If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our community is resilient and adaptable to change.
Despite the ongoing health and economic impacts of COVID-19, Huntsville continues to push forward with innovation and teamwork to make our city strong.
Part of that effort includes large-scale capital projects to improve quality of life across every sector of our community. While 2021 will still have hardships, we will continue to work collaboratively to bring you places where you’ll want to live, work and play.
Here’s a quick progress update on three major developments underway in the City of Huntsville:
Amphitheater at MidCity
In late October, the City Council approved plans to build a new 8,000+ seat amphitheater within a municipal park near the MidCity development. The classic Roman-style forum is being designed with amenities to support top talent and showcase community events such as farmer’s markets, a food hall, craft fairs, educational events and more.
The $43.7 million amphitheater will be open to the public year-round and help Huntsville grow its music and culture economy. Huntsville Venue Group (HVG), a global entertainment and hospitality partner with operations in London, Austin and New York, will manage the amphitheater and develop its programming.
General Services Director Ricky Wilkson said the City’s Department of Public Works has made good progress this month on the site.
“They have completed the undercut under the future park space and have continued bringing in and compacting lifts of fill material to bring the amphitheater building pad up to subgrade,” he said.
Although recent rain has slowed progress somewhat, Wilkinson said crews should complete the amphitheater’s footprint with another week’s worth of dry weather. Construction firm Robins & Morton also plans to mobilize at the site later this month.
“They have a survey crew lined up to complete the as-built survey of the work completed by Public Works,” Wilkinson said.
The amphitheater is expected to open in early 2022.
City Hall in downtown Huntsville
Architectural firm Goodwyn Mills Cawood unveiled conceptual exterior renderings of the new City Hall to City Council last month.
Paying homage to downtown’s historic structures, the civic building will incorporate glass to allow natural light to flow in and feature two entrances that make accessing City Hall easier and more convenient for staff and the public.
The exterior renderings were the result of public sessions held earlier this year to get input on what the new City Hall should look like. While the exterior design of the building is nearly finalized, the interior is still taking shape.
“We’ve had lots of great feedback from the public and will continue to collaborate internally on how we can best utilize this municipal space for our workforce and the entire community,” Wilkinson said.
The $65 million open-office building will combine departments and promote collaboration across teams. Wilkinson hopes to finalize construction plans soon and break ground in April or May of next year.
Construction itself is expected to last approximately 18 months, with a grand opening occurring sometime in late 2022 or early 2023.
South Huntsville greenway
Another exciting project in the works includes more than two miles of new 12-foot-wide multi-use paths in South Huntsville.
Kathy Martin, director of engineering for the City, said the greenway is connected to Haysland Road, which opened to traffic in November 2020. Missed the news conference? Watch here.
Martin said the 2+ miles of new greenway will meander through six ponds and 200 acres of preserved open space. The paths will also connect to another 2.5 miles being constructed on the west side of Haysland Road within new subdivisions.
“The next phase of City work will include two new roadway connections at Edinburgh Drive and Jackson’s Bend, which will also bring greenway connectivity to the existing subdivisions in this area,” Martin said.
Additionally, the City is working on design for greenway connectivity south of Redstone Road to Ditto Landing, which would add an extra 2 miles of greenway connectivity. Stay tuned for details.
The total cost for the Haysland Road project, including the greenway, is about $8 million.