Turner Completes $3.12M Renovation of Thigpen Hall at Alabama A&M

Turner Construction has completed the management of a $3.12 million renovation of Alabama A&M’s Thigpen Hall.

Thigpen Hall, a three-story women’s residence hall built in 1955, typically houses more than 200 first-year freshman female students. The renovations included Thigpen’s 101 double-occupancy bedrooms, bathrooms, study lounges, laundry facilities and a computer lab.

Turner collaborated on the project of the 30,000 square-foot building with Nola Van Peursem Architects, Moody Nolan, Lee Builders, Mims Engineering and EE Group.

The building’s footprint did not change in the renovation including elements of its historical exterior. Thigpen Hall was unoccupied throughout the renovation process, which began in July 2018.

“Alabama A&M is proud of the partnership that we have with Turner Construction,” said Alabama A&M President Dr. Andrew Hugine Jr. “Turner has not only worked to restore and modernize Thigpen Hall, one of the historic structures on the campus, thus demonstrating the university’s commitment to historic preservation, but they also continue to invest in the future of Alabama A&M by providing our students with practical experience.”

Thigpen Hall was completed on time and under budget. Turner is continuing to support and manage upcoming projects at Alabama A&M University.

“This has been another excellent project delivered by the team,” said Tyce Hudson, account executive for Turner Construction. “We are excited to see the campus continue to improve. The future is very bright for Alabama A&M University.”

Luxury Apartments Coming to Clift Farm

MADISON – A luxury apartment complex will begin to grow from former farmland across from the Target shopping center on U.S. 72.

Birmingham-based residential developer Tynes Development broke ground this week on The Station at Clift Farm, its second multi-family development in Madison.

The development is in the 550-acre Clift Farm community on U.S. 72 at Balch Road in Madison. The luxury apartment concept will offer 316 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, all with elevator access. Leasing will begin next spring or summer.

The Clift Farm location is an expansion of Tynes’ high-end apartment brand, which began construction this year on The Station at Town Madison. The four-story, 288-unit off I-565 – adjacent to the Rocket City Trash Pandas’ baseball stadium – will begin leasing one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in early 2020.

The Station is designed with subway tile backsplashes, stainless-steel appliances, walk-in showers, high-end countertops and simple, yet modern, light fixtures throughout each unit.

“As Huntsville and Madison continues to grow and attract the brightest minds, their recruits are looking for high-end apartments that support their health and well-being,” said Ingram Tynes, president of Tynes Development Corp.

“The Station at Clift Farm allows residents to return from a hard day of work to a beautiful space that inspires their wellbeing and nourishes their relationships with family and neighbors,” said D.A. Tynes, Ingram’s wife and the company’s interior designer. “As a working mom with three children, it is always my goal to design a space that makes coming home a peaceful retreat.”

The Breland Cos. bought the farm from the Clift family who has owned it since 1850. Although it will be a multi-use development with a town center and retail and restaurant components that support the Clift Farm community, developer Louis Breland said it will maintain a generational feel. The residential component will consist of luxury apartments and townhomes starting at $300,000, and single-family homes ranging from $400,000 to $600,000.

“The Station at Clift Farm will be the centerpiece of the Clift Farm project,” said Breland. “We are developing Clift Farm to be one of the premiere mixed-use projects in the Southeast. Miles of greenways and walking trails will connect residents to parks, grocery and many first-to-market restaurants and shops.

“We could not have a better partner than Tynes Development to set the tone for the high-quality experience we are creating at Clift Farm.”

Mazda Toyota Pays Tribute to Huntsville’s Space History

As a tribute to Huntsville’s leadership role with the U.S. space program, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., will name its two assembly lines Apollo and Discovery.

“Thanks to our team members’ creativity and innovative thinking, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is proud to name our two future assembly lines Apollo and Discovery in a nod to our city’s heritage as the birthplace of our nation’s space program,” said Mark Brazeal, vice president for administration at MTM. “The scores of brilliant men and women who worked tirelessly to further mankind’s progress and exploration into the unknown gives our team motivation to add to the Rocket City’s history as a producer of world-class vehicles.”

Apollo was NASA’s program that resulted in 12 American astronauts walking on the moon. The Space Shuttle Discovery completed 39 missions, surpassing the number of flights made by any other orbiter in NASA’s fleet. Discovery also launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit and was the first American spacecraft piloted by a woman, Eileen Collins.

