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, January 21, 2011

Target all but Confirmed for Madison

Madison Mayor Paul Finley, in his State of the City address, made two major economic development announcements. The first announcement: Insanity Skatepark will become a major entertainment complex and civic center for the city, with event space, rock climbing walls, go-carts, and, best of all in my opinion, laser tag.

The next big announcement, the Shoppes of Madison, is probably the worst-kept retail secret I have seen since I started this blog three years ago. While the mayor didn't mention the "major anchor" by name, he did note that the "Target" date for opening is Summer 2012, while showing these renderings on a big screen:

The mayor noted that "apparel stores, shoe stores, and home decor stores" will locate in the center, along with some "sit-down restaurants." So, in conclusion, this will be your average shopping center. I just wonder how much in incentives the city of Madison will give to have Target build in their city (they've been pretty vague about it), and how the residents of the large subdivision behind this development will feel about a major project in their backyard.

I am surprised that nothing was mentioned about the Zierdt/565 development. It seems to be coming back from the dead, with Madison pushing for a new connector/interchange between Zierdt and Wall-Triana. Also, the Daniel Corporation and Breland Companies, the two developers involved in the project, were the major sponsors for the state of the city address. It's definitely something to watch for in the near future.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods "Looking" at Huntsville

If you missed it at last night's packed Economic Development Summit, I can now confirm that Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, two of the most desired retail stores among Huntsvillians, are scouting the area for new stores. While there isn't a set location for either chain yet, and won't be for a while, you can look at their locations in other cities and see where they locate-- mostly in high-wealth, relatively high-density neighborhoods. The closest Huntsville has to this kind of environment is the area bounded by 565 to the north, Airport to the south, and the Parkway to the west. Another potential location with the right ingredients is Providence.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Huntsville to Hold Economic Development Summit

Yes, this is official. Photo courtesy: Trent Willis/City of Huntsville

The City of Huntsville will be holding its first Economic Development Summit-- "Developing Ideas: Planning for Huntsville's Future"-- on Wednesday, January 19th from 6-8pm at the Hudson-Alpha Center for Biotechnology in Research Park. The summit is open to the public.

The purpose of this summit is to get feedback from the public about where the city should be going in terms of economic development and planning. Representatives from the real estate community along with city officials and yours truly will be there to answer your questions. The format of this event is still evolving, and the attendance will ultimately determine what will be done.

Also at the summit, the city's new online Ideas Map will be formally introduced and demonstrated. Want to know what I'm talking about? Come to the meeting and find out.