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August 5: Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, a nationwide chain with stores in Hoover, Nashville, and Montgomery, is opening its first Huntsville store at the old Linens-N-Things space on University. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.
August 8: From the Decatur Daily-- a rendering of a proposed visual arts center in downtown Decatur. Athens State University and Calhoun Community College are moving their arts departments to the facility, which is scheduled to break ground in December.
August 10: A Birmingham Business Journal article comparing the progress with high-speed rail plans in Alabama and Georgia. And once again, Alabama is falling behind due to an outdated "roads-only" transportation policy and perpetual stalling by state politicians. Or, as Jim put it on Facebook, "We're too busy waging the war on Bingo!"
August 15: The Mobile Press-Register prints a series of articles on Smart Growth, and how many towns and cities, including Rosemary Beach, Florida, have used it with great success. Mobile, like most cities, has a zoning code that largely prohibits pedestrian-friendly development.
August 23: Redstone Gateway, the $1 Billion office/retail development that's being considered "the next Research Park," officially broke ground. The project is expected to take a decade or more to complete.
August 24: A public meeting was held to introduce the new routing of the Northern Bypass through the Northeastern part of Madison County. The alternatives (see map below) are radically different from what has been planned in recent years-- closer to the early 1980s plan that would have had the bypass cut through the Moores Mill/Winchester intersection. The newest Long-Range Transportation Plan had it intersecting 72 East near Gurley. Wherever the bypass goes, don't expect it to be built for another 15 years, if ever.
Decatur Mall was auctioned off, going to a New York investment fund with the highest bid of $8.5 million. While I've never been inside the mall, I've heard from readers and friends that the mall isn't in the best shape, and several redevelopment efforts have failed.