City to review proposals for Holiday Inn site development

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT ) - From "past its prime" to "prime real estate."

Developers have been submitting proposals for the old Holiday Inn site in downtown Huntsville for the last month.

Their time runs out at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Interest has been high ever since the request for ideas went out in mid-May.

The site has long been considered one of the hottest areas in downtown Huntsville.

The old Holiday Inn occupies a little more than six acres at the intersection of Williams Avenue and Monroe Street right across from Big Spring Park and the Von Braun Center.

The city has added a second adjoining parcel of slightly more than two acres on Monroe Street to sweeten the deal.

The area is currently the site of a community and aquatic center.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says he likes what he sees so far.
"Lots of variety. I mean, it's everything from a very small, just on the Holiday Inn site, to expanding ever farther," said Mayor Battle.

"So, I think we're going to see a lot of neat proposals."

City leaders have been pretty clear in what they want out of the site.

They want a mixed-use development, which means it could include: lodging, residential, office space and retail.

The request for proposal specifically asks for a significant ground-floor retail presence with at least two sit-down restaurants.

Buildings should also be a minimum of four stories and include some type of parking garage is also a must.

The city's next step will be to review the proposals and schedule interviews with the top contenders.

Those interviews will take place the second week of July.

The selection committee will then make a recommendation to city council by July 24.

A contract will be awarded within three months of selection.

The developer will be responsible for rebuilding the community and aquatic center on site or at a nearby location should the second lot be a part of the overall development.