jmanhsv

Metro Huntsville Development News

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Noting that there are now 8 cranes in downtown Huntsville (two each for Summit and Embassy Suites), I thought it would be a good time to begin a Huntsville development thread here at UP.

Here's a list of current projects/proposals in the Huntsville area:

Downtown

301 East- 7-story condo midrise, under construction, completion date late 2006

Big Spring Summit- 8-story office building w/ two restaurants (one rumored to be a Ruth's Chris, the other a Starbucks-type coffee shop), under construction, completion date January

Embassy Suites Huntsville- 10-story hotel next to Von Braun Center, one restaurant (once again, rumored to be a Ruth's Chris), under construction, completion date mid 2006

Holmes Avenue Condominiums- 21-story condo tower, proposed, waiting on city approval for a new parking garage, would be the tallest building in Huntsville

Metro Jail- Not exactly in downtown, but on the other side of 565. 8 floors, completion date 2006

Huntsville Hospital expansion- parking garage and more offices

Federal Courthouse- waiting on lift of federal building ban, to house district offices of FBI and other federal services that are currently down in Birmingham.

Five Points renovation- basically a "sprucing up" of an area that has transformed from a land of abandoned mill houses to an area of upscale restaurants, shops, coffee houses, and art galleries.

Riverwalk- a copy of San Antonio's idea, but it's on a creek. It will run between the Embassy Suites and Von Braun Center and will have an ampitheatre at one end.

Marketsquare- an eyesore on Memorial Parkway officially died Friday after Gold's Gym moved out. A few years ago, the Backstreet Boys wanted to build a Peabody Hotel and entertainment center there, but the plan fell through after the Embassy Suites was approved. There are still rumors that an entertainment complex will be built there.

Big Spring condos- another condo tower, next to Summit. Plans are to have 45 condos overlooking the pond at Big Spring International Park. Construction to begin early next year.

Other things proposed- new restaurants and bars, and even a downtown grocery store, possibly a Publix.

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Here's what's going on on the West Side:

8,000 new homes, with that many or more proposed. Sprawlicious!

The Village of Providence, another New Urbanism development. Eventually, up to 10,000 people will live here. There are lots of new shops, offices, lofts, and restaurants opening in the Town Center, and a Homewood Suites is going up as well. Providence School, a public school, opened up this fall. A 5-story loft building, Main Street Lofts, opened recently.

Another New Urbanist development is going up down the street, with more restaurants (possibly a Chicago steakhouse), a bookstore, hotel, lofts, a farmer's market, and an observatory. The whole neighborhood will be a Wi-Fi hotspot. The neighborhood will break ground this winter.

UAH expansion- UAH is building a new $60 million Applied Sciences Center, along with more fraternity/sorority housing. There are also plans for a transit hub, more dorms, and more classroom space.

Research Park- aka the real downtown Huntsville. :lol:

Hudson-Alpha Biotech Center- Not many Birmingham residents like this idea. Huntsville will be home to a major biotech campus that is being paid for with $80M in private money and $50M in state money. This campus will eventually produce 1600 jobs in 10 years. There will eventually be 10 buildings, but the first will break ground in winter and open in late 2007.

Northdrop Grumman regional headquarters- the company will build 5 buildings to consolidate their more than 20 offices scattered in the Huntsville area. The whole complex will cost $80M, and will be completed between 2008 and 2010.

Other companies that are building headquarters in Research Park- Westar Aerospace is building a $10M headquarters to completed next year.

Analytical Services will open their new headquarters in December.

Another defense company, Delta Research, is building 2 buildings in their new headquarters.

There are at least 3 different office buildings currently proposed in Research Park

And, of course, you can't talk Research Park development without talking about the World Famous Bridge Street. This lifestyle center will be the town center of Research Park when completed in Spring 2007. It will have 60 upscale shops and restaurants, condos, apartments, a performing arts center, office buildings, and of course, the Westin Huntsville. To see a plan and a rendering of the Westin, go to this thread.

Time to take another break! :)

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Great-sounding stuff !

I'm very familiar with B'ham and Mobile, but I don't see Huntsville very often.

Come to think of it, I've probably spent more time in Chattanooga than Huntsville.

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is pretty neat, too.

Go, Huntsville, go !!!

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^Huntsville is not a tourist town, and we're not directly on an interstate, two advantages that Chattanooga does have, so I don't blame you for not visiting here more often. Maybe in a few years we'll have a tourist industry, with Bridge Street and downtown gaining momentum.

