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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Development Rundown

To the best of my ability, I will list each development that I have learned about in the past two months as a way to "catch up" readers with what is going on.

October, 2007
October 2, 2007- 200 Park Tower-
The 10 story office building on Courthouse Square, now known as 200 West Court Square, was built in the 1960s. It will be completely renovated by its new owners. The bottom floor will be converted to retail space, while the top floors will be changed to condos. The rest will be renovated as office space. The new name will be 200 Park Tower, and construction won't begin until 2009 at the earliest.

Early October- Tower cranes seen at Huntsville International, construction of a new 6-level parking garage underway. Also, a Baymont Inn and Suites is spotted coming soon next to Cracker Barrel at Exit 8 on 565. This is one of the five hotels proposed

October 12, 2007- VBC Arena renovations-
The Von Braun Center is finalizing plans for a long-needed arena expansion and renovation to begin in 2008. The estimated cost will be $12-16 million. The plans will be finished in December.

October 15, 2007- Shelby Center for Science and Technology- New $50 million science and math building for UAH opens at ceremony. Classes begin there in January 2008.

October 19, 2007- Westin Huntsville- Expected to open April 1, 2008, according to their website.

October 24, 2007- DeBartolo Development showcases their 1.6 million square ft. Peaks at Southchase development at a convention in Atlanta. John Blue Realty advertises their new retail center in Jones Valley- St. James Place- and Streets of Madison, a new retail development behind the Kroger on Hughes Road.

October 24, 2007- 218 Randolph Place- 10-story luxury condo tower proposed for a site near the Courthouse Square. Hasn't been announced yet officially. (click link for the rendering I found)

October 25, 2007- Wolf Ridge Properties hints at a 400-acre development in Madison, possibly at the interchange of County Line Road and 565.

October 25, 2007- Decatur annexes land for a 400-lot residential development near 65, spurred by BRAC growth.

October 25, 2007- Walker Hill- a 400 acre mixed use development proposed for Meridianville near Steger Road. 625 homes and a 150-acre commercial development are proposed.

October 31, 2007- Mayor Loretta Spencer's State of the City address hints at further development downtown- a parking garage and a new restaurant. Also hints that Cracker Barrel is planning to build more restaurants in the area.

November 2007
November 1, 2007- Bridge Street opens with 19 stores. More stores will open throughout the holiday season. Three more anchor tenants will be revealed by Thanksgiving.

November 4, 2007- Cheesecake Factory and Hard Rock Cafe will NOT be tenants at Constellation, a new mixed use development downtown anchored by two hotels.

November 5, 2007- The Streets of Madison announced. It will be a 57 acre residential/commercial development that will resemble a historic district like the French Quarter. Will be located behind the Kroger on Hughes Road.

November 6, 2007- Hamburger chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries will open two locations in Huntsville- in Jones Valley and at University/Enterprise Dr. The chain, which originated in the DC area, is also opening a location in Decatur at the Crossings (Target) shopping center.

November 9, 2007- HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology opens. This multi-million dollar facility will house 1600 workers when complete, and a number of small biotech firms.

November 10, 2007- Parking Garage D- A 5-6 level parking deck proposed for the intersection of Holmes and Green, or next to the Times building. 10,000 sq. ft of retail on the first floor is planned, with a grocery store and sandwich shop as possible tenants.

November 10, 2007- Hotel boom- Huntsville saw a 15% increase in the number of hotel rooms since 2005, and the growth isn't stopping. There 21 hotels proposed or under construction in Madison County as of Nov. 14, and the city could have 7,000 hotel rooms by 2010 (there are 5,620 now).

November 11, 2007- Harris Hill- The first major mixed use development for Northeast Huntsville. The 600-acre project will include 200 acres of greenspace and up to 1 million sq ft of retail, residential, office, and hotel space. The first phase, with a large shopping center and a hotel, will begin next year. Target will very likely be the anchor for this project.

November 13, 2007- Huntsville International Airport considers $13.2M expansion contract to expand the waiting area as part of their $65M plan to expand and upgrade the airport. An expanded food area with a McAlister's Deli will open next year.

November 14, 2007- Marco's Pizza to open a location on 72 West, in the Irwin Square shopping center under construction. It will be the first store in Alabama for the small Italian pizza chain from Toledo, OH. The company has plans to open 7 more stores throughout North Alabama.

November 14, 2007- Publix opens in Meridianville. This is the 8th location for the grocery chain in the Huntsville area, and four more are proposed or under construction.

...and this is where I will begin.

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