Well, it's been a slow couple of weeks in Huntsville's urban development (it's always like this this time of year), so I thought we might look at what other cities in the region are doing:
Nashville's Gulch district is having trouble filling 800 condos built in the district in the past few years, according to The Tennessean. Despite TIF District improvements and its proximity to downtown, Music Row, and the West End (Nashville's Medical District), nothing could stop the recession; only 165 condos have sold in the three largest high-rise projects. However, it has had some success in bringing restaurants, clubs, and retail. Some familiar names, like Cantina Laredo and Urban Outfitters, have opened up shop there in the past year.
Those looking for more Sweetwater-type mega-developments might be interested in May Town Center, a project struggling to get approval from Nashville's planning board, partly because of access issues to the project, which will be surrounded on three sides by the Cumberland River. Another reason for the opposition is that it will be located in Bells Bend, a mostly agricultural area that is one of the last major open spaces left in Davidson County.
Chattanooga has 1-up-ped us again. A Monaco-style 12-screen movie theater is under construction downtown to replace the Bijou, a theater built during the first revitalization about 20 years ago. RiverCity Company, a non-profit organization responsible for much of Chattanooga's rebirth (Huntsville has tried to imitate its success with an organization called Big Spring Partners. Never heard of them? Exactly.) is developing the project along with Carmike Cinemas.
Birmingham is looking at building a downtown ballpark (sound familiar?) for the Barons, who currently play at Regions Park in Hoover. A development company is looking at the site near Railroad Park for the new stadium.