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MidCity Huntsville - RCP Companies (developer) | 140-acre mixed-use former Madison Square Mall site on University Dr | $500(?) million | UC

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MidCity Huntsville is a 140 acre, $500 million(?) (have also seen $350 million) mixed use development at the former Madison Square Mall site on University Drive bordered by Research Park Blvd on the west and Old Monrovia Rd on the east.  The developer is RCP Companies (also doing City Centre and Merchants Square, a 45,000-square foot, second phase of the Whole Foods-anchored Shops at Merchants Walk), The development is said to include:

  • 345,000 square feet of street-level retail
  • 200,000 square feet of office space
  • 500 hotel rooms(?) (I've seen at least one 150 room boutique hotel; not sure if more hotels are planned at this point)
  • 900 residences
  • 8,500 capacity amphitheater music venue

At least 70 percent of the businesses are to be new to the Huntsville market.

 

So far the development has constructed:

- The Camp, billed as an outdoor leisure venue.  The Camp has rotating food venues, game area, dog friendly park, and entertainment.  Opened August 2017.

- the 53,000 square feet Topgolf complex which opened late December 2017

 

Under construction/announced:

- Chattanooga-based High Point Climbing and Fitness 25,000-square-foot indoor climbing gym which is to include climbing walls, bouldering areas, a kid's zone, a weight and aerobic room, yoga area, mezzanine, birthday rooms, and a retail store.  High Point will also build and operate a 40 ft outdoor climbing wall (named the Adrenaline Zone) adjacent to a planned park.  Currently under construction with a planned opening date of Summer 2019.

- 26,500 sq. ft. Dave and Buster's (mid 2019?)

- 20,000 sq. ft. REI Co-op store

 

MidCity is petitioning Trader Joe's to come to Huntsville in their new development as well.

A few buildings remain on the site, such as the movie theater,  a Holiday Inn, and a Steak n Shake (all operational and open).  The Camp was developed at an old Lone Star Steakhouse location.  I also noticed the Macaroni Grille is being refurbished into something else.

Video from  the MidCity website (http://www.midcityhuntsville.com/):

 

Some renderings taken from the MidCity website (http://www.midcityhuntsville.com/):

The Point - Where friends gather and live entertainment abounds:

Rendering of The Point at MidCity in Huntsville AL

Area 120 - Huntsville's brightest talent dream up their best ideas here:

Rendering of Area120 at MidCity in Huntsville AL

Event Promenade - A community hub  for special events, bustling markets, art fairs:

Rendering of The Promenade at MidCity in Huntsville AL

Construction from May 2017:

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A Pies and Pints, a specialty pizza and craft beer restaurant, announced back in September 2018 for plans to join MidCity:

Pies & Pints at MidCity Rendering

http://www.midcityhuntsville.com/2018/09/pies-pints-joining-midcity-huntsville/

Quote

Pies & Pints is an Ohio-based restaurant offering pizza, sandwiches, salads, and desserts along with an assortment of local craft beers that is curated individually for each Pies & Pints location. Aside from offering the classic pizza toppings and build-your-owns, the restaurant has more exotic combinations like Grape and Gorgonzola pizza, Chicken Gouda pizza, and Sriracha shrimp pizza. The pizzas are hand-stretched and baked on a stone hearth with from-scratch pizza sauce, dough, and sauces. Their menu includes only high-quality ingredients that interchange seasonally and there are also gluten-free options.

The 4,290-square-foot restaurant at MidCity Huntsville will be the third Alabama location, with units in Birmingham and Montgomery, totaling 15 restaurants spread throughout Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Virginia, and Kentucky. Rob Lindeman says as a chef-driven restaurant, Pies & Pints is only a chain in terms of numbers of units and that food quality is their top priority. “We use only the freshest, highest-quality, all natural ingredients to produce one of a kind flavor combinations. We slow roast our pork on site in every restaurant, make our own sausage, use nitrate free and natural spiced pepperoni, and cook our proprietary natural applewood smoked bacon on site,” Lindeman says.

Pies & Pints is scheduled to open summer 2019 along with the first phase of retail at MidCity Huntsville which is currently under construction; this includes Wahlburgers, Dave & Buster’s, Topgolf, High Point Climbing & Fitness, and Aloft Hotel. The pizza and beer destination will be located adjacent to Wahlburgers. RCP Companies continues to look for businesses and uses that complement MidCity’s current lineup and sync with the overall mission which includes unique culinary offerings, entertainment, and recreation. “The quality and concept of Pies & Pints makes it a perfect fit for MidCity. This deal is an early win that will draw more key businesses to the development,” says Max Grelier, co-founder of RCP Companies, the developer of MidCity Huntsville.

 

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Trying to catch up on Huntsville news!  Been quite a bit of actions with these bigger projects.

From awhile back...the REI Co-op announcement in September 2018.  The store will be 20,000 sqft located at the north end of the MidCity development.  This will be the first Alabama REI and joins regional stores in surrounding TN, GA, SC, and FL.  The closest REI's that I know of would be Brentwood, TN and Chattanooga, TN.

Additionally, this location will be special since the store will be built to a reported adjacent planned 40-acre park, MidCity park.  The park is reported to be a public area with trails, a lake with a dock, and outdoor amphitheater.  I believe REI will have access to the lake for customers to test out watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, etc.  I also believe the park will be adjacent to the High Point Climbing facility and feature an outdoor climbing wall.

