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Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Ideas Map: One Year Later

Today (1/19/2012) marks one year since the kickoff of the original Ideas Map, an online crowdsourcing tool used by the City of Huntsville to see what kinds of retail and restaurants citizens want, along with other ideas to improve the city. It turned out to be a wild success; a second Ideas Map was created for downtown last summer, and more crowdsourcing events are planned in the future. But have we been equally successful in getting the most in-demand retail and restaurants? Check out the progress report below. The results have been updated as well as their status with Huntsville-- just so no one misinterprets me, Check means "they're coming," Unknown means "possible, but not sure," and No means "not a chance":

Top Restaurants:
1. Cheesecake Factory- Unknown. (They wouldn't put a full-size restaurant here, but the company is working on a smaller restaurant prototype for smaller cities.)
2. Chipotle- Check.
3. Joe's Crab Shack- No. (Supposedly they take issue with our lack of a waterfront... I guess Ditto Landing doesn't count.)
3. Dunkin' Donuts- Check.
4. Dave and Buster's- No. (Huntsville needs about a million more people to get one.)

Top Retail:
1. Trader Joe's- Unknown. (The company is fairly secretive on their site selection, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear about them in the next year.)
2. Macy's- Unknown. (Population is not an issue by itself, but I think the concern is whether or not the Huntsville market can sustain another mid-market department store.)
3. Ikea- Hell no. (Nashville may have enough people to warrant one in a few years.)
4. Container Store- No. (Once again, not enough people.)
5. Whole Foods Market- Check. (Rumor has it they've found a site on the Parkway, but nothing is official.)


Note that most of the restaurants/retail that have outright rejected Huntsville have done so for reasons beyond anyone's control, like population and geography. So, with that in mind and a year wiser, are there any retail and/or restaurants that you would like to see here, but didn't make the list?

32 comments:

enigmatic said...

Just wanted to point out that Rader Joe's is owned by Aldi, which did open a store in Madison. So they've got a foothold here and probably have scouted the area

mattelmore said...

Whole Foods on the Parkway would be awesome!

James said...

Trader Joe's is not owned by the same company that owns the US Aldi stores. This was discussed when Aldi announced its first Huntsville store (see comments). http://huntsvilledevelopment.blogspot.com/2011/04/grocery-store-for-northwest-huntsville.html

Anonymous said...

"Joe's Crab Shack- No. (Supposedly they take issue with our lack of a waterfront... I guess Ditto Landing doesn't count.)"
And Hoover, AL does have a waterfront?

fargoes said...

A MILO'S in Huntsville would be fantastic. If not them, how about a WHATABURGER?

Anonymous said...

whataburger would be awesome! Joe's Crab Shack is making excuses, we have waterfront at bridgestreet! If not the shack, how about a Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. Oh and a Raising Cane's would be cool too.

Anonymous said...

A Jim & Nicks and/or Taco Mac would be great in HSV. I think Taco Mac would do well in Bridgestreet for all the men to hang out with the MULTIPLE TVs and wide variety of beers while the ladies shop.

James said...

About Joe's Crab Shack-- according to their company, they will put a restaurant in just about any city with more than one million metro (that's why Hoover has one). And while they do open restaurants in Huntsville-sized cities, it's because they have a waterfront, which is why Peoria and Shreveport/Bossier City have one but we don't.

Anonymous said...

What would the Top 5's look like with the "unrealistic" choices removed?

Anonymous said...

Any of the Brazilian steakhouses would do great either downtown or in downtown west(Bridgestreet).

Anonymous said...

How about Baja Fresh? Or Caribou Coffee? Or Cosi?

Anonymous said...

I was going to say the same thing. I guess the river of cars on 280 counts as a water front.

David said...

When will the citizens of our city finally understand that we are not a major player when it comes to retail??? We can blame this fact to our previous city planner (D Fanning)who decided it was a great idea to annex land until HSV was right at 200 sq mi. This puts our city density right around 860 people per sq mile. Compare this to a Knoxville or a Shreveport with a average of 1900 people per sq mi with about the same population of the Huntsville MSA. Our area is to large and does not have enough access controlled highways for outer areas of the MSA to support such business in HSV!!! When people think driving to Decatur from Huntsville is far you know you have too much small town mindset.
Huntsville citizens wallets do no stretch enough to support some of these crazy ideas....Macy's??? people will barely buy Lucky brand jeans on sale at Belk for 60 dollars much less a pair of True Religions at Macys that avearge 250...
I beleive that most of these people that came up with these ideas need to travel to larger cities more often and enjoy "finer" dining than cheesecake factory or Pf Changs (whom many Huntsvillians think is fine dining)
Yes HSV is growing daily but that does not mean we need to add new dining esatblishments every month. Lets also remeber to support local business so that one day your cheesecake factory is not sitting next door to a vacant Beauragards (sp) :)

Anonymous said...

