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Houston Firm Plans Luxury Apartments at Hays Farm

A Houston development group announced plans for a 330-unit apartment project at Hays Farm in South Huntsville.

In a news release Friday, Bomasada Group said it has acquired a 15acre site in the Hays Farm masterplan development to develop Liam at Hays Farm Apartments, a 330unit, Class A” apartment project. The company is in the design phase of Liam with construction scheduled to begin in the spring.

Bomasada specializes in developing luxury multifamily properties in secondary and tertiary markets throughout the Southeast and Southwest

We have been looking in the Huntsville market for several years as it perfectly fits our development strategy,said Bomasada President John Gilbert. We continue to be amazed by the energy of the city, the exponential job growth and the highly educated and skilled workforce. We are especially pleased to be part of the revival of South Huntsville and part of the future of Hays Farm that also includes a Publixanchored shopping center, 450 new homes, offices, restaurants, Grissom High School, and hundreds of acres of greenways, open space and water features.” 

Bomasada Chairman and CEO Stuart Fred, a board member of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, echoed Gilberts comments.

Huntsville is one of the most dynamic cities in the country,” he said. “The research and development conducted by the military and aerospace industry is remarkable. We appreciate the citys varied businesses, entrepreneurship and Southern hospitality.” 

After looking at numerous sites throughout the areaBomasada focused on Hays Farm in resurging South Huntsville.

We are thrilled to welcome Bomasada to South Huntsville,” said Huntsville City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson, who represents South Huntsville. The Liam will bring a new multifamily housing product to our area to help meet exploding market demand. It will be an important part of the Hays Farm development and play an important role in revitalizing the South Parkway.” 

Gilbert said the company learned of the Hays Farm plan last year.

We were introduced to Hays Farm late last year and immediately decided we wanted to be part of this exciting development,” he said. “The entire Hays Farm team John Hays, Jim Hays, Jeff Enfinger and Mecca Musick have been a pleasure to work with. They are creating a wonderful place to live, work and play that will leave a legacy for the city of Huntsville.” 

Bomasada also has spent the last year coordinating with City of Huntsville Business Relations Officer Harrison Diamond as well as Bekah Schmidt, executive director of the South Huntsville Main Business Association.

We have developed all over the country and Ive never seen a more open, accessible and helpful city government,Gilbert said

Freedom Real Estate, Torch Technologies, Invariant Break Ground on Mixed-Use Facility

Freedom Real Estate & Capital, Torch Technologies and Invariant Corp. have announced they will be breaking ground on a mixed-use facility in South Huntsville, with a targeted completion date in summer 2021.

The groundbreaking ceremony, cancelled due to COVID-19, was set to take place at the end of April. This new development follows the 2019 completion of Torch’s Technology Integration and Prototyping Center.

Freedom, a real estate investment company, will develop the facility at 4040 Chris Drive, and has leased the first two spaces to Torch and Invariant, with opportunity for an additional tenant. The multi-tenant building will house up to 92,000 square feet and will feature a mix of office, research and development labs, light manufacturing, assembly and integration space along with a high bay.

Torch, a 100 percent employee-owned services and solutions defense contractor founded in 2002 in Huntsville, has shown its continued commitment to the redevelopment of and investment in South Huntsville through the rapid growth of its Huntsville headquarters. Torch’s campus consisted of two buildings in 2015 and, just five years later, the company is breaking ground on its sixth building.

Rendering shows the Freedom-Torch-Invariant facility from the south parking lot.

“We are proud to work alongside the city and state in our continued efforts to improve the standard of living in our South Huntsville community,” said John Watson, president and CEO of Torch.

Invariant, a Huntsville-based engineering services and software development company founded in 2001, is expanding into the facility to support its continued growth.

“We are excited to grow and expand into this new facility that will provide our employees the resources needed to ensure quality services and products are delivered to our customers, and we are proud to be a part of Huntsville’s continuing success,” said David Anderson, president of Invariant.

The project is part of a continued effort to redevelop South Huntsville.

The city has been working to reclaim, modernize and upgrade the area along South Memorial Parkway to encourage investment and redevelopment in the area, and is seeing progress with the announcements of new projects, including Hays Farm.

“Torch has been a catalyst for South Huntsville’s revitalization since the very beginning,” said Bekah Schmidt, CEO of South Huntsville Business Main Association. “The new facility at 4040 Chris Drive is a mixed-use facility with a state-of-the-art laboratory and premier manufacturing space.

“We look forward to seeing this project completed next year and appreciate Torch’s continued investment in South Huntsville.”

Bill Roark, co-founder of Torch Technologies and CEO of Freedom Real Estate & Capital, said, “We are proud to be able to contribute to economic development and growth in South Huntsville. This community is our home, and we look forward to watching it grow and thrive for years to come.”

South Huntsville Selected for AARP Livable Community Grant

Bicycle racks featuring the South Huntsville compass logo will be popping up around the area. (Rendering by Bruce Wendendorf)

South Huntsville has been awarded an AARP Livable Community Challenge grant, the South Huntsville Main Business Association announced.

The grant is one of 159 awarded nationwide through AARP’s “quick action” grant program. The Huntsville Planning Department was instrumental in South Huntsville applying for the grant.

Funds from the grant will be used to produce more than 35 bicycle racks with the South Huntsville compass logo. Designed and created by Bruce Wendendorf, the racks will be placed in front of businesses and public places in South Huntsville.

The South Huntsville Main Business Association has partnered with Turner Construction to install the bike racks.

The racks will be installed from August to November.

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.