Mayor seeks 'innovative' ideas for development of garage site - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mayor seeks 'innovative' ideas for development of garage site

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Mayor Battle requested developers to begin submitting ideas for re-purposing the Monroe St. parking deck Thursday. Mayor Battle requested developers to begin submitting ideas for re-purposing the Monroe St. parking deck Thursday.

The City of Huntsville is requesting development proposals to re-purpose its 37-year-old parking deck on Monroe Street.

The request, sent to developers Thursday, outlines the city's desire for a mixed-use development on the site that includes at least 125 lodging units and a potential mix of retail, commercial and residential zones.

"This is really just telling developers that they are creative and they know what works from a program and business standpoint and it gives them a chance to come and show us what they think of the site and what they might be able to do here and we will see if we can figure out something that works," said Dennis Madsen.  He's the manager of Urban and Long Range Planning for the city.

City leaders said a quality redesign would incorporate more efficient parking into the property in a more aesthetically pleasing manner.

"The parking for civic center use is very critical in that and whatever happens we will attempt to not reduce the number of civic center spaces that are available for the public," said the Director of Parking and Public Transportation, Tommy Brown.

Mayor Tommy Battle said asking for development proposals helps them get in to the proposal stage and tells them who will be interested in the opportunity.

"There is heightened interest in Downtown Huntsville, and we want to see what developer proposals are out there. The request for proposal is one way to solicit innovative ideas for prime property that has served as a utilitarian structure," he said.

Madsen said it is time to look at new ideas for use of the garage site.

"A new development can improve the aesthetics along the park, as well as along Monroe. Given the success of developments like Belk Hudson Lofts and Twickenham Square, we know that there's an appetite for redevelopment opportunities downtown," said Madsen.

Proposals must be submitted by Feb. 4 through Huntsville's Department of Procurement Services.

Battle says that development on the site could potentially start next year.

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