Construction of the MTM plant remains on schedule, with the start of production expected to begin in 2021. Up to 4,000 new jobs will be created and hiring is underway.

In August 2017, Toyota and Mazda announced a collaboration to establish MTM, a $1.6 billion joint venture that will assemble up to 300,000 vehicles annually. The plant is in the Greenbrier area of Huntsville-Limestone County.

All the Bells and Whistles: $38.2 Million Luxury Apartment Development Planned for Balch Road

MADISON — Madison is about to see a $38.2 million, 258-unit luxury apartment development.

Florence-based Bobo Development Group plans to break ground in July on the project, which will be across Balch Road from the Huntsville Hospital Heart Center.

Construction is expected to take about 19 months and is being handled by Birmingham-based Capstone Building Corp., according to James Bobo II, chief executive officer of Bobo Development Group.

According to Bobo, the median household income for this particular area is $115,000 and those families didn’t have a lot of options when it came to high-end apartments with tech-based, future-forward, upscale amenities.

“One of the things I noticed was there was a lot of class C and class B products, and some older products that didn’t have the amenities that, number one, this area can support and, number two, that this area is looking for,” Bobo said. “That’s one of the gaps (the development) is going to be filling.”

The apartments will feature electric charging stations for cars and Dormakaba electronic entry systems for each unit, which will allow residents to enter their homes or gain access to the clubhouse by using their phone or a keycard.

“We are trying to get away from physical keys,” Bobo said.

For professionals on the go, the complex will also have a Parcel Pending electronic locker system at the clubhouse. There will be cold-storage capabilities so residents can have their groceries delivered and not have to worry about them spoiling under the unforgiving Alabama sun. Residents will simply have a QR code sent to their phone when an item arrives and all they have to do is stop by the locker and scan the code to collect their item.

Inside the apartments, residents can expect to see granite countertops, tile backsplashes, high-end floors, and tile showers.

“Huntsville is what I call a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) metro and I feel like they are not getting what they want, as far as some of these tech pieces at where they are living,” Bobo said. “So, I feel like some of the amenities that I mentioned earlier are going to fill a gap in what that particular type of demographic is looking for.”

Hays Farm Development: ‘It’s Time; the Community Needs It’

Six to 10 years, that’s how long the Hays family expects the 850-acre, multifaceted development of Hays Farm to take.

Jim Hays, John Hays and Jeff Enfinger, the owners of the property, were on hand Thursday night to highlight the details of the project to a packed house in the Martha deFord Hays Auditorium at Grissom High School.

“For 49 years we’ve been developing communities for people in North Alabama, this is the first time we’ve ever put our name on one,” John Hays said.

John Hays talks about the importance
of the Hays Farm Development.

The development will eventually consist of about 1,000 residential units, three parks and see of new commercial spaces along with the redevelopment of Haysland Square, according to Enfinger.

The first part of the commercial aspect of the development is to raze Haysland Square and develop 175,000 to 200,000 square feet of new commercial space.

“It’s under contract now with a Florida developer who has developed here and we hope to have an announcement this Fall where that center would be redone next year and it would be upscale, walkable and pretty,” Enfinger said.

Enfinger added that they were working with Staples, the only retail store left in the current development.

“We’re providing space for Staples,” Enfinger said. “We have to cut a deal and they have to agree to it, but we’re going to make every effort to keep Staples.”

Jeff Enfinger gives an overview of the master plan for the Hays Farm development

It is expected to take five years before developers get back to the center housing Home Depot and a development north of Mike’s Merchandise, according to Enfinger.

“We’ve got three opportunities to develop and redevelop the high-volume, high-traffic commercial areas,” he said.

The first 500 units of residential development will consist of single-family detached units such as estate homes, patio homes and traditional housing sizes, which will span the $300,000 to $700,000 price points, according to Enfinger. Some of those are being developed now.

The next 500 units will consist of condominiums, townhouses, some lofts over the new retail establishments and possibly some age-restricted housing, according to Enfinger.

“The 1,000 units we’re going to build doesn’t do much for the commercial activity except create sort of a foundation,” Enfinger said. “The commercial activity is part of all of south Huntsville.

“So, if south Huntsville doesn’t become part of the commercial activity then it won’t be as successful.”

