HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Cummings Research Park maintains its reputation as a research-driven defense and technology hub, but the city is reshaping the future of this over eight thousand acres of space. The plan is to keep it booming with defense technology, but also introduce a sense of community.
“Creating a sense of place is incredibly important," said CRP executive director Erin Koshut. "And so inside the park, we are creating that sense of place, we are building that community."
One of those developments will replace the old JPII Catholic High School at the corner of Bradford Drive and Wynn Drive.
“A lot of people stay outside the park because it’s amenity-rich," said Alex Samples with Samples Properties.
Bradford Crossing will be a mixed-use development that will introduce hotel, retail, and restaurant space to Research Park.
"Having a multi-use facility inside the park has a more amenity-rich environment," Samples said.
The idea is that people working in Research Park will be able to stay in the park to grab a coffee or collaborate outside of the office, as well as bring people in from outside of the park.
While many new facilities continue to rise from the dirt, another innovative concept will transform an old building from the inside out.
The "Innovate Huntsville Center at Research Park" will host entrepreneurs from all backgrounds-- science, art, photography-- and offer them space in Research Park.
“There are a lot of people working in their garages right now with ideas," said Project XYZ president Larry Lewis. "I think that collaboration will spur more innovation and hopefully create more small businesses that will ultimately impact our economy.”
These changes are all expected to start engaging the community in the next 18 months.