Fuddruckers!!!

Anonymous said...

Beauregard's is no longer vacant.

Anonymous said...

It is really disappointing that the city and county have failed to develop our river front better for shore activities. (Joe's Crab Shack reference) Louiville has live concerts regularly and fireworks on their river by simply installed a floodable parking garage with a park on top. Downtown is great, but watching the sunset over the parkway and subsidized housing doesn't do much for me. Adding a huge sports stadium (baseball) to the traffic doesn't make it much better.

Ploner said...

I know I left upstate NY for a variety of reasons I won't mention here, but one of the things I do miss is the wide variety of independently owned & operated, quality restaurants. If I wanted to eat out of a freezer truck, I'd just nuke some Lean Cuisines. I'm hoping that while Huntsville grows enough to attract the "finer" franchises, it will attract some home-grown entrepreneurs to open unique establishments that the community can get behind and make successful.

Mrs. Cuddlefish said...

I recently moved here from Atlanta so I'm used to a much larger restaurant selection. I would love to see Fresh to Order, Boston Market, Sweet Tomatoes, and Einstein Bros. Bagels. As far as stores go, Homegoods and Macys would be great! Any talk of any of the above coming here?

Anonymous said...

A Pei Wei or two would do well in the area. While a Micro Center is probably not realistic for HSV, it would be nice to have.

Anonymous said...

With such a technology strong area it would be nice to see a Micro Center somewhere in Huntsville. It would also be nice to see a Sticky Fingers or Red Hot and Blues restaurant go into Downtown. I would love to see a Chicago style pizzaria with outdoor eating spots on Meridian street near the park.

Anonymous said...

We've had Jim & Nick's, Taco Mac and Boston Market here in Huntsville before. I believe a Home Goods store is coming to the Target Shopping Center on Hwy72 West.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there was a Taco Mac in Huntsville.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Taco Mac was here a long time ago (1995/96 time frame?) for very short time (maybe a year). They were in the building that's currently occupied by the Schnitzel Ranch on University Drive (across from Red Lobster). After Taco Mac, I believe Beauregard's moved into that building and occupied it for quite a while. Then a fish restaurant had a short stint in that building before Schnitzel Ranch evetually moved in. I assume Taco Mac didn't last long because of the strict beer laws back then. I would love to see them back though.

Anonymous said...

Jim and Nicks had the kiss of death location at the old Moffats building and it was really bad the time I ate there. I believe our Boston Market was a casualty of the chain's national financial situation. I wish it would come back. It tastes really good for fast food.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right H&M was on the Ideas map and it looks like they are locating here..according to their job posting online looking for a manager now.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a Sweet Tomatoes/Soup Plantation restaurant in our area. They offer Salads, Soups, Chili, Pasta, Breads, desserts all in a buffet style atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

I would like for Huntsville to have a Taco Bueno and Whole Foods.

Poodlebugz said...

I would believe that the reason that Taco Mac left was because the food was so awful that it couldn't overcome the large beer selection and multiple TV offerings. It's not that difficult to serve passable bar food, but I'm not sure what Taco Mac was serving...I really don't think it was food.

I lived in ATL for awhile, and I could never bring myself to go to Taco Mac there because of the horrible experience that I had in the HSV one.

klucky said...

We have a large selection of fine restaurants in Huntsville. Downtown has James, Cotton Row and Commerce (all with valet parking. Also have 3skillets, Pane de vino, Watercress, Papous Greek resturant. All of these are non chain places. Downtown chain is Ruth Chris house. Great food here. Try German food. we are so lucky here.

Anonymous said...

Correction: I stated in my above post (February 13, 2012) that a Home Goods store will be coming to the Target Shopping Center in Madison. That is unfortunately not true. I don't know where I picked up that rumour, but I was corrected this morning.
My apologies!

Anonymous said...

I heard Whole Foods quit looking at the Parkway/Bob Wallace plot of land due to contaminated soil issues with an old gas station. It would be nice if they could find something else soon!

Phae said...

Would love to see Gordman's here in Huntsville. It is one of the few things I miss about Southaven.