HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville City Council will take up the issue of the Mid-City project at a specially called meeting Thursday night. We're told to expect a slight modification in the contracts and plans as the council and others work to keep the project moving forward and make certain that JC Penney and Sears both remain here in the Rocket City.
“Okay, as I understand it, I haven't seen all the final details but this is just some final tweaking that we're doing to take care of some of the contract issues,” according to Huntsville City Councilman Bill Kling. He said he expects the meeting to last only a few minutes as the changes are discussed and voted upon.
Kling said the Christmas holidays created a longer than normal gap of time between meetings, thus the necessity for a specially called meeting.
“We want to get this project underway, keep the lawyers happy and have everything all set up. I think it's got good potential,” Kling said.
Most recently the council agreed to buy out the remainder of JC Penney's lease on their location. That was one of the final hurdles to overcome so the project could move forward.
“This new development, I think, is going to take an old mall that is kinda rundown and basically about 80% empty. That's going to be fixed up with apartments, new restaurants, office buildings, maybe even some condominiums coming in, and that's going to be basically a $200,000,000 development going in place of a mall that was 80 or 90 percent empty,” Kling explained.
Kling went on to say when the dust clears, both JC Penney and Sears will still be a part of Huntsville's shopping landscape. We don't know where either store will locate just yet, but we are being assured every effort is being made to keep both retailers in town.
Of course, WHNT News 19 will be at the meeting and report back to you.