It’s time for my annual predictions/educated guesses for Huntsville development in 2014:
This year, Huntsville will begin work on a new comprehensive plan—the first in this city since the 1960s. A public kickoff will occur in the spring, and then we’ll begin general and neighborhood-specific conversations about everything from transportation to land use. More information will come available in the next few months, and I’ll keep everyone updated on here and on Twitter and Facebook.
Downtown will be hot this year. Twickenham Square opens in the spring, with more apartments, a hotel, restaurants and a Publix. If everything goes well, Charlie Sealy will get started on his next project- The Avenue, a mix of apartments, offices and retail- by the end of the year at the corner of Holmes and Jefferson. With the Holiday Inn closed, its site will now be solicited for redevelopment proposals, along with the parking garage across Monroe from the VBC. The latter will likely be a new hotel; the former could be an entertainment or even a residential development. I expect one more major project to be announced in the next few months. Towards the end of the year, talk of a downtown baseball stadium may turn serious, but only if a new team/ownership is secured.
I know… This is the third year I’ve said this, but I’m serious this time! The Parkway between Governors and Airport-- what I like to call “Central Parkway”—is about to explode in new development. Of course, Walmart is going to build their new store on the East side of the Parkway. That will leave their existing store vacant, though I don’t see that site sitting idle for long. A development plan will be released for the John Hunt Park commercial site, where GBT Realty (Madison Target) was selected to develop the site. With the Stars’ last game in September, Joe Davis Stadium will also be in play.