Council Approves Amendments to Mid City Development Agreement
Published on December 30, 2016
The Huntsville City Council voted 5-0 at a special called meeting Dec. 29 to approve changes to a development agreement with RCP Company for the new Mid City development near University Drive and Research Park Boulevard.
The $350 million project, a multi-use redevelopment of Madison Square Mall by RCP Company, LLC, is moving faster than expected, according to the City’s Urban Development Director Shane Davis. The amendments set the stage for work to begin in January.
The Council’s approved changes include:
- “Cannibalization Clause” – 70 percent of retail tenants to be “new to market”
- Taxpayer Protection – Public infrastructure improvements beyond Phase 1 require 50 percent of total project to be complete
- Design Guidelines – Acceptance of the project design guidelines required for development
RCP Company will redevelop the property in three phases with completion expected in four to five years. The 100 acre mixed-use development is set to include 345,000 square feet in specialty retail, 200,000 square feet of high-tech office space, over 900 residential units, a 150 room boutique hotel, dining, entertainment, outdoor fitness options, parks and public plazas.
The City budgeted $12 – $15 million in infrastructure improvements, primarily during phase one (see public improvement phasing map below), to fulfill its commitment to the project. An independent report estimates Mid City will generate more than $250 million in tax revenue within 15 years. “A good payback for the City and taxpayer,” said Davis.
The Mid City project falls within the City’s Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Plan enacted by Council in February 2016. The plan is designed to revitalize Cummings Research Park East and adjoining properties from Research Park Boulevard to Sparkman Drive and University Drive to Old Madison Pike.
Key Elements of Mid City Development Agreement
- Developer is required to demolish Madison Square Mall structures under its control. City will demo structures under its control (Sears/JCP).
- City’s investment of public infrastructure is limited to Phase I of the development. Any additional public infrastructure is dependent on successful performance by the Developer.
- Retail Relocation Penalty. Developer will be required to reimburse the City 50% of the public infrastructure costs should retail relocation exceed more than 30% of the overall retail development. (70% of retail must be new to the market area.)
- Identifies City acquisition needs for public rights-of-ways and Developer acquisition requirements to complete Development Plan.
- Building and Landscape elements must adhere to the approved Design Guidelines that were developed by Urban Design and Associates.
- City has approval rights in a Change of Control of the Development Team.
- Open Space, trail systems, and lake areas will be public and under City control.
- Phase I public infrastructure will be completed by the end of 2017.
- Portions of Phase I retail and entertainment areas will be completed in late 2017 and open to the public.