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Here's development going on in other parts of the area:

Madison

New hospital- 2 different proposals by Huntsville and Crestwood, Huntsville's only medical centers. It will serve as an emergency room for the 90,000+ residents of west Madison County, where the nearest hospital is 20 minutes away. The State Health Board has approved it (kind of), but another hospital, Athens Limestone, has filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that the new hospital will shut them down. This could take a while...

Madison is still getting residential development, but is running out of room and will be fully developed by 2012.

The 72 Corridor

Sometimes known as "Huntsville's 280" especially to people who have driven the infamous Birmingham highway. Ten years ago, it was all cotton fields west of Research Park. Since then, retailers such as Kohl's, Home Depot, SuperTarget, Lowe's, Babies R Us, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michaels and many more have located here, creating a traffic nightmare, even on Saturdays. The 8,000 homes being built around it in the past 2-3 years hasn't really helped either.

Paramount Place- a commercial/residential development. It will include apartments and a shopping center. The apartments are open, and the shopping center will open soon.

Lowe's- Lowes plans to build another store along this route, in East Limestone. It will be the first major retailer to locate there. Other retail locating on 72 West: a La-Z-Boy store, a hotel, and a Mazda dealership.

Northeast Huntsville- my favorite side of town- not as much sprawl, but not ghetto.

Winchester Plaza- Northeast's largest development in 8 years. It will include a Publix and other shops, restaurants and offices. Parts of it will be completed next spring.

Other retail- Three other shopping centers are coming soon to Northeast, one has a Wal-Mart Supercenter, which will officially make us a suburb..... :(

Jones Valley and Hampton Cove (SE Huntsville)

Jones Valley- this area has gone from a cow pasture to a retail center in about 3 years. It has all been surrounded by Valley Bend at Jones Farm, a shopping center with anchors like SuperTarget, PetSmart, Barnes and Noble, Marshall's, and Ross.

Valley Bend expansion- Valley Bend is expanding, with a new movie theater, Hobby Lobby, a Zaxby's and possibly 3 new sit-down restaurants.

New condos- about 100 condos are about to be constructed by an Atlanta firm.

New banks, offices and shopping centers are being constructed as we speak in Jones Valley.

Hampton Cove- an area that grew by almost 900% in the 90s, this area already sports thousands of homes and a Robert Trent Jones golf course. Wal-Mart and Publix are major retailers there. A new Lowe's and at least 1500 homes are proposed in the area.

Well, that's it with Madison County development, save for the tens of thousands of new homes that will be built here before 2010. Now on to the surrounding counties!

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Guntersville

Situated on a peninsula jutting out into the Tennessee River, Guntersville has long been a weekend getaway for many Huntsvillians.

New river condos- This week, the city approved a new 7-story condo tower overlooking Guntersville Lake. It will go under construction in a few months.

Decatur- home of Meow Mix, Cook's Pest Control and America's first wave pool, this is now Huntsville's biggest suburb.

Decatur Exchange- another retail development, with stores like SuperTarget, Old Navy, PetSmart, Rack Room Shoes, and either Linens N Things or Academy Sports, a chain that has not located in Huntsville yet. Restaurants that are in the development might include Longhorn, Chili's or Panera Bread, another chain that has not located here. Stores are expected to open next year.

Colonial Mall renovation- Colonial Mall Decatur is undergoing a renovation which includes new shops and restaurants and a new movie theater.

New downtown hotel- An Atlanta company is remodeling an old Days Inn for a new downtown hotel. It should be open by January.

RiverCountry at Point Mallard- My favorite Decatur proposal. Point Mallard is an old water park that has been losing money for the past few years. So the developers of City Walk at Universal Studios Orlando have come up with a plan for 50 shops and restaurants, condos, bike trails, paintball courses, skateboard parks, at least 3 new hotels, a golf course, and a new water park. Here's the website: www.rivercountryatpointmallard.com/

Athens- this city has been reaping the rewards of Huntsville suburbanism for a few years now.

Stuff coming to Athens- Holiday Inn, Backyard Burgers, Lone Star Steakhouse, a movie theater, a medical mall, a real mall, and an outlet center. About 500 homes are being built there right now.

Congratulations! You are now up to date with Huntsville area development news! If I forgot anything, please post it.

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Great stuff !

My brother's an engineering professor (as was our father) and has a good many friends and former students in the Huntsville area. He even applied for a position at UAH when he first got his PhD.

Lake Guntersville is beautiful & the terrain in your whole region of the state, really.