The development will have three parks: a 500-acre natural park, similar to the Hays Nature Preserve; a new ballpark with soccer and baseball/softball fields; and a city park, like Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville.

“We have a park system that I believe will be unrivaled by any park system that I know of in my lifetime,” Enfinger said.

There are also plans to have an entertainment district set up in the new development, possibly around the city park, but Enfinger said most of the specifics were still yet to be determined.

“It was really a difficult decision for the family to decide to let the farm go,” Jim Hays said.

“…But, it’s time. The community needs it; so it was time.”

Jim Hays talks about the history behind the land
that will be used as greenspaces in the Hays Farm Development.

Hays Farm Presentation Set for Thursday

The South Huntsville Business Association will host a community presentation of the Hays Farm revitalization project Thursday in the Grissom High School auditorium. It will start at 6 p.m.  

Jim and John Hays, along with Jeff Enfinger of The Enfinger Cos., are developing the 850-acre generational Hays Farm into a multi-use project with 110 acres of commercial development including retail stores and restaurants; 200 acres of residential area with about 1,000 single-family and multifamily homes; and a 12-acre city park with a potential entertainment component, sports fields and a dog park.

The remaining 540 acres will remain protected land with 6½ miles of walking trails and a nature preserve.

The economic boost to Huntsville is projected to be $450 million.

Representatives from the city, the Hayses, Enfinger Cos., and SHBA will be available for questions.

A Food Hall of Kitchens, Breweries and Food Trucks Coming to Town Madison

MADISON — At his State of the City Address in March, Madison Mayor Paul Finley told the audience to buckle up for some big announcements coming out of the new Town Madison development this spring. Today, the Breland Companies delivered a big one!

Rendering shows layout of Town Madison around the baseball stadium and Food Hall

The latest addition is a sprawling Food Hall of 18 kitchens curated by local and regional chefs, two breweries, and several stationary food trucks in an outdoor dining area. A central bar with indoor/outdoor seating will serve as an anchor, and developers are talking to several local and regional restaurants about joining the unique dining lineup. 

The Food Hall can be seen to the right in this rendering.

Designed by Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart, an international design firm based in Atlanta, the Food Hall will feature a large outdoor event space and covered stage area for a variety of events including a showcase for songwriters, concerts and big screen showings of various sporting events.

“Town Madison is taking another step toward our goal to provide a new experience in North Alabama living,” said Louis Breland. “We toured some of the finest food halls in the country looking for the right concept. A great food hall becomes a central gathering spot and brings unique energy to a community.

“Along with the (Rocket City) Trash Pandas stadium, the Food Hall and plaza area will become the place to be before a game or any time people want to meet with friends and share new experiences.”

The Food Hall, a partnership between Breland and Fuqua Development of Atlanta, joins the growing roster of tenants at Town Madison including the baseball stadium; several hotels including the avid Hotel, Home2 Suites and Margaritaville Resort Hotel; restaurants; national retailers such as Duluth Trading Co.; luxury apartments and residential communities.

Construction on the Food Hall begins this summer and tenants will be announced by the end of the year.

It is slated to open next spring – in time for the first pitch.

Auto Supplier DaikyoNishikawa to Locate First U.S. Plant in Huntsville, Creating 380 Jobs

Japan-based DaikyoNishikawa US will build a $110 million auto parts manufacturing facility in Huntsville, the company announced Tuesday.

“Huntsville welcomes DaikyoNishikawa to our growing regional network of automotive suppliers,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “They’re joining an outstanding partnership with Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A., and we’re collectively witnessing the birth of a major automotive hub for the U.S. and the world.”

The company will be on-site at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. assembly plant under construction. DNUS will create approximately 380 jobs and produce plastic automotive parts. Construction is expected to start in July and production slated for 2021.

DNUS is the first on-site partner announced for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A., a $1.6 billion joint-venture assembly plant being built on a 2,500-acre site in the Limestone County portion of Huntsville.

“With this being DaikyoNishikawa’s first U.S. manufacturing facility, we welcome them home to Limestone County and look forward to being a key partner in their future success,” said Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly. “This $110 million investment that will bring 380 new jobs is a testament to the strong workforce in our region that has earned global recognition.”

DNUS has established a temporary office in Huntsville and a human resources director to prepare for hiring. Jobs are listed at joblink.alabama.gov.

