Huntsville City Council approves agreement for downtown development

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A rendering of “Clinton Commons,” a development that is expected as part of the three downtown development resolutions approved by the City of Huntsville on Thursday. (huntsvilleal.gov)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Huntsville City Council unanimously approved three project agreement resolutions on Thursday, including one to develop the former Coca-Cola bottling site.

The site has been established as a “key site” in Huntsville’s plan to revitalize downtown. First closed in 2012 and demolished two years later, the former Big Springs Bottling location is the largest downtown property available for redevelopment, spanning two blocks, and fronting three busy streets.

The three approved resolutions represent the beginning of a partnership between the city and Rocket Development Partners, LLC, based in New York City.

Rocket Development Partners, Mitchell Rutter and Dan Shields released a statement about the project:

Our team is energized by Huntsville’s growth, and we are excited to support Mayor Tommy Battle’s master plan with a transformative downtown project that will meet the city’s rising needs and serve as an engine to the future of city building on a national scale. Mayor Battle is committed to smart growth and we’re grateful to him, his team and community partners for creating a city where people and businesses of all backgrounds can thrive.

Located within an Opportunity Zone, we believe this project will help create a vibrant live, work, play atmosphere downtown and expand the local economy for decades to come. Our team looks forward to playing a role in Huntsville’s next phase of growth with this mixed-use development.

Mitchell Rutter and Dan Shields, Rocket Development Partners

The estimated cost of the investment is $325 million with the city contributing $18 million, but not until the development has started or completed its commitments. Huntsville Director of Urban & Economic Development Shane Davis said the City’s return on investment would be over $25 million over a 10-year period.

“I believe being able to keep this project moving forward and the committed private investment says a lot about the strength of the Huntsville economy,” said Davis.

According to a news release from the City of Huntsville, Rocket Development Partners would be responsible for all construction, as well as donations to the City for right-of-way, easements, public mews, and 400 spaces in the 800-space garage as well as its maintenance.

The City would be required to build a new road to connect Clinton and Holmes avenues and construct public mews.

The space is expected to include:

  • 26,000 square feet of retail space
  • 40,000 square feet of office
  • A 100-room hotel and multifamily housing unit
  • An 800-space multi-level parking garage

“This is a great opportunity to turn vacant property into new and unique places for people to eat, shop, stay the night and live,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “It’s an exciting project that will attract citizens and visitors alike, which will benefit Huntsville for years to come.”

The project is expected to be developed over the next four years with full completion eyed for September 2025.

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