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Downtown Huntsville

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The 301 East condo complex exterior is almost complete. How does everyone think it looks? Does anyone know what the bottom floor will be? It looks like there is space for shops. I'm hoping for a gourmet grocery. I think one would do well there.

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The 301 East condo complex exterior is almost complete. How does everyone think it looks? Does anyone know what the bottom floor will be? It looks like there is space for shops. I'm hoping for a gourment grocery. I think one would do well there.

Overall it's not bad and I applaud the developer, Thornton Properties, for pushing the project through. I agree with the grocery

idea. It has been rumored that someone is looking somewhere downtown(Publix maybe) but nothing concrete.

Seems there may be 4-5 other retail spots on the ground floor.

Here is the web link which is a bit annoying with all the download nonsense.

http://www.301east.com/

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This is just an idea I had yesterday, so take it for what it is worth.

I was thinking about a couple universities that I am very familiar with. Both have apartment complexes off campus that have regular shuttle buses running to campus as a way to alleviate campus parking issues and to add more student housing. In both cases, they were privately own apartment complexes but the shuttle was at least partially funded by the university. Does anyone think an idea like this could work between downtown Huntsville and UAH? Do you think the city council would even consider an idea such as this considering the apartments would have to be more reasonably priced in order to attract students? I was thinking that apartments would go nicely in the office park proposed for the north side of downtown. I could see a loop with that area and Marketplace that would shuttle students to campus. If this idea took off, more stops could be added, such as Five Points and various points around downtown.

Downtown desperately needs young people living downtown. That is the only way it will really take off. A few high end condo complexes is a good start to generate interest , but that won't bring the energy and vitality that downtown needs. If apartments were priced reasonably, I could see students really going for the idea. Thoughts?

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This is just an idea I had yesterday, so take it for what it is worth.

I was thinking about a couple universities that I am very familiar with. Both have apartment complexes off campus that have regular shuttle buses running to campus as a way to alleviate campus parking issues and to add more student housing. In both cases, they were privately own apartment complexes but the shuttle was at least partially funded by the university. Does anyone think an idea like this could work between downtown Huntsville and UAH? Do you think the city council would even consider an idea such as this considering the apartments would have to be more reasonably priced in order to attract students? I was thinking that apartments would go nicely in the office park proposed for the north side of downtown. I could see a loop with that area and Marketplace that would shuttle students to campus. If this idea took off, more stops could be added, such as Five Points and various points around downtown.

Downtown desperately needs young people living downtown. That is the only way it will really take off. A few high end condo complexes is a good start to generate interest , but that won't bring the energy and vitality that downtown needs. If apartments were priced reasonably, I could see students really going for the idea. Thoughts?

excellent idea, I haven't understood the total lack of housing projects for the "average" citizen. I guess the ROI too low, but quanity can make a big difference. 1000 medium income residents to 200 high end would be a better mix. On the flip side UAH is quickly changing and desiring to change it's commuter college reputation to being a more traditional "on campus".

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I also think it is a good idea; unfortunately, downtown is a bit too far for apartments geared towards UAH students. If UAH decides someday to construct more student apartments, they would probably be along Holmes or University. Though I am all for downtown living, I wouldn't want to distance myself from campus and all the activities around there. But as soon as apartments/lofts/condos become more abundant and affordable downtown, I could see some students opting for the more urban feel of the area.

And I don't think a separate shuttle for UAH students is needed. There is already a Shuttle route from downtown to UAH. All it needs is extended hours (from 6am-2am, maybe) and more frequent service. And possibly some minor route changes to the areas you mentioned- Five Points, Marketsquare, etc.

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Distance may not be an issue if the area between Jordan and I-565 along Holmes was revitalized. I believe that more attractive, close off-campus housing is something that a lot of UAH students (I for one) would appreciate as an option.

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I also think it is a good idea; unfortunately, downtown is a bit too far for apartments geared towards UAH students. If UAH decides someday to construct more student apartments, they would probably be along Holmes or University. Though I am all for downtown living, I wouldn't want to distance myself from campus and all the activities around there. But as soon as apartments/lofts/condos become more abundant and affordable downtown, I could see some students opting for the more urban feel of the area.

And I don't think a separate shuttle for UAH students is needed. There is already a Shuttle route from downtown to UAH. All it needs is extended hours (from 6am-2am, maybe) and more frequent service. And possibly some minor route changes to the areas you mentioned- Five Points, Marketsquare, etc.

