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$70 Million Mixed Use Development Announced for Downtown Huntsville

October 13, 2014
(Huntsville, AL) - The City of Huntsville is pleased to announce a new $70 million mixed use development on Williams Avenue on the six-acre site formerly occupied by the Holiday Inn. The project has been awarded to the CRS Big Spring development team, which includes Central Realty Holdings of Greenville, SC, RCP Companies of Huntsville, and Strand Development Company of Myrtle Beach, SC.

"This project hits the mark on all of our desires and expectations for an urban lifestyle development that will include a hotel, restaurants, retail, residential and office space," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "The project will add to the growing vitality of our central business district, and it will generate millions of dollars for our tax base."

CRS Big Spring was one of four project teams that responded to a Huntsville Request for Proposal (RFP) in May. Urban Development Director Shane Davis said all of the proposals were outstanding and indicate the strength of the downtown market. Demolition on the old Holiday Inn building is expected to begin in November with full construction under way by April 2015.

"We are honored to have been selected by the City of Huntsville's review committee as developers for this site at Big Spring Park," said Rece Morgan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Central Realty. "Downtown Huntsville has enjoyed quite a renaissance over the past years and we believe the unique mixed-use development we have proposed will be a significant addition to this trend and will bring brand new amenities to the downtown area. We look forward to delivering this development in 2016."

The CRS Big Spring development team describes the design of "Big Spring Square" as an "eclectic aesthetic" that reflects the project's multi use. The project team worked to incorporate outdoor dining and retail functions with upper level terraces that would engage the building with the perimeter street system.

Key elements of Big Spring Square:

  • Minimum 100 key boutique hotel
  • Minimum 28,000 square feet of mixed use space to include offices, restaurants and retail
  • Approximately 200 residential units
  • Multi-level parking deck
  • Project to open Summer 2016

  • The public-private venture includes a 99-year lease with the City of Huntsville. The City's Urban Development Department will have oversight on the project's design and use of the site and will be responsible for hardscape improvements along Monroe, Harvard and Williams, including new parking, crosswalks and other pedestrian-related amenities. The hardscape will add pedestrian connectivity to all adjoining uses including the Von Braun Center, Big Spring Park, the new Harvard extension and Twickenham Square.

    Huntsville Planning Director Michelle Jordan says the multi-use concept is a strong model for today's redevelopment needs. "To maximize and energize urban environments, we need to think beyond single use properties, and that is what this development achieves," she said. "This creates a more dynamic and interesting environment and provides a far greater return to the property and sales tax base."

    The RFP for the Williams and Monroe Street site presented a two-phase option for 8.66 acres of city-owned property. Phase I included the 6.28-acre Holiday Inn site and Phase II included the adjacent 2.38-acre site that houses the Scruggs Community Center and Jim Williams Aquatic Center. Once Phase I is complete in 2016, CRS Big Spring will have an option on Phase II. That option does require the existing pool complex to be relocated. Plans are under way to include physical therapy facilities in the new Natatorium, budgeted for construction in 2016.

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    For more information, please contact:

    Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov

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