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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.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweetwater website now online

The developers of the troubled Sweetwater development in southern Limestone County have now set up a website showcasing the proposed $1 billion project, which will include a Bass Pro Shops, a glorified 225,000-300,000 sq. ft. outlet center, and a hotel/convention center in the first phase. The website contains renderings, a presentation being showed at today's Decatur City Council meeting, and a listing of the partners in the project (an interesting fact: one of the people involved in the project is George P. Bush, a nephew of the current President). This website was probably set up to reassure citizens and Decatur city officials that the project is still moving forward, even though there have been problems with finding a new hotel partner and the groundbreaking (originally scheduled for June) has now been delayed.

Thompson Tractor building store on Governors

This has been the subject of several questions on forums the past few weeks... Thompson Tractor, a Birmingham-based Caterpillar dealership, is opening a store in Huntsville on Governors Drive West. It is being built on a 16-acre site that used to be a driving range. The store is expected to open around March 1 of next year, according to the Huntsville Times.

Hudson-Alpha plans "mile-long campus"

After opening the first building of its future campus last year, the Hudson-Alpha Institute of Biotechnology is already expanding. Construction has begun on a $7 million conference center, which is scheduled to open next year. According to co-founder and president Jim Hudson, the eventual plan is to have a "mile-long campus" with a "grove" (something like a pedestrian mall) through the center of it. Hudson hopes to have the campus completed in about 15 years.

Huntsville Times article

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dick's Sporting Goods building Jones Valley store

Dick's Sporting Goods is building its second Huntsville store at Valley Bend at Jones Farm. It will be the last junior anchor at the massive development, which opened its first stores in late 2001 and added a second phase (anchored by Hobby Lobby) and a Rave Motion Pictures movie theater in 2006. The 48,000 sq. ft. store will open by next spring, according to the Huntsville Times.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Snappy Tomato Pizza opening its first Huntsville-area restaurant

Snappy Tomato Pizza, a Cincinnati-area-based chain of franchise pizza restaurants, is opening its first Huntsville-area location at the Harvest Square shopping center being built at AL 53 and Jeff Road. It will be the second location in Alabama (the other one is in Tuscaloosa). The news of its opening is the latest of several pizza-chain franchises opening up in the Huntsville area this year, including Marco's Pizza in Madison (already open) and Mellow Mushroom in Providence (opening later this year).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Academy Sports "expanding" in Alabama, probably in Huntsville/Decatur

Academy Sports and Outdoors, a sporting goods chain similar to Dick's, is planning to open "at least" 4 stores in the state in the next year, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. Two of those stores have already been announced to open in Decatur and Auburn. I expect at least one of those other remaining "to-be-announced" stores to be located in Huntsville.

Academy has 7 stores currently open in Alabama, including 5 in the Birmingham-Tuscaloosa area, one in Gadsden, and one in Mobile.