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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Harris Hill- The Real Plan?

I attended the meeting at City Hall tonight about the Harris Hill development, one, because I write this blog, and two, I live in the area. Cole Walker of Walker Family Properties discussed the plans for the development, which, as of now, look like this:
  • The "Jones Valley" portion: 10 outparcels lining 72 East and Old Gurley Road, for restaurants (seemed to mention Outback Steakhouse a lot, a clue?), a pharmacy, banks. This part could be completed in about a year, and construction could be seen in a couple of months if all goes well and it is approved by the city.
  • The "Westside Center" portion: 60 acres for "big box" retail; current plans call for two large anchors (one looked a lot like a SuperTarget), 4-5 "junior" anchors (stores such as Goody's and Dick's Sporting Goods), and smaller stores. This phase would be completed in at LEAST 3 years, according to Walker.
  • 200 acres of multi family residential, mostly condos/apartments, but some townhomes. The residences will be priced in "the $200-400,000 range." This phase should be built at the same time or a little later than the retail portion.
  • The "Providence" portion: A 40 acre town center, with retail space on the bottom and lofts/condos on the top floors. Walker said that this will probably be the last thing to be built, when (or if) the development is successful.
  • A hotel, which wasn't talked about but was still on the plans.
  • The rest of the 600-acre development will be preserved as parkland/greenspace, with walking trails, bike paths, etc.
I could have a picture of the plan up as early as tomorrow.

: any tenants I mentioned here are completely theoretical, I am throwing them out there to show what COULD go in there. Walker said that retailers are taking a cautious "wait and see" strategy right now, with the failing economy and upcoming presidential elections, and more locally, waiting to see how many people come with BRAC. Overall buildout could take around seven years, which is common for a project of this magnitude.

One thing I would like to point out about the meeting: the surrounding neighborhood, which has a history of being very vocal about nearby development (a couple of years ago, a developer wanted to build cheap apartments next to the neighborhood, which brought on a lawsuit by some of the homeowners), seemed very enthusiastic about the project for the most part. There were some concerns about traffic, which was forseen, but I think the largely positive attitude shown by the neighborhood will bring this project closer to fruition.


lanej13 said...

I am one of those people in the chase shadow subdivision who was on the lawsuit against the apartments. There is some proposed re-zoning in this new development that will allow for apartments, if chosen to be built. What most people do not realize is developers can and most often do change there minds about building things. He could change his mind about building on the rezoned section of the development , sell it, and if re-zoned to support multi-family structures (apartments) the "next guy could come in and build any type he wants. Trust me my eyes were peeled wide open during that lawsuit. I asked him point blank on these issues and never got a concrete response. I encourage everyone to attend the city council meeting may 27th @ 5 to find out what may go one in the rezoning. You do not want any kind of multi-family zoning. It is way to wide open! And yes I saw the "pretty" pictures of what he wants to build but remember they can always change there mind! Be aware people of what goes on around you! Dont get sucked in on just pretty talk and locked down on where you may buy coffee or read a book in the future. It may be alot to do about nothing but do beware.

Sunbelt said...

Development in the Huntsville area has reached the Tennessee River to the South, Madison to the West, low income to the North and has two routes available to the east- HWY 431 and 72. Hwy 431 is currently being developed as Hampton Cove. The next corridor for development is HWY 72 towards Scottsboro.

The future extensions of the interstate and the ultimate completion of the Huntsville Loop would all show the wisdom of the Harris Hill Development. A planned development will benefit the Northeast (which has been ignored for years by the real estate "powers.") And will direct growth down the remaining availble commercial and residential corridor. A development with a plann will breed more "plans" which is preferential to the current county zoning plan (none.) The time frame is flexable but the growth out HWY 72 in inevitible.