City Centre project gets redesign, anchor hotel announcement

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- There's a new vision for City Centre at Big Spring.

Last October, developer RCP Companies released renderings of the project. But it's evolved since then. Huntsville Director of Urban Development, Shane Davis, says the hotels have been moved closer together, streets have been added, and a culvert extended in the redesign. His favorite element, a long greenway path, increases connectivity.

"It's much more functional, and it gives a much more village feel," he told the Huntsville City Council at Thursday's work session.

In his update to the council, he dropped details about the development's hotel anchor: a new AC Hotels Marriott.

"The AC Marriotts are all custom designed," remarked Davis. "There's not a 'canned' approach like you see with other hotel flags."

He explained that Huntsville's will not only be the first in the market, but it'll be the 10th AC Hotel in the country. There are AC Hotels in Europe, but closer to home you'll find the two nearest Huntsville in Miami and New Orleans. Davis said there are only around 80 of them in the world.

Davis said since these hotels are custom to their market and unique, but he can't tell us what Huntsville's will look like. It's still in the design phase.

How much does it cost to stay in one? While every market is different, we checked rates on rooms in the New Orleans location and found for this weekend, it's around $280 for a standard.

Davis said having a hotel anchor like this one will lead to a similar upscale feel throughout the rest of City Centre.

"AC Marriott will attract other businesses," he explained.

Another hotel will join City Centre as well, but all Davis could reveal is that it also has a Marriott name. It will be more geared toward government market rates. These hotels, as part of City Centre, will be located very close to the Von Braun Center and are expected to service convention-goers.

The plan still includes 230 family units, and retail space.

Davis said the City Centre project was pushed back several months because of a challenge to the AC Marriott that needed to be addressed. Also, the project designers took a step back and found ways they could improve the proposal originally accepted, and Davis said he's happy every opportunity was taken to ensure it's all done right.

"I think Huntsville will be very, very proud of the project when it's finished," he said.

Here's a look at the schedule for the City Centre project:

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