Annie Merts development to bring more permanent housing to downtown Huntsville

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 10:07 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The historic Annie Merts Center is being revamped. The former Huntsville City Schools central office will serve a new purpose.

The district sold the building to local developer Crunkleton & Associates in 2022 because it could not afford to make more than $14 million in improvements that were needed.

The outside of the building will remain the same because it is considered a historic building. It protects the front of the building from being changed or obstructed. The inside of the building is a different story. Wesley Crunkleton says they are changing it from an office building to 11 condominium units.

It will still have the downtown historic Huntsville feel on the outside with a modern feel on the inside.

“Rather than being a very dense apartment complex, or commercial office building or something that may not be keeping the neighborhood, and may also bring additional traffic to roads that really were not built to hold that kind of traffic demand, we wanted to do something that we felt like was very fitting for the area,” said Crunkleton.

The condos will take up a lot less space compared to the office building, so the parts of the building that were not considered historic were torn down to make way for five single-family homes.

Crunkleton says neighbors are excited about this change.

“Many of them were happy a local developer was doing the project instead of someone from out of town, so they would actually care about what’s going on,” says Crunkleton. “A lot of them had concerns about that facility remaining that large and turning into a much denser project that brought a lot more traffic to the area, that was a major concern for them.”

All of the land for the homes are expected to close by Friday. Meanwhile, construction for the condos will start within two months.

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