Four new hotels coming to downtown Huntsville, creating a parking crunch

Huntsville

The parking lot on Greene Street is now closed as work begins on a new multi-level parking garage.

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Downtown Huntsville's newest hotel is expected to open later this year. City leaders say three more are right behind it.

But, they say that will create a parking shuffle downtown.

The new Mars Music Hall is now finished at the Von Braun Center. Across the street, a new job is starting to build a Hampton Inn and Suites.

"We'll provide more parking for downtown, more parking for the VBC, but also wrap that in a more urban setting," Huntsville urban and economic development director Shane Davis said.

Part of Jefferson Street has been closed for about a year as workers are putting in the foundation for the Curio Hotel by Hilton with 117 rooms.

"When the weather breaks into early spring, you'll see the skeleton come out of the ground for that hotel," Davis said.

Developers have big plans for this lot at Holmes and Jefferson. A nine story Hyatt House with 145 rooms, expected to open next year. City leaders say their goal is to get to a thousand available rooms downtown so they can attract more large events and conventions.

"We compete with communities across the US, especially in the southeast," Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive vice president Charles Winters said.

Right now, downtown Huntsville has 665 hotel rooms. The new hotels are expected to nearly double that number, but that means for both commuters and the dinner crowd, parking will be harder to come by. Davis says a new garage on Greene Street will add nearly 500 spaces.

But for now, it's off limits as workers prepare the site.

"You're probably looking about this time early next year to open," Davis said.

Davis says the city also plans to build up the Monroe Street parking garage to add more spaces for VBC visitors.

The fourth hotel will be the Autograph by Marriott, also to be built across the street from the VBC. Davis says he expects that work to begin next year.