The Big Picure: Your Study. Your Vision. Your Plan for the City of Huntsville

Downtown Master Plan

A healthy and economically viable core is extremely important to the growth of the community around it. Downtowns serve as activity centers, employment hubs, public gathering spaces, and representations of civic identity. Increasingly, cities are recognizing the roles their respective downtowns can play in improving quality of life, assisting workforce recruitment, supporting broader regional economic development, enabling the provision of housing choice, and creating a focus of civic pride.

Vision

  • Downtown Huntsville is an active, vibrant and unique destination for both local residents and out-of-town visitors.
  • Downtown Huntsville has grown significantly as an employment center and residential district.

Summary

A healthy and economically viable core is extremely important to the growth of the community around it. Downtowns serve as activity centers, employment hubs, public gathering spaces, and representations of civic identity. Increasingly, cities are recognizing the roles their respective downtowns can play in improving quality of life, assisting workforce recruitment, supporting broader regional economic development, enabling the provision of housing choice, and creating a focus of civic pride.

To realize an effective strategy for growing a Downtown, a master plan must be created and maintained. Frequent updates (every five to ten years) are important to acknowledge and respond to shifts in market and changes in development patterns. By keeping frequent updates, the master plan can focus on near-term, achievable projects that will have a real impact on how the core evolves. At its heart, the plan should look for ways to leverage public investments and efforts into larger private-sector projects that can have a transformative effect on the downtown.

Huntsville’s new downtown master plan proposes a five-year development strategy to provide a mix of residential, retail, office and entertainment uses. The plan further addresses greater pedestrian and cycling options, traffic calming, two-way streets, parking and public transit, streetscaping, size and scale of future development, connectivity with the Von Braun Center, and the location and concept for a new City Hall… Read more on the City of Huntsville’s website.

Date: June 13, 2017
Presenter: Dennis Madsen, City of Huntsville; Rob Robinson, UDA
Location: Huntsville City Hall

Download Presentation (PDF)

Date: April 6, 2017
Presenters: Dennis Madsen, City of Huntsville; Rob Robinson, UDA; Brian Phelps, Hawkins Partners, Inc.
Location: Von Braun Center, South Hall Ballroom

Renderings

These renderings give a representation of what could be developed. Click each rendering to learn more about each focus area.

Clinton-Holmes

Click to view Clinton-Holmes PDF

Fountain Circle

Click to view Fountain Circle PDF

VBC District

Click to view VBC District PDF

Northwest Gateway

Click to view Northwest Gateway PDF

Based on discussions with the public and downtown stakeholders, UDA also recommended bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements on several corridors in Downtown Huntsville.

Bike-Pedestrian Improvements (PDF)

Date: March 8, 2017
Presenters: Dennis Madsen, City of Huntsville; Rob Robinson, UDA
Location: Huntsville Museum of Art

Comments Summary (PDF)

Actions

  • Policy: The Downtown Master Plan should be revisited every five to ten years to include ‘course corrections’ and new projects to replace those completed.
  • Project: Update the existing Downtown Master Plan, focusing on the traditional core, and identifying three or four specific sub-areas for catalytic investment.
  • Project: Revisit the Plan every five to ten years to include ‘course corrections’ and new projects to replace those completed.
  • Project: Reactive Downtown Redevelopment Authority to provide additional options for incentivizing reinvestment in the core.
  • Project: Coordinate planning with the VBC to improve and add to pedestrian connections with the surrounding street network.
  • Project: Work with City Departments and DHI to identify and prioritize new streetscape projects to improve the pedestrian environment throughout the core.
  • Project: Pilot a bicycle infrastructure improvement within the Downtown, as a proof-of-concept project.
  • Project: Identify, prioritize and fund public parking decks to support the redevelopment of low-density site and surface parking. Ensure design supports ground floor commercial uses, as well as future adaptive reuse of the upper levels.
  • Project: Work with Downtown property owners and business to craft an update to the Downtown zoning classification, focusing on street-level design, massing, and aesthetics.