My cousin is a bluegrass musician in his spare time, and is in Athens right now for some annual event.

The Point Mallard renovation looks incredible : www.rivercountryatpointmallard.com/

I'm also hoping to get to Cathedral Caverns the next time I visit the Huntsville area.

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Hey Druid City- this might influence you to come to Huntsville :)

The Botanical Garden is breaking ground today on a $3.6M expansion that will include a new nature center and children's garden. The nature center will include an education center, an ampitheater, and the largest butterfly house in the country. They are calling this "Huntsville's Tennessee Aquarium". Here is the article in today's Huntsville Times.

Edited by jmanhsv

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Guntersville

Situated on a peninsula jutting out into the Tennessee River, Guntersville has long been a weekend getaway for many Huntsvillians.

New river condos- This week, the city approved a new 7-story condo tower overlooking Guntersville Lake. It will go under construction in a few months.

Decatur- home of Meow Mix, Cook's Pest Control and America's first wave pool, this is now Huntsville's biggest suburb.

Decatur Exchange- another retail development, with stores like SuperTarget, Old Navy, PetSmart, Rack Room Shoes, and either Linens N Things or Academy Sports, a chain that has not located in Huntsville yet. Restaurants that are in the development might include Longhorn, Chili's or Panera Bread, another chain that has not located here. Stores are expected to open next year.

Colonial Mall renovation- Colonial Mall Decatur is undergoing a renovation which includes new shops and restaurants and a new movie theater.

New downtown hotel- An Atlanta company is remodeling an old Days Inn for a new downtown hotel. It should be open by January.

RiverCountry at Point Mallard- My favorite Decatur proposal. Point Mallard is an old water park that has been losing money for the past few years. So the developers of City Walk at Universal Studios Orlando have come up with a plan for 50 shops and restaurants, condos, bike trails, paintball courses, skateboard parks, at least 3 new hotels, a golf course, and a new water park. Here's the website: www.rivercountryatpointmallard.com/

Athens- this city has been reaping the rewards of Huntsville suburbanism for a few years now.

Stuff coming to Athens- Holiday Inn, Backyard Burgers, Lone Star Steakhouse, a movie theater, a medical mall, a real mall, and an outlet center. About 500 homes are being built there right now.

Congratulations! You are now up to date with Huntsville area development news! If I forgot anything, please post it.

I really like this post. I get to learn about the towns you are talking about and then learn about the projects going on. Really informative! I wish more posts were like this.

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It's just much area in Huntsville. West Huntsville is going to be the premiere section of town. It's like every section of town will have a distinct flavor to it. I hope to come back to my roots in NorthWest Huntsville to help rebuild that section of town. I love Huntsville.

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^ I was hoping that the new Toyota plant and the new MLK Expressway would bring a new wave of commercial and residential development to Northwest. Unfortunately, all of that growth seems to have gone to Meridianville/Hazel Green. :(

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Yesterday, there was a groundbreaking for the second phase of the new Von Braun Complex. The $38M complex will house the 800 Missle Defense Agency employees in the Huntsville area.

missile.jpg

The building will open in 2007, but by then another phase might be under construction due to the influx of workers Huntsville will recieve as a result of BRAC (upwards of 5000).

Source: Huntsville Times, October 12. Redstone breaks ground for missile defense facility

Hey, is there any way I can get this thread stickied?

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^ I was hoping that the new Toyota plant and the new MLK Expressway would bring a new wave of commercial and residential development to Northwest. Unfortunately, all of that growth seems to have gone to Meridianville/Hazel Green. :(

What needs to happen in the NorthWest is for more of that culture to come outta there. I mean it's predominately Black so things like Soul Food restaraunts, Jazz Spots, etc could take the NorthWest to another level. My company has set records on radio and was the first music group out of the city to be played on BET. www.slowmotionsounds.com So that's the vision I see. Things like a performing arts school that focused on teaching the kids art, graphic design, dance, etc would really help complete the circle of the City. It's going happen.

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^Thats a great idea. It would be cool if there was a whole "entertainment district" with all of the things you mentioned. Something like Beale Street in Memphis. It could serve as a downtown for Northwest.

And while we're talking about the northwestern part of the city... Someone's requested a zoning change on MLK, which means something might soon be developed there....

Planners consider rezoning on MLK

Thursday, October 13, 2005

From staff reports

Huntsville Times

Public hearing set on changes in north Huntsville

Huntsville planners are mulling over a rezoning request that could foster development along the newly opened Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Highway in north Huntsville.

