Developers propose new building for downtown Huntsville - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Developers propose new building for downtown Huntsville

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(Source: City of Huntsville) (Source: City of Huntsville)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Two developers pitched a new building idea for downtown Huntsville where the current City Hall is located. It's all part of a brand new downtown master plan that was finalized by city leaders in summer of 2017.

"The thing we've never really focused on is not what’s going on inside the park, but what’s going on around it," said Dennis Madsen, manager of urban and long-range planning for the city of Huntsville.

Madsen said the master plan is providing momentum for developers in the private sector who want in on the downtown real estate.

READ MORE: Huntsville city planners look to put downtown master plan in motion

"Developers are finding downtowns are great sites to redevelop. Communities are discovering the value of downtown," Madsen said.

The city signed a nonbinding "letter of intent" with two developers: Triad Properties and Crunkleton & Associates. They proposed an idea for a building on the outskirts of Big Spring Park, right where City Hall currently sits.

Madsen said rather than a government building that closes at 5 p.m. every day, new buildings and entertainment areas would make the park more inviting.

"You start to open up the park a little more to day to day use, 24/7 use,” he said. “It feels a little more like a civic space. It feels more active. You feel more comfortable there, more eyes on the park, more people moving in and out of it. In terms of design, it creates a better park."

Other ideas in the updated master plan include making downtown bike-friendly and more walkable, redeveloping Fountain Circle Civic Complex into an active, mixed-use precinct, supporting expansion of the Holmes/Clinton district, connecting downtown to the Von Braun Center, and connecting walkways and trails.

The city didn’t offer much in the way of a timeline but said some things will appear in one to two years, others more likely in the five year range.

READ MORE: Downtown Huntsville preliminary master plan unveiled

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