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For a map of major projects, proposed and under construction, in Madison County, check out the Huntsville Development map on Google Maps.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Development Review: March 2014

Non-residential Permits for projects over $100,000 and within Huntsville city limits:

435 The Bridge St. NW: Foundation and shell for a retail building. Contractor: Hoar Construction. $800,000

15935 Chaney Thompson Rd. SE: A picnic pavilion and dog park. Contractor: Garber Construction. $488,000

2165 Cecil Ashburn Dr. SE: A clubhouse for the Legacy at Jones Farm apartment development. Contractor: TDK Construction. $416,000

3502 Memorial Pky.  SW: A new building for Osborne’s Jewelers. Contractor: Fite Building Co. $404,000

2150 Blue Spring Rd. NW: A new building for Farriss Drive Church of Christ. Contractor: Huntsville Design and Construction. $132,000

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:

In March, 359 housing units were permitted; over 75 percent were multi-family units. The top census tract for building permits last month was 19.02 (Jones Valley), where 240 units were permitted, all apartment units related to the Legacy at Jones Farm development. Thanks to the multi-family bump, this is a 270% increase over March 2013, when 97 housing units (all single-family) were permitted.

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

51 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), 47 single- and 4 multi-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of March was 112 (the Martin-Zierdt area) where 17 housing units were added. This is a 54.1% decrease over March 2013, when 111 housing units (67 single-family and 44 multi-family) were granted CO’s. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Development Review- February 2014

Permits for projects over $100,000 and within Huntsville city limits:

500 Markaview Rd. NW: A building for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. This will be a new VA regional clinic. Contractor: TCI. $14.7 Million

6100 University Dr. NW: Renovations to an existing McDonald’s restaurant. Contractor: Hudson Company of Tennessee. $900,000

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:

In February, 48 housing units were permitted, all single-family units. The top tract for building permits last month was 112 (Martin-Zierdt), where 16 units were permitted. This is a 62.5% decrease over February 2013, when 128 housing units (80 single-family and 48 multi-family) were permitted.

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

41 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), all single-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of February was 109.01 (the Hampton Cove area) where 8 housing units were added. This is a 50.6% decrease over February 2013, when 83 housing units (65 single-family and 18 multi-family) were granted CO’s. 

The annual Huntsville Development Review, covering 2013 construction data, is now available online at http://www.huntsvilleal.gov/Planning/DevelopmentReview.php.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Development Review: January 2014

Non-residential building permits for projects over $100,000 within Huntsville city limits:

26655 Peoples Rd. SW: A new industrial building for Duracoat. Contractor: Lee Builders. $1.9 Million

4920 University Dr. NW: Construction of a Golden Corral restaurant. Contractor: Fite Building. $1.75 Million

8628 US 72 West: Construction of a Chili’s restaurant. Contractor: Valenti Florida Management. $1.15 Million

3613 Memorial Parkway SW: A building for Terrame Day Spa. Contractor: Lee Builders. $650,000

4922 University Dr. NW: Construction of a Cellco/Verizon Wireless store. Contractor: Fite Building. $607,000

213 Winchester Rd. NE: A church for Keilah Primitive Baptist. Contractor: Dunlap Contracting. $550,000

2001 Max Luther Dr. NW: A building for McCurry Investments. Contractor: Steve Simmons Company. $176,000

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:

In January, 117 housing units were permitted, including 61 single- and 56 multi-family units. The top tract for building permits last month was 106.22 (Providence area), where 53 units were permitted, mostly multi-family. This is a 50% increase over January 2013, when 78 housing units (74 single-family and 4 multi-family) were permitted.

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

78 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 77 single- and one multi-family unit. The top tract for CO’s in the month of January was 112 (the Martin-Zierdt area) where 23 housing units were added, all single-family. This is a 40.9% decrease over January 2013, when 132 housing units (86 single-family and 46 multi-family) were granted CO’s. 

