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City Selects Developer for Retail Center Adjacent to John Hunt Park

July 9, 2013

(Huntsville, AL) - The City of Huntsville has selected GBT Realty Inc. of Nashville as the developer for a mixed use retail center at the corner of Airport Road and South Memorial Parkway.

GBT is one of three finalists that responded to the City's Request for Proposals (RFP) to purchase and develop the 25-acre property. The other two finalists included Sembler/Greenstone Properties of Atlanta and Merchants Retail Partners from Birmingham.

GBT's $8,216,897 purchase price will be used as seed money for the John Hunt Park master plan. The City will further commit 25 percent of its sales tax revenues generated from the 240,000 square foot retail development to support ongoing development and maintenance of the park.

"We are excited to take this next step in our effort to reimagine John Hunt Park into a true central park for all of our citizens to enjoy," said Mayor Tommy Battle.

The City will take the next 45 to 60 days to hammer out the final details with GBT on a development agreement for City Council approval. Once finalized, the City will move to closing and the physical work can begin. The first wave of stores should be open within 24 months.

Director of Urban Development Shane Davis said three strong considerations factored in the City's decision, including the sale price of the land, requested city assistance on the development and the development's design characteristics.

"All three candidates showed a great deal of design sensitivity to create an asset that will blend in with the John Hunt Park master plan," said Davis. "All three firms were highly competitive and it made the decision tough."

In the end, Davis says GBT did not request any additional assistance from the City and offered the highest purchase price at $7.45 per square foot. The pricing was competitive with the other finalists offering $7.35 and $7.25 per square foot.

Once the sale is finalized, the City will begin clearing the site of its older buildings and fire training facilities. Huntsville Fire & Rescue Station 6 and the employee medical clinic will be relocated, and the Kids Space playground and the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame will remain.


For more information, contact:

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

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