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Public meetings on Mill Creek development yield positive comments, a path forward

Published on October 20, 2023

Following a series of meetings with stakeholders and the community, representatives from the City of Huntsville and Huntsville Housing Authority (HHA) see a clear path forward on the development of Mill Creek.

About 75 people attended three public meetings, which provided information about the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program shaping the redevelopment of Butler Terrace and Johnson Towers.

“The meetings were productive, and we received some valuable feedback from the public,” said Scott Erwin, Huntsville’s Manager of Community Development. “This is a transformational project that presents myriad positive opportunities for residents as well as private investors.”


Residents had several suggestions, including more access to public transit as well as fresh, affordable foods. Some expressed the need for more children’s services, including mentorship, play areas and a safer environment.

City and HHA leaders were joined by representatives with project designer Urban Design Associates (UDA) and Urban Strategies Inc (USI), a St. Louis-based group that will work with residents on housing stability and economic mobility as well as education and health opportunities.

Another round of resident, community and partner meetings are scheduled for the week of Nov. 6.

Next steps

A goal of the public meetings was to refine the CNI plan, specifically regarding the three main objectives:

  • Housing: Redevelop public housing into mixed-income housing and provide a 1:1 replacement for HHA residents;
  • People: Support positive outcomes in health, employment and education for affected residents; and
  • Neighborhoods: Increase access to trails, parks, transportation services, economic development and amenities.

Stakeholders can now finalize strategies that will be part of a federal CNI grant, to be submitted by Dec. 11. Grant recipients are eligible to receive up to $50 million.

The redevelopment of Mill Creek won’t happen overnight. It would take about a decade to complete the project and it will be at least three more years until residents begin moving in. About 750 mixed-income units are planned, as well as an updated street plan and at least one new park.

“The community should appreciate and support the promise of housing stability and access to education and health services for underserved members of our community,” said Antonio McGinnis, HHA Executive Director and CEO. “This project has the potential to set a new standard in Huntsville for what a successful neighborhood looks like.”

Click here to learn more about HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program.