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

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.

Etc…

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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Development Review: November 2013

Commercial building permits over $100,000 within Huntsville city limits:
2810 Drake Ave. SW. A building for the City of Huntsville. This will be the new Fire Station 6, which is currently at John Hunt Park. Contractor: Pearce Construction. $1.8 Million.

2722 Carl T. Jones Dr. SE. A retail building for Cole Real Estate Investments. This 12,500 sq. ft. building is the final space to be constructed in the “original” Valley Bend at Jones Farm shopping center. The only known tenant is Kirkland's, whose second Huntsville store will occupy 5,000 sq. ft. Contractor: Joe Still Building. $950,000.

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
In November, 93 housing units were permitted, including 48 single- and 45 multi-family units. The top census tract for building permits last month was 29.21 (the Challenger school area), where 44 units were permitted, all condominium units. This is a 9.7% decrease over November 2012, when 103 housing units (59 single-family and 44 multi-family) were permitted.

Residential Certificates of Occupancy (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
98 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 74 single- and 24 multi-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of November was 106.22(Providence), where 25 housing units were added, mostly multi-family. This is a 19.5% increase over November 2012, when 82 housing units (79 single- and 3 multi-family) were granted CO’s.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Development Review- October 2013

Commercial permits over $100,000 within Huntsville city limits:
3031 Memorial Parkway SW. A retail building for Walmart. This is the 151,000 sq. ft. “supercenter” replacement store for the Walmart store currently on Drake Ave. Contractor: White-Spunner Construction. $12.6 Million.

445 The Bridge St. NW. A retail building for Belk. This will be a 172,000 sq. ft. “flagship” Belk department store. Contractor: Hutton Construction. $10.8 Million.

530 Discovery Dr. NW. An office building for Davidson Technologies. Contractor: Universal Construction. $3.3 Million.

101 Sivley Rd. SW. Renovations to a building for Huntsville Hospital. Contractor: Robins and Morton Group. $1.46 Million.

1009 Homer Nance Rd. NE. Expansion of a veterinarian office for Flint River Animal Hospital. Contractor: Pearce Construction. $1.46 Million.

2785 Carl T. Jones Dr. SE. Shell of a retail building for RBJ Bailey Plaza, LLC. This will be a small strip center anchored by Dunkin’ Donuts. Contractor: Joe Still Building. $1.1 Million.

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
In October, 102 housing units were permitted, including 78 single- and 24 multi-family units. The top census tract for building permits last month was 106.22 (the Providence area), where 26 units were permitted, mostly apartment units. This is a 7.3% decrease over October 2012, when 110 housing units (97 single-family and 13 multi-family) were permitted.

Residential Certificates of Occupancy (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
111 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 70 single- and 41 multi-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of October was 106.22 where 36 housing units were added, all multi-family. This is a 36.2% decrease over October 2012, when 174 housing units (99 single- and 75 multi-family) were granted CO’s.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Development Review: September 2013

Permits for commercial projects over $100,000 and within Huntsville city limits:
2004 Max Luther Dr. NW. A building for Regency Retirement Village. Contractor: Ridge Park Construction. $9 Million.

1041 Balch Rd. NW. Foundation and shell for a medical office building for Triad Properties. Contractor: Fite Building. $5 Million.

4104 Memorial Parkway NW. A building for the City of Huntsville. This will be the new North Precinct for the Huntsville Police Department. Contractor: Consolidated Construction. $2 Million.

201 Quality Cir. NW, Unit 1. Improvements to an office building for TRG Quality Circle, LLC. Contractor: Timing LLC. $500,000.

2720 Cullom Blvd. SE. A building for C&H Commercial, LLC. Contractor: Casa Designs. $494,000.

5510 Promenade Point Pky. NW Unit 140. Finish-out of a retail space for Stevi B’s Pizza Buffet. Contractor: Equal Enterprises. $370,000.

