Huntsville City Council Considers Major Bridge Street Expansion

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Thousands of people pass through Bridge Street every week, taking advantage of its mix of restaurants, big name retailers, and unique shops. But now the shopping mecca may be on the verge of a major upgrade.

Thursday night the Huntsville City Council will vote on a $4 million incentive package that would help lure big-name businesses to Bridge Street.

"Bridge street is doing okay right now, but because of the sluggish economy we want to make sure they continue to do well financially," said Councilman Will Culver, who has been pushing for the expansion since his election to the council in 2008.

A major focal point of the potential plan would be a high-end department store. What store it will be is still under wraps, but Culver tells us it will be 175,000 square feet of high-end clothing and products.

Another 45,000 square feet of retail space will be added to the property, and a two-story parking garage will be built where the Red Robin parking lot is now.

It's a big expansion with an even bigger payoff.

"I'm anticipating at least a $12 million increase in our sales tax through this project," said Culver.

While the city stands to benefit from the expansion, so do the people who live in Huntsville.

"It will create local jobs as it relates to sales tax on property and supplies, it will also create permanent jobs," said Culver. "Hopefully they will hire people locally to work in those businesses."

Culver says his fellow council members seem to support the plan and he expects the incentive package to pass.

If so, building will start in 2013, with stores expected to open by August 2014.

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