Huntsville Studies Several Downtown ‘Opportunity Sites’ Ripe & Ready for Redevelopment

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- A commercial real estate firm hired by the city has pinpointed 21 "opportunity sites" across Huntsville that are ripe for new retail development.

During a Huntsville City Council work session last week, a representative from The Shopping Center Group said the old Coca-Cola bottling plant and the former Toys"R"Us on University Drive are the two most attractive retail sites in the downtown area.

Since the 2.2 acre site of the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on Clinton Avenue was vacated several months ago, the privately owned piece of property has remained on the market and is highly coveted by the city.  But it's not the only piece of prime real estate downtown.

"The former bottling facility is one of those," says Downtown Huntsville, Inc. CEO Chad Emerson. "It has good visibility from the interstate, good visibility from the Parkway and it's a nice gateway in from Clinton."

Emerson says though, versatility is downtown Huntsville's strong suit.

"There are seven or eight different sites, so which ever one gets redeveloped, there's a lot of opportunity for development downtown right now."

He says the Twickenham Square project is a good benchmark for a multi-use development.

"You see there, there's about four or five different uses and so in larger opportunity sites you like to try to mix up the uses," Emerson explains. "Maybe some residential, maybe some office, maybe some retail - other types of uses. And so that's the goal with a site like that, is how do you put the most productive, compatible uses together."

The hot commodity bottling facility comes with a steep asking price, but from the Constellation development to proposed repurposing on Jefferson Street, Emerson says the lane for urban restructuring downtown is wide open.

"We hope that whether it's the Coca-Cola site or another site, there's so much opportunity that the market will set the value."

Click on the WHNT News 19 Facebook page to tell us your ideas for how the Coca-Cola facility can be repurposed.

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