530 Discovery Dr. NW. Improvements to an office building for Davidson Properties, LLC. Contractor: Universal Construction. $187,600.

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
In September, 72 housing units were permitted, including 69 single- and 3 multi-family units. The top census tract for building permits last month was 112 (the Martin-Zierdt area), where 16 units were permitted. This is a 48.9% decrease over September 2012, when 141 housing units (100 single-family and 41 multi-family) were permitted. 

Residential Certificates of Occupancy (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
69 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 66 single- and 3 multi-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of September was 112 where 19 housing units were added. This is a 33% decrease over September 2012, when 103 housing units (100 single- and 3 multi-family) were granted CO’s.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Development Review: August 2013

Permits for commercial projects over $100,000 and within Huntsville city limits:
1200 Redstone Gateway SW. An office building for Corporate Office Properties Trust (Tenant: Boeing Co.) Contractor: Brasfield and Gorrie. $4.8 million.

1101 McMurtrie Dr. NW Unit F. An office building for DEI Huntsville, LLC. Contractor: Southeast Maintenance, Inc. $420,000.

11500 Memorial Parkway SW. A building for Waffle House. Contractor: Waffle House. $387,500.

408 Pratt Ave. NE. A building for Waffle House. Contractor: Waffle House. $331,850.

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
In August, 115 housing units were permitted, including 109 single- and 6 multi-family units. The top tract for building permits last month was 112 (the Martin-Zierdt area), where 41 units were permitted. This is a 22.3% increase over August 2012, when 94 housing units (79 single-family and 15 multi-family) were permitted.

Residential Certificates of Occupancy (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
131 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 81 single- and 50 multi-family units. The top tract for CO’s in the month of July was 106.22, commonly known as the area in and around Providence, where 52 housing units were added—mostly apartment units due to the completion of several buildings in the Addison Park development. This is a 70.1% increase over July 2012, when 77 housing units (68 single- and 9 multi-family) were granted CO’s.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Urban Food Ordinances, Part II

A row of raised planters, a type of community garden, in Lewter Park near Five Points. (Photo credit: James Vandiver)
This week, a zoning ordinance that includes regulations for community gardens, farms, farmers' markets and poultry was introduced to the Zoning Committee. If all goes well, the ordinance will reach the City Council in late October. Below is a layman's guide to the proposed regulations.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Development Review: July 2013

Note: Around the first of each month from now until further notice, I will be reporting the preceding month's construction data for projects within Huntsville city limits. 

Permits for commercial projects over $100,000 and within Huntsville city limits:
201 Airport Rd. A new medical office building for Covenant Health Services. Contractor: Joe Still Building. $5.75 Million.
310 Pelham Ave. A new building for Publix. Contractor: James C. Hudson Construction. $2.5 million.
5760 Cove Commons Dr. A new building for Sweet Potato Enterprises, LLC. Contractor: Fite Building Co. $1.6 million.
300 Pelham Ave. Shell for a new retail building for PGM Properties. Contractor: James C. Hudson Construction. $240,000.

Residential Permits (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
In July, 157 housing units were permitted, including 101 single- and 56 multi-family units. The top census tract for building permits last month was 112 (the Martin-Zierdt area), where 84 units were permitted. This is a 34.2% increase over July 2012, when 117 housing units (92 single-family and 25 multi-family) were permitted.

Residential Certificates of Occupancy (new construction) in Huntsville city limits:
112 housing units were granted certificates of occupancy (CO’s), including 86 single- and 26 multi-family units. The top census tract for CO’s in the month of July was 106.22, commonly known as the area in and around Providence, where 29 housing units were added. This is a 28.7% increase over July 2012, when 87 housing units (all single-family) were granted CO’s.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Apartment Building Boom?

