MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — The Town Madison development will soon be the first Arts & Entertainment District in the City of Madison.
On Monday, the City Council voted to approve Ordinance 2022-298. The majority of the council voted in favor of the ordinance, with the exception of Councilwoman Karen Denzine, who voted against it.
The Arts & Entertainment District designation means people will be able to leave an establishment and take their alcoholic drinks with them in a designated cup, within the district.
The Arts & Entertainment will encompass all of the commercial areas of Town Madison, including Toyota Field.
The City of Madison will install markers either on sidewalks or on light poles to make sure people know where the district boundaries are.
If this concept sounds familiar, it’s because it is similar to what is already in place in Huntsville with the Purple Cup districts in Downtown, The Village of Providence, and Bridge Street.
However, the City of Madison is setting itself apart. The cups will be a Kelly Green “stadium cup” with the Town Madison logo on the side.
Mayor Paul Finley told News 19 they chose the color green because, “a lot of what we do is in green, with our focus of ‘plant your roots.'”
With the approval of the new district businesses that would like to participate will need to pay a $50 license fee.
That won’t be a problem for Prohibition Rooftop Bar & Grill.
“We’ll definitely be doing it here,” said General Manager Tyler Berger. “We’ve already looked into getting the cups in the Kelly Green, and getting all of that taken care of.”
Berger said he’s excited about the possibility of the program bringing new people into the district and through their front doors.
“Us being a new restaurant, it’s just going to generate and keep bringing more and more people over here to us and giving them more options to stop in, and get something to walk around the area,” he said.
News 19 also spoke with the General Manager of Moe’s Original BBQ, Davison Payne.
He said he’s also excited about the opportunity, especially on Trash Panda gamedays.
Payne said it’s exciting to see so much constant growth within Town Madison.
“Everyday things are opening up, and as you can see when you look around here, there’s so much stuff in the works,” Payne said.
Finley said the Arts & Entertainment District is just one of the many upcoming things for Town Madison.
One thing he said will help both businesses and customers in the area is the completion of the I-565 interchange in Town Madison.
The mayor said the funding has already been approved and explained how the “flyovers” will work.
“On I-565 the northbound lanes will now be fully connected, both coming into the east and out to the west. So it flies over 565, connecting what’s already there,” Finley said. “That gives much more flexibility for folks to go in and out of Huntsville and Decatur, which then makes the entire area that much more accessible.”
He added that the I-565 interchange improvements aren’t just for citizens.
“It’s a big difference for the businesses,” the Mayor said. “What they see is many more people that can come through there.”
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Finley said he anticipates that the project will take “18 months to two years” to complete.
He said he looks forward to all of the other development projects planned for Town Madison.
“We have a lot of opportunity that we see now, but boy can you imagine two years from now where we’re going to be,” he said.
As for the Arts & Entertainment District, it’s expected to kick off sometime in January 2023. The Alabama Beverage Control Board still needs to approve some things and the city needs to get the businesses ready.
You can read more about the rules and regulations of the district, as outlined in the ordinance by clicking here. The information starts on page 163.