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.

Friday, November 19, 2010

ALDI (Finally) Comes to Madison County

ALDI, the no-frills German grocer that for years has avoided Madison County while building stores in Chattanooga, Birmingham, and even Decatur, will be building its first store here early next year on US 72 West in Madison, next to Outback Steakhouse. Some of you may recall that this is very close to where ALDI had planned to open a store a few years ago, but for whatever reason never did.

For those who wish that ALDI built a store closer to their own neighborhood, don't worry. A retailer like ALDI could easily open at least three stores here in the next few years.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A special announcement

Hello, readers!
I thought I would let you guys know what I've been up to lately.

A while back, I met with Mayor Battle. Impressed with the blog, he offered me a part-time consulting position with the city, working on projects pertaining to economic development (see FAQ's). As some observant readers have already noticed (including Reactionary over at flashpoint), the city council this month approved a contract for me to work part-time as a "retail specialist." I started this week, and will continue to work for the city for the next year.

Potential FAQ's

What is a "retail specialist"? Since different parts of the city have different needs, I'll be doing a "hodge-podge" of projects, from mapping out vacant and underused retail properties throughout the city, to locating potential grocery store sites/chains for under served urban areas (like the NW and SW sides).

What will become of the blog? Since part of my job is to come up with ideas to improve areas of the city, you may see more "Ideas" posts for general neighborhoods and corridors. My hope is that I will be able to get valuable input from you, the reader, on as many ideas as possible.

The blog's focus will remain on the region as a whole. I will continue to occasionally write about transportation issues, and now with Madison announcing a new Target soon and a "growth plan" in the works, I'll have plenty of material to write about there too.

Thanks for reading, and here's to another year!


Monday, November 1, 2010

The Small Stuff: October 2010

As always, get these updates quicker by following my Twitter and/or Facebook feeds.

  • After nearly a decade of a joint partnership between Chattanooga-based CBL and Birmingham-based Colonial Properties Trust, Parkway Place is now fully owned by CBL
  • Huntsville recieved a $620,000 federal grant for transit improvements. The money will go towards improving bus shelters and maintenance facilities. 
  • 301 East Holmes finally has a tenant-- a salon-- for at least part of their ground-floor retail space, which has sat vacant since the downtown condo project's opening in 2006. 
  • Decatur is planning to remove a downtown surface parking lot and replace it with a "pocket park."
  • Pope John Paul II Catholic High School opened its new campus on Old Madison Pike.