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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Look Ahead 2014

It’s time for my annual predictions/educated guesses for Huntsville development in 2014:

Comprehensive Plan

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.

Central Parkway

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.


I expect to have two (maybe three) new grocery chains announce that they are entering the Huntsville market by the end of this year, and the chains already here will continue to expand. A major redevelopment will be announced in the first few months of the year. Bridge Street’s expansion opens in October. Around the end of the year, we may hear more about the Jones Valley retail project.


Anonymous said...

What are the possibilities for the old Huntsville Times property?

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the great work you do with this blog. It's nice to be well informed about the developments in the area!

Anonymous said...

You say moving WalMart is an explosion in development, I say it will leave us with another crumbling eyesore on the Parkway. The Parkway needs redevelopment, and it won't happen as long as the city is pushing new development like John Hunt Park.

Lori said...

Trader Joes? Sprouts? Parking garages?
I would really like to see some short-term thinking around 3 story parking garages downtown that can be a support in front of or at minimum in tandem to all the growth. I travel a lot for my job and always find communities think of that last but it is the neatest way to be inviting for merchant traffic and citizens as well. Build it, they will use it!! ;)

dee said...

I also expect Huntsville's craft beer community to continue to grow at a fast pace. Beer producers who currently contract brew like Old Black Bear and Rocket Republic will likely secure their own brewery locations in the Huntsville/Madison area by the end of the year. Below the Radar and Huntsville Brewery will begin to produce their own beer on site. And Huntsville/Madison's established breweries, Straight to Ale, Yellowhammer, Blue Pants, Brew Stooges, and Salty Nut will continue to grow and expand their operations and taprooms. And another craft beer oriented bar or two will pop up around town. I've also heard rumor that both popular craft beer stores in town, Wish You Were Beer and Liquor Express are eying second locations. Fun times for craft beer lovers in the Rocket City!

Anonymous said...

I would love to have Trader Joe's here!