A zoning subcommittee of the Huntsville Planning Commission on Wednesday set a public hearing for later this month on a proposal to rezone 55.27 acres from residential to commercial and industrial. A 6.65-acre swath near the intersection of Bob Wade Lane would be zoned Highway Business C-4, while 48.62 acres on both sides of MLK Highway south of there would be zoned Planned Industrial.

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Riverwalk- a copy of San Antonio's idea, but it's on a creek. It will run between the Embassy Suites and Von Braun Center and will have an ampitheatre at one end.

The family of a late community leader has donated money for a new fountain, to be placed in the middle of the new riverwalk. It should be completed by next summer. It's going in the circle of water at the right side of the park-

012104_riverwalk.jpg

It looks pretty cool. As soon as the pic goes online, I'll post it.

Complete story:Fountain centerpiece to honor civic leader

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Today I have renderings for the Botanical Garden expansion and the new fountain downtown.

Trust me, this is not the whole garden....

101305_botanical.jpg

I forgot to mention when making this thread: Soon the city will break ground on a new tram/light rail line between the garden and the Space Center, which is only about 2 miles away.

Here's that fountain picture:

101305_downtown.jpg

In other development news....

Institute aims to begin research by fall of 2007

Huntsville Times

Groundbreaking for the planned Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology in Cummings Research Park will likely take place early next year, the institute's spokeswoman said Thursday.

The institute, the dream of Huntsville biotechnology pioneer Jim Hudson, will feature a 260,000-square-foot main building, with affiliated companies on the institute campus. The institute is backed by some $80 million in private funds, and the state of Alabama has committed $50 million to support the facility's construction.

Hudson envisions a nonprofit facility to do cutting-edge research and partner with for-profit companies to develop new biotechnology products.

Hudson has said the target for the institute's opening will be fall 2007.

The institute is expected to have between 500-600 workers when it opens and expand to some 1,600 people working on the campus with affiliated companies within 10 years.

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The Von Braun Complex is a really nice looking facility. Where is this being built in relation to downtown?

Hey, is there any way I can get this thread stickied?

Yep. I see no problem with that.

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The Von Braun Complex is a really nice looking facility. Where is this being built in relation to downtown?

It is going to be built on Redstone Arsenal, which is about 6-7 miles from downtown.

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More downtown development!

Alumni of Councill High School, the city's only all-black high school which operated until 1964, have announced plans to renovate the old school, which is in serious disrepair. They plan to renovate it into a community center, with meeting rooms, youth/adult skill training classrooms, a museum, restaurant, auditorium and offices. Part of the property will become a plaza with a clock tower or a sculpture in the middle. The project cost is estimated at $6.7M.

This other story is a bit off-topic, but interesting. Yesterday a Auburn historian spoke at a Huntsville bicentennial presentation. The topic of the discussion: "Is Huntsville Really in Alabama?" He talked about the obvious differences (tech-based economy) but he also talked a lot about how/why Huntsville avoided the racial violence of the civil rights movement that plagued other Alabama cities. Here's the article: Historian offers praise, warning for city leaders- Huntsville Times, October 17, 2005

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Yesterday (October 17) city and federal officals broke ground on a new air traffic control tower at Huntsville International Airport. The 219 ft, $21 Million tower will open in spring 2008. See the Huntsville Times article: New control tower set to open in spring 2008

tower.jpg

Interesting/sad fact- The tower will be almost 50 ft taller than Huntsville's tallest building (Amsouth Center)

Edited by jmanhsv

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Clinton building makeover

101905_scibldg.jpg

Clinton Ave will become a major area of development in the next 12 months

The building is located on the southwest corner of Memorial Parkway and Clinton Avenue and includes 4.5 acres for surface parking. An artist's rendering shows a planned new main entrance and fountain on the west side of the building where the old Huntsville News operated until 1996. The News building will be demolished.

4005409_BG1.jpg

Edited by HSVTiger

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Five Points renovation- basically a "sprucing up" of an area that has transformed from a land of abandoned mill houses to an area of upscale restaurants, shops, coffee houses, and art galleries.

ALDOT plans to begin this project early next year, late as usual. The $1.4M project will include landscaping, more sidewalks and benches, "lantern" street lamps, better parking, and more pedestrian-friendly streets. Original plans proposed "simulated trolley rails" along Pratt Avenue, but the plans were abandoned.

Huntsville Times, October 23- A Slow Walk in Five Points

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