I've been asked by several readers lately why there seems to be so many apartment projects being built in Huntsville right now. But after reviewing thirty years of housing data for the city, it turns out that the current “spurt” in apartment construction isn't anywhere near record-breaking; in fact, it’s just a little better than average.
A look at multi-family units completed by year in Huntsville city limits. (Graph by James Vandiver)
Multi-family developments (mostly apartments, but some condos) in Huntsville have come in “waves” over the past thirty years. As you can see from the graph above, after a record-breaking 2,558 new units in 1984, construction steadily decreased over the next decade, bottoming out at zero units in 1996. Since then, development has been erratic, ranging from 1,112 units opening in 2008 to a mere 4 units just three years later. This year, around 600 units are expected to be completed; the average over the past thirty years is around 500 units.

Here’s a map of apartment projects that are planned, under construction or recently completed within Huntsville city limits. Blue pushpins indicate completed projects; red pushpins are projects under construction; green pushpins are proposed developments. 


View Huntsville Apartment Development in a larger map

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Urban Food Ordinances: Part I

The El Cazador "taco bus" on Governors Drive. (Photo courtesy Ashley Nichols/City of Huntsville)
By the City's count, there's at least seven food trucks scattered throughout Huntsville, from the El Cazador "taco bus" on Governors (pictured) to the Peppered Pig on South Parkway to Sugar Belle, which sells cupcakes out of a converted Army transport vehicle. All of these (except the taco bus) have begun operation in the past few years, and if other cities are any indication, we expect a lot more in the near future.

This week, an ordinance regulating mobile food vendors (e.g. food trucks) will begin to make its way through Huntsville City Hall. (This one is different than the one that was passed by the City Council last month outlining special rules for food trucks on city property in Downtown.) Save for any changes or opposition, this ordinance could take effect in late September.

Below is a summary of the proposed ordinance as it stands now.

Permitted zones: Commercial districts C-3 and above, All industrial districts.*  

A map showing zoning districts can be found at maps.huntsvilleal.gov (turn on the “zoning districts” layer)

*An attempt to allow them in Research Park zones-- except for around Bridge Street-- during lunchtime was denied by the Research Park Board, due to perceived aesthetics and the lack of public restrooms in the area.

Buffers: There will be a 100-foot buffer from the entrance of existing food establishments. This is to prevent food trucks from setting up shop in front of established “bricks-and-mortar” restaurants, possibly giving the trucks an unfair advantage and diminishing the visibility of the nearby restaurant(s).

Hours: Food trucks will be allowed to operate between 6am-10pm Sun-Wed and 6am-2am Thu-Sun.

Potties: Restrooms must be available for employees within 500 feet of the food truck, in accordance with Health Department regulations. In food truck parks, however, a "fixed" bathroom (no porta-potties) must be available for employees and patrons. 

Restricted Areas: Food trucks will not be allowed in loading zones, public rights-of-way*, or any area that would obstruct the flow of traffic for neighboring businesses.

*The only exception to this are the designated parking spots downtown where food trucks are allowed to set up shop for limited hours on Thursday-Saturday nights. Mobile food carts, like the "hot dog guys" set up around the courthouse square, are allowed downtown under separate street vendor ordinances. 

Noise: No loudspeakers will be permitted.

Lights: Artificial lighting must be provided for nighttime operations. 

You may view the entire ordinance here.

Coming up in Part II: An ordinance that will include urban farms, community gardens, and farmers’ markets, as well as guidelines for poultry in residential districts.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Preserving Historic Downtown Buildings

The (third) Madison County Courthouse, demolished in the late 1960s to make way for the current Courthouse. (Photo: City of Huntsville)
In light of the impending East Clinton School purchase by a private developer who wants to tear down most of the Depression-era school for single-family residences, the City launched an “Imagine Huntsville” topic on what to do with East Clinton and other historic buildings in Downtown and in the adjacent historic districts. Over 750 votes were cast in the two-month period this topic was open on the website, and a standing-room only crowd attended a finale event at the old Regions Bank on March 25th to provide their own input on the top submissions. I will discuss the top ideas for each site below.