City leaders say North Huntsville is prime for redevelopment, seek community input

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –  City leaders are focusing on the BIG picture, and North Huntsville is part of it.

Years-long North Memorial Parkway construction projects are nearly done, housing prices are welcoming to home buyers, and retailers are already moving in.

Jordan cites chains like Five Guys, Dunkin Donuts, and Walmart that have moved in to North Huntsville. Jordan also sees potential in areas like the recently bought-out Huntsville Country Club property and the old Disturbia on the corner of Oakwood and the parkway.

“We`re just excited about all the possibilities,” said Michelle Jordan, city Planning Director. “There are many opportunity sites along the parkway we`re hoping developers will be interested in. We`re certainly encouraging developers to look at those areas.”

Part of this effort includes improving the perception of North Huntsville.

“We’re sensitive to the fact that perception really does play a role in every part of the city. Where there are opportunities where we can have an impact on the perception of a community, we’re committed to do whatever it takes to improve it.”

One such recent example is “Disturbia” on the corner of Oakwood and the parkway. Formerly a tableau of Ghouls and Gruesome images, Mayor Battle wrote a letter to the building’s owners.

“We’re proud of the outcome. Those owners got the building painted and we think it’s an improvement on the perception of North Huntsville, Huntsville overall,” said Jordan. “When we find opportunities to have those kinds of impacts we’ll encourage property owners to step up to the plate.”

Along with encouraging developers, city leaders are reaching out to residents.

The city has partnered with the North Huntsville Leadership Advisory Council, and next month will launch the Economic Development Citizens Academy.

“We`re hoping that when we have these academies we`ll be able to explain in more detail just how development happens, and the role the city can play, the role residents can play, and the roles developers play,” said Jordan.

Jordan says the city may also consider launching an effort similar to that used for Ditto Landing redevelopment – where they ask citizens to vote on what venues or attractions or parks they want to see in their neighborhood.

The meetings will be held:

  • September 16th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at Lee High School
  • September 18th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at Challenger Middle School
  • October 14th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 at the Alabama A&M University Knight Center
  • January 13th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, location TBA