Shane Davis, Huntsville director of urban planning, discusses that the MidCity master plan allocates 30 acres for kayaking, running, biking, rock climbing, and an outdoor amphitheater.

REI's plans for about 50 employees for the Huntsville store.

Expected construction was to start October 2018.

This should be a pretty cool area.

For those not familiar with REI, here is some clips from the MidCity Huntsville and REI's website:

Quote

REI is a member-owned co-op, offering top quality gear, expertise and experiences to connect people to a life outdoors. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay a lifetime $20 membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend. In addition, REI actively works with nonprofits across the country to protect wild places and invest in spaces for outdoor recreation. The co-op annually gives back nearly 70 percent of its profits back to the outdoor community, and in 2018 is investing $8.8 million in more than 400 nonprofit organizations across the country.

Store facts:

Address: 5903 University Drive Northwest (approximate)

Square footage: 20,000 square feet

Open date: Fall 2019

Active members: 3,500 in Huntsville; 11,400 in Alabama

About REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 152 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.

http://www.midcityhuntsville.com/2018/09/rei-will-open-midcity-huntsville/

https://newsroom.rei.com/news/corporate/rei-co-ops-first-alabama-store-will-open-in-huntsville-in-fall-2019.htm

https://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2018/09/rei_co-op_coming_to_midcity_hu.html

https://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2018/09/12/outdoor-retailer-to-open-first-alabama-location.html

https://www.waaytv.com/content/news/REI-to-open-first-Alabama-store-at-Midcity-development-492953331.html

http://www.waff.com/2018/09/11/rei-co-op-coming-midcity-huntsville/

Rendering (conceptual?) from: http://www.midcityhuntsville.com/2018/09/rei-will-open-midcity-huntsville/

REI at MidCity Rendering

 

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Some older news articles regarding the MidCity development and first phase.  For OCD(?) purposes, I am trying to archive older articles and reconstruct timelines.

Al.com article by William Thorton: https://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2017/12/first_phase_of_midcity_taking.html

Quote

First phase of $350 million MidCity development taking shape

Updated Dec 20, 2017; Posted Dec 20, 2017

By William Thornton, [email protected]

 

This article at the time was just before the Topgolf opening of a little over a year ago on December 22, 2017.  Some summary points from the article:

  • Topgolf estimated to be a $20 million development.  I will post more on TG separately.
  • The Camp opened that August of 2017.  I will make a post in this thread on The Camp later.  Thornton notes that at that time The Camp (or the Camp or just Camp?) was planning to open full-time estimated early 2018, which I believe has happened, including the Alchemy Coffee Lounge (Alchemy Coffee has a location in Lowe Mill).  Again, more on the Camp, Alchemy, Lowe Mill, etc later.
  • It seems plans for the 26,000 sqft Adrenaline Zone which would sit next to Topgolf were being finalized.  This zone is planned to contain a 45 ft outdoor climbing wall and a multi-purpose lawn for recreational and competitive events.  It was estimated to start construction 2nd qtr 2018.  I believe this is well underway along with the High Point Climbing and Fitness facility and the nearby Dave and Buster's(?).  I will make some separate posts on HPC&F and D&B's later.
  • Another close to being finalized topic at the time was about 4 restaurants.  One of the restaurants is reported to be celebrity branded by "one of country music's most beloved acts" and is to be 7,500 sqft and contain live music.  I believe this has been announced since Dec. 2017 as Rascal Flatts.  The other restaurants were reported at the time to be first to market restaurants.  I believe one of these is the now announced Wahlburgers.  Again, separate post on these later.
  • It was reported that a finalized agreement for a boutique hotel overlooking MidCity Park had been reached.  Negotiations were reported being made for a 2nd boutique hotel.  I've seen an announcement since then for an Aloft Hotel.
  • An agreement with a Dallas-based developer for residential above retail was underway.

The article then gives a good summary of what aspects MidCity planned to bring to the development:

Quote

MidCity Park: 38-acre public park with an 8,500-seat community amphitheater, a lake and kayak center, bike and running trails, and an outdoor recreation retailer.

Area 120: High-tech technology office space ideal for research, development and creative companies, a public plaza and meeting hub, and a science and tech accelerator.

Residential District: Trail connection to MidCity Park, adjacent to shops and restaurants, distinctive architecture and amenities.

The Point and Jake's Mews: The "heart" of MidCity Huntsville with a hotel, outdoor performance venue, farm-to-table dining, sidewalk cafes, a food hall and specialty shops.

At least 70 percent of the businesses will be new-to-market, developers have said.

Renderings from the article: connected to an earlier April 19, 2017 AL.com article by Lucy Berry: https://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2017/04/midcity_huntsville_renderings.html

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Hey Tim, Maybe do a development map like we have in Nashville to spur some interest and get it out and about to some folks. Just email NEO to see about setting it up.

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On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 9:17 AM, smeagolsfree said:

Hey Tim, Maybe do a development map like we have in Nashville to spur some interest and get it out and about to some folks. Just email NEO to see about setting it up.

Yeah, I need to get up to Nashville to a meet or something so I can talk to you guys about some of the things you do, like the development map.  I was going to try to come around the holidays but couldn't make it.

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