HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- One of Huntsville's most historic neighborhoods is about to get a major facelift. Huntsville City Council approved Mayor Battle's request Thursday night to sell property owned by the city near Lowe Mill, to a developer based out of Nashville.
The city is selling 11 parcels of land right across the street from Lowe Mill to Invent Huntsville LLC, who plans to build both residential and mixed-use retail developments on this property.
If everything works out between the city and Invent Huntsville LLC, the empty field could soon turn into Huntsville's next mixed use development. “Right now, we say a lot of what they can do is sort of play, and we want to bring live and work to that component as well," says Jamie Pfeffer of Invent Huntsville.
The developer already owns several pieces of property in the neighborhood, purchased through private owners, and plans to convert them into modern homes. “Some single family residential as well as some density to bring amenities that can hopefully support the Mill," says Pfeffer.
Renderings were shown at City Council Thursday night, as examples of what the mixed-use development located on the city's land, might look like. “We hope that in terms of architecture and the scale of the neighborhood, it looks a lot like it already does. It’s part of the history and fabric of Huntsville," says John Hamilton, the City Administrator for Huntsville.
Beyond aesthetics, all involved say they want to be good neighbors. Hamilton says the developer has worked extensively in East Nashville with similar dynamics at play. “When you look at where they’ve done their infill in Nashville, I’ve gone and looked at their market rate housing they’ve built directly down the street from subsidized housing and I think that being able to do that well makes for a much better neighborhood," says Hamilton.
Hamilton says Lowe Mill Neighborhood Association President Michelle McMullen has been consulted since the beginning, and is confident this changing season for Lowe Mill, means only good things for current and future residents.
“This is not someone coming in and replacing existing homes with a completely different style or size house, this is someone coming in and filling in the gaps," says Hamilton.
For property Invent Huntsville LLC already owns, they hope to break ground on those new homes early next year.
The city's land will have to be re-zoned which will take a few months. At the earliest, they could begin work on the mixed use development mid-to-late 2017.