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Town Madison begins work with new developer, master plan expected within next month

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - A new developer has begun work on a nearly half-billion dollar mixed-use development in Madison.

Urban planner Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company is slated to create the master plan for Town Madison. The 500-acre project is located between Zierdt Road and Wall Triana Highway south of Interstate 565.

The Sembler Company was initially slated to help develop Town Madison, but once Breland Companies added 200 acres from the former Intergraph campus to the project, the two opted to part ways.

Members from the DPZ firm spent a week in Madison visiting the site to help develop the master plan, which is expected to be complete within the next month.

"That master plan will show all the infrastructure that's here and it will also show the areas that you'll have retail, the areas that you'll have housing, the areas that you'll have commercial," said Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway. "Having a master plan for the whole five hundred acre site and make it a lot easier for someone that's looking to come in and say, 'Okay, this is what I have, here's where I want to be,' and then you've got a master plan to work with them on it."

DPZ has developed numerous master plans for cities all over the world, including improvements to downtown Mobile, as well as Charleston, South Carolina.

Once the master plan is finished, it will have to be presented to the Madison City Council for approval.

In the meantime, discussions are ongoing with tenants for the development.

"They're still talking with individuals about some hotel sites that are looking at this area," said Haraway. "There's a variety of different commercial, there's some residential that's looking, so there's a lot of things in the works, they just haven't finalized anything."

The focus for retail establishments has also changed.

"At the beginning, it was kind of the box-type stores, retail seems to be taking a different avenue," he said. "It's kind of more of a live, work and play mentality, so they're looking at a lot of different things and hopefully this master plan will define all that."

The first phase of road work is also complete for the Town Madison campus, with the second phase nearly finished. It will connect Zierdt Road through to Intergraph Way. Demolition of the old Intergraph buildings should be done in the next two months, too, leaving developers with a blank canvas.

"Then you've got your roads and all your infrastructure in place, but you've got kind of a greenfield site that somebody can come in and build retail, build commercial, do something without having to deal with those buildings at that time," said Haraway.

As for the I-565 interchange, the environmental study has been complete and submitted to both ALDOT and the Federal Highway Association. Approval is expected within the next month.

"Once the final approval is given, there's some more design work that has to be done," said Haraway, "and then they'll start work and 18 months is about what they expect to build the interchange."