and city clean-ups, enlisting 12,000 volunteers in their 2005 effort to clean and green the city. Thirteen percent of the population commutes by bus while a trolley is available for special events to reduce congestion, helping clean up their air. The hospital possesses its own light rail system to shuttle staff across its grounds. Although Hunstville relies on coal and nuclear power for the majority of its energy mix, homeowners can purchase solar or wind-generated energy through the Tennessee Valley Authority. The city is also developing a first-of-its-kind industrial park: 100 percent of all water runoff, says Ben Ferrill, city of Huntsville planner, will be biofiltered with swales, wet ponds and dry ponds. Rooftop runoff is separated from parking and street runoff to capture pollutants on site before they reach the subsurface aquifer. Thirteen percent!? Yeah, right.
  21. Some good news/bad news for Huntsville International Airport... The airport is getting ready to build a $26M parking deck with 1360 spaces. Construction on the deck is going to begin in December and will be completed a year later. The airport also announced that rail cargo traffic has risen 51.3% from a year ago, but passenger airline traffic has decreased by 10.8% (We really need a low-cost airline). Source: Airport parking project set for 2008 completion
  22. ^True, but I think it's funny that we're never #1 in anything (EDIT: I found one: Hsv was named the #1 mid market in the South by Southern Business and Development). In the last year, the city has been ranked: #2 most affordable, #2 most cost-effective, #2 best value, #6 overall (Forbes), #4 safest drivers, and #2 in quality of life. Source: Chamber of Commerce Here's the top 10 list from Expansion Management: 1. Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash. MSA 2. Huntsville, Ala. MSA 3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. MSA 4. Boulder, Colo. MSA 5. Ithaca, N.Y. MSA 6. Ames, Iowa MSA 7. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. MSA 8. Idaho Falls, Idaho MSA 9. Blacksburg-Christianburg-Radford, Va. MSA 10. College Station-Bryan, Texas MSA
  23. Article from the Huntsville Times Huntsville No. 2 in smarts Tuesday, April 11, 2006 From staff reports Huntsville Times Huntsville may not be a huge city, but, according to this month's Expansion Management magazine, it is smart. The magazine, which helps companies decide where to locate and expand their business, named Huntsville No. 2 on its annual list of top 10 cities for scientists and engineers. The Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash., metro area was at the top of that list. The designation is part of Expansion Management annual Knowledge Quotient ranking of 362 metro areas. The survey also ranked the top knowledge worker metros, top metros for university research and development spending and the top metros for college educated workers. Have you ever noticed that Huntsville is never #1 in anything? We're always #2.
  24. ^Yes, that's the project where they got $50M in state funding. It's a good deal- 1600 jobs will be created (most of the auto plants in AL got hundreds of millions of dollars in state money to bring 2000-4000 jobs here). I don't think the state money's going toward building the campus, though if it were, it would be used to construct the first building. The other 9 possible buildings are headquarters for biotech companies involved in the project. Yes, it was a very rough night. Very hyped up by the news media though. A wall cloud went right over heavily-populated Southeast Huntsville, ominously close to the path of the Airport Road F4 in 1989. Fortunately, there was little damage.
  25. Redstone Arsenal plans to lease 422 acres north of the base along Rideout Road in order to build office space and other commercial development. The land will be used to build university classrooms (A couple of universities have satellite campuses on Redstone, including Florida Tech and Georgia Tech), office buildings, and a conference center. There is a possibility for other commercial development, with restrictions. Huntsville Times article: Redstone will lease land along Rideout
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