Huntsville City Council Approves Cabela’s Deal

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville City Council members unanimously voted Thursday to approve the development agreement for Cabela's and the new Parkside Towne Center.

It will be built off Governors West, south of Old Madison Pike near Interstate 565 and Research Park Boulevard

The nearly six acres of land where the development will be located will cost the city about $3 million.

The center, which will be anchored by an 80,000 square foot Cabela's, will attract retail traffic from all over North Alabama.

"Those types of regional draws bring people in, it makes your development a success and solidifies its position throughout the area," said Mayor Tommy Battle.

Huntsville's Director of Urban Planning Shane Davis says the Parkside Towne Center is expected to generate $110 million in sales and the return on investment is predicted to take less than two years.

"Our total investment will be somewhere between three, three and a half million dollars when finished," said Davis. "The first year of sales tax for the development is five million dollars, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the return on investment is very, very, very quick."

City Councilman Will Culver says he is excited about what the center will be able to do for the city financially.

"Most of our revenues are generated through sales tax and we certainly need to increase our revenues," said Culver. "This particular project is going to be a good financial injection for us."

The city's $3 million investment will cover only public improvements.

Davis says Cabela's is paying its own way.

He also believes the investment in this location will help to revitalize others in town, such as Madison Square Mall.

"With a regional powerhouse like Bridge Street and then Parkside Towne Center coming in with a regional anchor like Cabela's, naturally it becomes this mecca kind of like how you see in other markets of this retail corridor that we can build off of," said Davis.

With the approval, members of the Cabela's design team will be in town Wednesday with a goal to break ground within the next 60 to 90 days.


The retailer wants to have the store open no later than fall of 2015 and it plans to accelerate its usual 14-month construction schedule to nine months.

For more on the initial announcement, click here.


  • Skillpot

    Is that $3-million taxpayer investment worth it? “…expected to generate $110 million in sales….” How many more of these hunting, and fishing shops do we need? Will Cabela’s only create jobs that will only draw off the other shops, resulting of only transferring the revenue from one-shop-to another? But, I hope we can experience the much needed jobs, and revenue!

  • Brian S.

    Yes it’s worth it. Why is it every time there is good news for the City of Huntsville a handful of chicken littles come out with doom and gloom? Would you give up three dollars for 110? Argh! Cabelas is a national retail powerhouse. They will most certainly attract more retail establishments. Not to mention that with Bass Pro and Cabelas in the area it increases the odds that more firearm manufacturers will move to the city. How this is not a win for Huntsville in anyone’s eyes is difficult for me to grasp.

  • Pete

    Decatur is messing their pants right now. Huntsville City actually turned down Bass Pro because we would not be able to return our investment…. so what does Decater so… invest 29 million to stupidly try to one up us. Decatur will NEVER recoupe that investment, especially now that Huntsville is getting Cabelas. I wouldnt be surprised if Bass Pro is not able to sustain itself, and Decatur will go broke (even more so).

  • Say What

    When a small business wants to locate to Huntsville (or any other city in America) do they get big money from the local government? There is a very good, locally owned, outdoor stores in the Bridge Street Mall. How many millions are they getting to compete against the $3,000,000 that Huntsville is giving Cabela’s to open right across the street from them? Answer: none! I thought that Republicans believed in the “free market?” When local governments give businesses taxpayer’s money it is not “free” markets. The government is picking and choosing the winners and losers by how they give some money and not others. This is more proof that Republicans are not what they say they are!

    • Alan

      What store exactly are you refering to… Mountain High?? Are you kidding me? You are comparing Cabelas to that? The City has decided to bring in a business that will bring millions in revenue to the area and you are complaining about the teeny tiny store in Bridge Street losing sales. Any basic class in Economics could show you that the City made an excellent decision.

      • Say What

        Alan, I am not comparing Mountain High with Cabela’s. I am pointing out that as long as governments use your tax money to give large businesses like Cebela’s an advantage over those, as you put it, teeny tiny stores — they will stay teeny tiny stores or go out of business! My college level economics class showed me that was crony capitalism — not free-market capitalism! I am pointing out the hypocrisy of the Republicans that say they care about small, mom and pop, businesses when they give big money to the large corporations that squash those mom and pop stores. They are they ones that say they do not use government to pick the winners and loser while they do just that! You are correct, basic capitalism always puts profits above people!

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