Plan to relocate city hall receives mixed reviews

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville city leaders have published the final report from the first phase of a site study and concept plan for a new city hall.  The plan is to relocate the new city hall to the parking garage across the street on Fountain Row and Gates Avenue.

However, the new plan does not sit well with everyone.

Huntsville resident Thomas Piff runs a blog called 'Ask Tommy Battle'. In the blog, Piff questions the developers and asks, "Has Huntsville received any other bids or proposals for their redevelopment?"

City Administrator John Hamilton said Goodwyn Mills and Cawood, the architectural and engineering firm who provided the site study, has a good track record.

"They have done a lot of public projects like this, so as we look at any one of our public projects, whether it's building a recreational center, building a park, or building a city hall we wanted to use a variety of our local architects," Hamilton explained.

Hamilton said the projects GMC accomplished in other places throughout the region made them the perfect fit.

"They are not the only ones obviously that can do that kind of work, but we are very pleased with the kind of work they have done in other places," Hamilton said.

With the new city hall being moved, this would open up the property the current building sits on.

"There's a proposal in once we do the pedestrian area that it really becomes an expansion of the park," Hamilton said.

He added there would still be land available on the south side of the property.

"Right now we think it's best to consider it for private development," Hamilton said.

Piff isn't thrilled with the plan and would rather see Big Spring Park expanded.

Hamilton said using it for private development would help generate investment and add capacity and density into the downtown area.