City announces new partnership to revitalize south Huntsville

City announces new partnership to revitalize south Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville officials and representatives from Main Street Alabama announced Tuesday the beginning of a partnership that will help revitalize south Huntsville. Mayor Tommy Battle and others spoke on increasing the connectivity of the area in an effort to boost local businesses.

Huntsville manager of urban and long range planning Dennis Madsen said increased connectivity would create more customer traffic for businesses in the area.

"I think someone asked about Haysland Square, that's obviously one of our big targets. We want to look at large properties that you can work with," he said.

The majority of the buildings at Haysland Square are currently abandoned.

President of Main Street Alabama Mary Helmer said the group would focus on tying together local attractions with roads, bike paths and walking trails. She said Huntsville residents could start seeing positive changes within three years.

"My anticipation is that Huntsville's going to be a sports car and they'll go a little faster. But it really depends on how quickly they get their organizational stuff set up," she said.

The "organizational stuff" will be handled by the next executive director of the South Huntsville Business Association. The group is currently taking applications.

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Right now, volunteer SHBA president Jerry Cargile is taking the lead. He said the effort is being funded by the city and local businesses, and majority of that will go toward the salary of that successor.

"I just know having that full-time person here is really going to take this even to the next level," he said.

The exact details of the plan are to be determined, and city officials will gather ideas from the public.

The public will have an opportunity to work with city officials and Main Street Alabama between August 7 and August 9 at a workshop to determine what locals want to see.

Huntsville joins Athens, Birmingham, Florence and others that have worked with Main Street Alabama.

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