Formal announcements and groundbreaking ceremonies can be deceiving.
To recap what was by all economic standards a disastrous year of pandemic across the nation, Huntsville’s smart growth strategy of building a solid infrastructure, offering a high quality of life, providing good paying jobs for the citizenry, and incorporating all points of the city into that strategy, will not let up in 2021.
Despite the COVID-19 hit, Huntsville created 960 jobs in 2020 and put $2.1 billion in new product on the ground.
In September, just prior to Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle’s 2020 State of the City Address, the city Inspections Department issued permits totaling $220 million of commercial and residential construction, an all-time record month for Huntsville in capital investment.
Home values increased by 12.57 percent in 2020, nearly two times greater than the national average.
According to the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Huntsville has a lot of good paying jobs available – especially in the automotive industry – so many they are having a hard time reaching people to let them know about them.
“To sustain this kind of growth,” Battle said at the State of the City in November, “You have to have a plan in place, and we do.”
He laughingly declared the construction crane as the official city bird – all despite the pandemic.
Heading into 2021, an increase in COVID cases and extremely cold temperatures have dampened some of the formalities surrounding Huntsville’s big agenda, but here are just a few projects lying underneath the radar you will be hearing more about in 2021:
New Autograph Hotel by Marriott Downtown
A $40 million Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott will soon rise over Big Spring Park. Construction is underway at the southwest corner of the parking garage between Monroe and Church streets in downtown Huntsville. The hotel has been two years in the making.
Window World Manufacturing Complex
A permit for a Window World manufacturing complex has been approved for the Greenbrier area in unincorporated Limestone County off I-565 and west of Madison. More information will be coming soon.
Holiday Inn Express at I-565 and Bob Wallace
A Holiday Inn Express is on the rise at the Bob Wallace exit off Interstate I-565. Being built by Heritage Hospitality Group in Ridgeland, Miss., construction on the newly franchised Holiday Inn property has been slowed slightly by COVID complications, but a completion date is on the horizon. It will offer easy access to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the Huntsville Botanical Garden, Redstone Arsenal, MidCity, and Cummings Research Park.
New Homebuilding Projects
Jeff Benton Homes’ new Sage Creek community, just outside Redstone Arsenal Gate 7 off Zierdt and Martin roads, is just minutes from Town Madison, restaurants, and within walking distance of the new Shoppes at Redstone Square anchored by a new Publix.
They have five 3- and 4-bedroom floorplans available.
Breland Homes’ Estuary at Natures Walk, off the newly widened Martin Road, offers low-maintenance, luxury 3-bedroom townhomes. The community, a few blocks from Gate 7 and within walking distance of the Shoppes at Redstone Square, is also convenient to Town Madison, Cummings Research Park and the Huntsville International Airport.
Legacy Homes’ new Trailhead Village on the eastern side of Chapman Mountain is offering chalets, bungalows and mountain lofts starting at $300,000. It is surrounded by Monte Sano State Park and offers plenty of untouched nature with biking, hiking, and walking trails.
Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing & Suppliers Expansion
Additional permitting related to Mazda Toyota Manufacturing and its suppliers has been approved and as these facilities expand in 2021, the biggest challenges they face, according to the Huntsville Madison Chamber of Commerce, is a large-scale hiring effort.
Starting wages for production team members is $17 an hour with a top growth of $23 an hour plus shift premium.
Reaching regional residents who are unemployed, underemployed, concerned about losing a current job, or searching for new careers in the automotive manufacturing industry, should contact MazdaToyota.com.
Southpoint Industrial Park Expansion
The new 400,000 square-foot spec warehouse at Southpoint Industrial Park, said to be the largest industrial building built completely on speculation in North Alabama, broke ground last August.
The new facility will provide 404,738 square feet of concrete tilt wall with a 40-foot clear height and 60-feet by 60-feet column spacing, and more than 50 dock doors.
The 11th facility built by The Hollingsworth Companies in the Southpoint Business is expected to be complete early this year. It will bring the entire industrial park to 1,962,606 square feet of industrial space. The park is along the I-565 corridor and near the Mazda Toyota plant.