Huntsville City Council voted on Thursday to begin designing and building new streets for one of the largest upcoming developments for its burgeoning downtown on the site of a former Coca-Cola bottling plant. Cola.
The council approved a $239,000 engineering contract with local site architects Matheny Goldmon Architecture + Interiors for “landscaping and a street plan”. That’s far less than the $18 million the city will eventually invest in the site and a fraction of the $500 million that private developer Rocket Development Partners LLC of New York will spend on it.
The bottling company’s site on Clinton Avenue is across from the North Lobby of the Von Braun Center, Main Ballroom/Banquet officials said the VBC also plans to expand during development. Commercial development will begin this year, city officials expect.
The site plan includes a new parking lot to service the civic center and development, 400 multi-family lofts, offices, retail space, food and beverage vendors and a new 200-room convention hotel, said the city’s director of urban and economic development, Shane Davis. Tax revenue from the hotel, restaurants, shops and bars will repay the city’s investment.
The design calls for a new north-south road connecting Clinton Avenue and Holmes Avenue and a new east-west road starting at the east bank of Pinhook Creek and extending west to the end of the property. It also calls for a bicycle and pedestrian path along the creek.
Davis said he expects work on the city’s street and sidewalk park won’t begin until 2023 because the street plan is “complex” with sidewalks, lamps and trees. “It has to come once a building is built and the exterior is finished so it doesn’t get destroyed,” he said.
The 13-acre site covers two blocks bordered by three public streets and is the largest undeveloped property remaining in the central city. The City of Huntsville expects to recoup its $14 million investment in the site within four years. The project is expected to generate approximately $43 million in taxes over 10 years.