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Council Approves Land Sale to Support New Multi-use Development in Lowe Mill Neighborhood

Published on November 18, 2016

Lowe Mill Property

The Huntsville City Council approved a development agreement at its Nov. 17 meeting to sell eleven parcels of land, approximately 2.5 acres on Seminole Drive at 9th Avenue, to a Nashville developer for a new mixed-use development. It will be the first development of its kind to utilize the City’s new C6 zoning, specifically designed for neighborhood mixed-use projects.

Invent Communities of Nashville, doing business as Invent Huntsville, will purchase the property from the City for $200,000 to build a 50,000 square-foot development featuring a mix of retail, office, restaurant, and residential space.

The City’s agreement requires the developer to build the mixed-use development and a minimum of 10 single-family private residential housing throughout the neighborhood. Should Invent Huntsville fulfill those obligations on the required timeline, the company may receive $140,000 back from the City. The remaining $60,000 will go toward building a new pocket park for the Lowe Mill neighborhood. The agreement also calls for the developer to deed the City land for right-of-way along 1st Street to accommodate a greenway connection from the neighborhood going south to Brahan Spring Park. If the developer fails to meet the required obligations, the City has the right to purchase the property back at the original sales price.

“The city will be better served by returning that property to the tax rolls and allow market rate private development to occur,” said City Administrator John Hamilton. “We also believe it will be great for the neighborhood and can also serve as a catalyst for continued private investment throughout the Lowe Mill area.”

Invent Huntsville has been purchasing residential property in the Lowe Mill neighborhood for the past two years. The company has acquired enough property to construct 60 new homes.

Invent Communities led the revitalization of urban neighborhoods in East Nashville and is expanding its model to other cities. “We believe the historic Lowe Mill community, with its strength of character and close proximity to downtown Huntsville and the creative Lowe Mill artist colony, has the same potential for reinvestment as the neighborhoods we have revitalized in Nashville,” said Jamie Pfeffer, founder of Invent Communities.

For more information on the Lowe Mill project, read “Rebuilding West Huntsville’s Mill Villages” on the City Blog.