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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Development Review: December 2013

Commercial building permits over $100,000 within Huntsville city limits:
288 Old Highway 431 SE. Construction of a church for Christ Presbyterian. Contractor: Lee Builders. $2.9 Million.

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
In December, 111 housing units were permitted, including 38 single- and 73 multi-family units. The top census tract for building permits last month was 212 (the Greenbrier area), where 72 units were permitted, all apartment units. This is a 58.6% increase over December 2012, when 70 housing units (58 single-family and 12 multi-family) were permitted.

Residential Certificates of Occupancy (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:

91 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 79 single- and 12 multi-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of December was 112 (Martin-Zierdt) where 31 housing units were added. This is a 33.1% decrease over December 2012, when 136 housing units (96 single- and 40 multi-family) were granted CO’s.

The 2013 edition of the Huntsville Development Review will be released on February 25th. 

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.