Comments are welcome (positive or negative), but any self-advertisements or irrelevant posts will be deleted.

No new posts are being added to this blog. For planning news and updates, check out The BIG Picture Huntsville (also on Facebook). For transportation info, check out the Huntsville Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worthington Federal building new headquarters on Parkway

Worthington Federal Bank, a small Huntsville-based bank, has plans to build its headquarters at the old Shoney's site on South Parkway between the Drake and Useless overpasses. The two story, 15,000 sq. ft. building should be completed in a year. In the same area, local developers are also building a 52,000 sq. ft. office building on an old lumber yard. Construction on that project should begin once demolition is complete.

Huntsville Times article

Shaq looking at property in Huntsville

So, where does Shaquille O'Neal go in the middle of a controversy centered around him badmouthing former teammate Kobe Bryant in a rap song? He comes to Huntsville, to look at property. The basketball star was in the city Tuesday and Wednesday "checking out real estate properties" according to the Huntsville Times. No word yet on whether it was commercial or residential propoerty was looking for, but O'Neal said he would be back in a couple of weeks with his family.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Plans for GE property in Decatur: Retail/office/hotel

Newly formed development group Chase Financial Group of Alabama is close to closing on a 42-acre tract of land that General Electric now owns in Decatur near Point Mallard Park, according to the Decatur Daily. This comes after the city of Decatur had its bid offer for the land rejected last week. The city planned to use the property for residential and recreational purposes. However, Chase Financial plans to build a retail center, office space, and (eventually) a hotel on the property. The group plans to break ground later this year. The same company is developing two other properties in the Decatur area: a condo development off of Alabama 20, and an expansion of the Celebration Arena in Priceville.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Einstein Bros. Bagels coming soon to Huntsville

On the heels of last month's announcement that Dunkin' Donuts was returning to Alabama, and in competition with Bruegger's, Einstein Brothers Bagels has announced its own plans to expand into Alabama. The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the capitol city will get up to three franchise locations of the chain, which will open in the next 6-18 months, along with other locations in the three other large cities in this state. Expect a similar number of stores for Huntsville.

Einstein Brothers has 600 restaurants in 35 states and DC. Many of the stores are in airports or on college campuses. The closest stand-alone locations are in Atlanta.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chase Creek Town Center

This is a conceptual site plan for Chase Creek Town Center, a proposed shopping center located at US 72 and Shields Road. This picture shows a "big-box" store, a grocery store, and about 40,000 sq. ft of small shops along with a bank in an outparcel. The "big-box" store shown has been all but confirmed to be a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The small shops will be filled mostly by stores that "follow" Wal-Mart, such as Hibbetts Sporting Goods, GameStop, Dollar Tree, etc. Whether the grocery store is built is up in the air, since both Kroger and Publix have stores nearby. Another mid-size tenant, such as a Goody's or a Big Lots, might take its place in the final product. Like most of the plans I post on here, this is only conceptual, and are used just to give potential tenants an idea of what's planned.

*UPDATE (3/09): The contract the land was under to develop the Wal-Mart was dropped in late 2008, so a new Wal-Mart for Northeast is on hold, at least for a couple of years.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Smaller Developments- June 2008

I've found these upcoming projects on my various web searches in the past couple of weeks, but they're just a tad too small to dedicate a whole blog post to them. So here they go:
  • A Guthrie's is supposedly coming to Winchester Road, on one of the outparcels of the old Winn-Dixie shopping center.
  • A CVS/Pharmacy is planned for the northwest corner of Sutton Road and US 431 in Hampton Cove. And, of course, there's Brookestone at Hampton Cove, a 11,250 sq. ft. strip center planned for the northeast corner of the same intersection.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hyatt Place "on hold"

The Hyatt Place hotel that was predicted to be built in Providence is now on hold indefinitely, according to the Times. But it would now make sense that it was the same hotel that was planned for Providence's second phase, since there have been no developments from that for over a year now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Redstone Technology Park

This is a 420-acre retail/office/hotel development at 565 and Research Park Blvd. on the edge of Redstone Arsenal. It is on the EUL (Enhanced-Use Lease) land set aside for commercial development. Redstone Technology Park is being developed by Jim Wilson and Associates, a Montgomery-based developer that was involved in Riverchase Galleria in Hoover and more recently, The Avenue Carriage Crossing, a lifestyle center in Collierville, TN, a suburb of Memphis. The first phase, according to the site plan above and a PDF flyer on the developer's website, will include:
  • 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space (meaning no "big-box" stores)
  • Six outparcels, probably for restaurants
  • A 150-room hotel
  • One or two office buildings
Future phases of the project could include another hotel and more office space. When the project is completed, there will be up to 2-4 million sq. ft. of office space, according to the flyer.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bass Pro still coming to Sweetwater

In a Decatur Daily article today, Bass Pro Shops confirmed that they are still planning a store in southern Limestone County, and are planning a September groundbreaking. The store is now expected to open next summer, if all goes well. However, the store does depend on the developer (Genesis USA) and the city of Decatur to negotiate financing for road improvements around the project. Bass Pro wants a traffic light on Alabama 20 to help traffic enter and exit the megastore safely onto the dangerous highway (BAD IDEA- ALDOT still hasn't learned its lesson on putting traffic lights at the end of an interstate, e.g. Moores Mill Road; an interchange would be the only safe and efficient solution).

There has been some doubt recently on the stability of the development because the hotel developer, John Q. Hammons, pulled out of the project. Developers claim that they are in negotiations with several hotel developers to replace Hammons, who also developed the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Huntsville.