I think the new parking deck at UAH will have a transit station as well

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I believe that more attractive, close off-campus housing is something that a lot of UAH students (I for one) would appreciate as an option.

that's the reason i commuted from another county for four years. the housing situation around UAH is adequate (or used to be) but far from appealing. where within a half-mile radius (hell, a mile) from campus would you want to live if you weren't a UAH student? i know of nothing attractive enough (circa 1999, anyway). not a safety or money issue for me; just an urban / campus living issue. there isn't any of it near UAH.

the area has potential for some bright spots. i agree that the holmes corridor east of campus could be developed into something very pedestrian-friendly and densely occupied. the lack of existing traffic signals / major intersections, as well as the narrowness of the road, give holmes a nice infrastructural advantage. and that area at least has the benefit of stretching in the direction of downtown.

Edited by convulso

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I also think it is a good idea; unfortunately, downtown is a bit too far for apartments geared towards UAH students.

I don't know if distance is too much of an issue, it is a really quick trip from downtown to campus. The apartment complexes off the other two campuses I referred to aren't that close, definitely out of walking distance. I wasn't thinking UAH would build the apartments, I was thinking private developers would build them if there was enough interest. Then either the city, UAH or the private developer could provide a shuttle. I think it is a matter of desirability. Unless a major rehab was done in the campus area, I would not want to live there as a student, particularly a female. I'd much rather live downtown and make the 5 mile commute via bus.

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http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

Interesting read. One bit that really irks me:

"Spencer said young professionals who work and play downtown have asked to remove the courthouse square's brick sidewalks - quaint, but notorious for buckling and tripping pedestrians - and the city is going to take care of that"

Are you kidding me! Drunk 21 year old girls in high heels can't walk on a brick sidewalk, so they are going to tear them up? I think that would be a huge mistake, I think it adds a lot of charm to the square and that money could be spent much more wisely. I can't see "young professionals" asking the city to do this. However, I can see an old money Huntsvillian who got his cane stuck between two bricks demanding that this be done.

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http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

Interesting read. One bit that really irks me:

"Spencer said young professionals who work and play downtown have asked to remove the courthouse square's brick sidewalks - quaint, but notorious for buckling and tripping pedestrians - and the city is going to take care of that"

Are you kidding me! Drunk 21 year old girls in high heels can't walk on a brick sidewalk, so they are going to tear them up? I think that would be a huge mistake, I think it adds a lot of charm to the square and that money could be spent much more wisely. I can't see "young professionals" asking the city to do this. However, I can see an old money Huntsvillian who got his cane stuck between two bricks demanding that this be done.

That project is scheduled very soon, it will include new trees , benches, landscaping etc. The current bricks are uneven, broken and dangerous in some places.

There could be some liability issues, not sure but if done correctly will be better.

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That project is scheduled very soon, it will include new trees , benches, landscaping etc. The current bricks are uneven, broken and dangerous in some places.

There could be some liability issues, not sure but if done correctly will be better.

Perhaps there are some liability issues, but why pawn it off like the "young professionals" requested it be torn up? The brickwork isn't even that old is it? They just did this a few years ago. Also, I've seen brick walkways like that in numerous cities, particularly older ones in the Northeast, I don't see them tearing up the bricks for liability issues. I run/walk downtown all the time, I haven't noticed any dangerous spots.

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Improved parking, sidewalks highlight downtown facelift

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/ind....xml&coll=1

I still don't agree with tearing up the sidewalks, it seems like a waste when there are many other things that could be done. Oh well. By the way, the building that Jeff Sikes renovated on the SW corner of the square looks awesome. I'm looking forward to a tenant moving in to that spot.

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Here's a pic, I like the large doors that open out onto the sidewalk

downtown313.jpg

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You've got to love those wide sidewalks with outdoor dining tables. Kudos to Huntsville for the new benches and bike racks as well.

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I was just thinking the city might consider offering a tax break (maybe for a limited time) to a property owner downtown if they are leasing a certain amount of square footage to any college or university.

It seems like it would be a great way to get people downtown on weeknights.

Any thoughts?

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You have to realize, the city isn't the only one that would be losing money (even for a limited amount of time) in this deal. The school has to pay for everything too. There's a whole lot more to it than meets the eye. That's why Calhoun doesn't have a downtown campus in Decatur yet. If it didn't cost so much for the school to do it, they'd already be building classrooms and other things by now.

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I was just thinking the city might consider offering a tax break (maybe for a limited time) to a property owner downtown if they are leasing a certain amount of square footage to any college or university.