Limestone, Madison Counties Lead State in Capital Investment, Job Creation

Limestone and Madison counties topped all other counties in Alabama for new capital investment (CAPEX) and job creation, according to the 2018 New & Expanding Industry Report just released by the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Limestone County led the state with CAPEX of $1.7 billion, followed by Madison County with $1.1 billion in new capital investment. The Limestone County figures are heavily driven by the $1.6 billion Mazda  Toyota Manufacturing USA plant under construction in Huntsville-Limestone County.

Furthermore, according to the report, Limestone County ranked first in job creation at 4,172 jobs. Madison County ranked No. 3 at 1,043 jobs.

However, Harrison Diamond, Business Relations officer for the City of Huntsville, said the report contains a caveat.

“The numbers for our area are even better when you realize that Huntsville is now comprised of Madison, Limestone and Morgan counties,” said Diamond, “Limestone’s numbers included some investment not in Huntsville, but when you pull it all together, Huntsville’s CAPEX is $2.7 billion with 5,189 jobs created in 2018.”

Growth in automotive and aerospace remained strong in 2018, boding well for North Alabama, which has momentum for the rest of 2019.

The report outlines 357 economic development projects totaling a record-breaking $8.7 billion in CAPEX statewide with 17,062 jobs from new and expanding industries. That is the highest increase since 2015 at $7.1 billion.

“This success solidifies my belief that we are building a more dynamic economy in Alabama and creating a pathway to greater prosperity for its citizens,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Projects in the City of Huntsville

Company                                                                  Year     Jobs                 Investment ($)

BAE Systems Inc. 2018 200 45,500,000
BWXT 2018 5 0
Custom Assembly inc. 2018 75 0
DC Blox 2018 5 10,867,600
Dynetics 2018 130 24,455,643
EOS 2018 100 2,500,000
Facebook 2018 100 750,000,000
Kohler 2018 149 175,470,698
LG Electronics 2018 159 28,100,000
Mitchell Plastics 2018 95 18,315,000
Mynaric USA 2018 2 0
Novocol Healthcare 2018 7 1,000,000
Radiance Technologies, Inc. 2018 60 18,990,000
Redline Steel 2018 50 11,111,454
St. Gobain 2018 2 13,000,000
Torch Technologies 2018 40 6,325,000
Toyota/Mazda JV 2018 4000 1,600,000,000
VT Miltope 2018 10 0

Total                                                                                                5,189               2,700,000,000

Rain Delays Opening Multi-Sports Venue at Site of Former Becky Peirce Golf Course

Huntsvillians hoping to check out the new multi-sports complex at the old Becky Peirce Municipal Golf Course before summer turns to fall might need to do a reverse rain dance.

Ongoing rain that left the city soaked for much of last fall and this past spring has delayed progress at the venue. While some contractors have reported they still plan to meet target dates, the massive amount of dirt being moved at the old course at the corner of Airport Road and South Memorial Parkway has left a quagmire of sorts that has substantially slowed development.

“If we didn’t have any rain, we’d be through,’’ said Steve Ivey, director of the City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation. “As it is, we’re about six weeks behind, and that’s being kind to the contractors. If we got out there with heavy trucks, we’d tear things up and have to start over.’’

Ivey said a target opening date is somewhere in the middle of summer.

“If you can promise me it won’t rain, I could give you a date,’’ he said.

The landmark rocket stands guard over the work at the new multisports complex

Plans are for the complex to feature a cross-country course, paved walking trail, dirt bike trail, disc golf courses, sand volleyball courts, golf driving range and a dog park.

For now, William Bell, the facility project coordinator, said the focus is on getting the grass-covered cross-country course and the walking trail ready for use. Next on his priority list is the dirt bike circuit, which is still in designing stages.

He said the cross-country course and walking trails are 75 to 80 percent complete.

“The biggest thing right now is getting a retaining wall around pond No. 1, and we’ve got three ponds,” he said. “The Lord has taken care of us pretty well up to this point. It could have been worse. We’re doing all we can.”

The cross-country course sod was placed late last month.

The Huntsville Sports Commission is charged with bringing events to the city.

“We’re going to schedule a lot of things there,’’ said Commission Director Ralph Stone. “Our role will be to identify and recruit events to pay for the thing.’’

A main attraction the sports commission will focus on right away is the cross-country course, which Stone said will be “world class.’’

“There will be opportunities for several sports there once it gets rolling,’’ he said.