It seems like it would be a great way to get people downtown on weeknights.

Any thoughts?

It would be tough to work out, considering UAH is trying to become more of a full time campus instead of a commuter school. Plus, neither UAH or A&M are hurting for classroom space that I know of. They would have to want to do it for the betterment of the city unless the city basically gave them the space for free.

I posted on here a while back that I would love to see apartments go in downtown that had regularly scheduled shuttle services to UAH/A&M. I've seen complexes like that in other college towns and they have done well. Obviously, a younger population living downtown would do wonders for the nightlife. I was thinking of the area where the to-be-demolished Searcy Homes projects currently are would be a good location.

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I've been lurking here for many months now, but figured I'd contribute today for a change...

Years ago, before Calhoun bought the old Chrysler building on Wynn Drive, officials bounced around the idea of taking over the old Central Bank building downtown, which was completely empty at the time. I guess it cost too much and Calhoun probably wanted a strong presence in the Research Park area. But a downtown campus could have been a master stroke, I agree. Business geared toward students (cafes, arts, crafts, books, pubs, etc) could have sprung up all around there and offered lots of character. And with all the night classes, there would have been people around after dark for a change. Instead Calhoun went for a giant bland white box. Oh what could've been... But of course downtown is booming now (relatively speaking), but if someone were to add a downtown extension, particularly and arts/muisc type program, downtown could still really benefit.

Edited by deesonic

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I've been lurking here for many months now, but figured I'd contribute today for a change...

Years ago, before Calhoun bought the old Chrysler building on Wynn Drive, officials bounced around the idea of taking over the old Central Bank building downtown, which was completely empty at the time. I guess it cost too much and Calhoun probably wanted a strong presence in the Research Park area. But a downtown campus could have been a master stroke, I agree. Business geared toward students (cafes, arts, crafts, books, pubs, etc) could have sprung up all around there and offered lots of character. And with all the night classes, there would have been people around after dark for a change. Instead Calhoun went for a giant bland white box. Oh what could've been... But of course downtown is booming now (relatively speaking), but if someone were to add a downtown extension, particularly and arts/muisc type program, downtown could still really benefit.

UAH seems like the most likely candidate. I don't think Calhoun would, or at least not for decades. Their true "passion" now is getting a campus in downtown Decatur. I think it's since they already have the land for them if they want it, and the city supports it all the way. The city council is about to approve money for downtown projects, one of which the downtown planning comission wants to be, is Calhoun. The college is already based in Decatur, and the city has done a lot for them, and the college has done A LOT for the city, especially the schools. I'm thinkin they want to strengthen the relationship. I SERIOUSLY doubt that Calhoun would put a campus in downtown Huntsville.

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The old Central Bank (now Compass Bank) building may be getting a makeover. The 10-story office building built in 1967 overlooking Big Spring Park could have condos on the top 2 floors, retail on the bottom floor, and a new exterior, according to plans in The Huntsville Times.

It's the building on the left...

11532933YLsxtWzkuC_th.jpg

Edited by jmanhsv

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The old Central Bank (now Compass Bank) building may be getting a makeover. The 10-story office building built in 1967 overlooking Big Spring Park could have condos on the top 2 floors, retail on the bottom floor, and a new exterior, according to plans in The Huntsville Times.

It's the building on the left...

11532933YLsxtWzkuC_th.jpg

Boy it could use something, it is classic 1960's architecture, classically bad, basically a brick with lots of window holes. The location is excellent and it has a cool parking deck, so hopefully it will be improved.

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Boy it could use something, it is classic 1960's architecture, classically bad, basically a brick with lots of window holes. The location is excellent and it has a cool parking deck, so hopefully it will be improved.

Be great to see it when it's finished. Downtown is in need of some REdevelopment. Some of the buildings are just horrible. I'm sure that once this project is finished there'll be some more building going on in downtown.

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Be great to see it when it's finished. Downtown is in need of some REdevelopment. Some of the buildings are just horrible. I'm sure that once this project is finished there'll be some more building going on in downtown.

I first came to Huntsville when the Central Bank was being built. I always thought it looked like a computer punch card. Any of you old enough to know what those were? :)

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I first came to Huntsville when the Central Bank was being built. I always thought it looked like a computer punch card. Any of you old enough to know what those were? :)

mmm paper cards with punched out holes used to program computers with information... never seen them work in action but I remember seeing a lot of them laying around the house when I was young..

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