Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Business News

March 2017

Madison Hospital to undergo multimillion dollar expansion to meet demand

logo(March 17) Madison Hospital, which celebrated its fifth birthday in February, hopes to reach more patients like Gillespie's mother by adding 30 beds to the U.S. 72 facility. The more than $5 million project will break ground this summer and bring the total number of beds at Madison to 90.

Kroger delays construction on Marketplace at Bradford Creek in Huntsville

logo(March 16) Construction on Kroger's first Marketplace in North Alabama is delayed at the planned Bradford Creek neighborhood retail center in Huntsville. Kroger spokeswoman Melissa Eads said the timing of the 123,000-square-foot store on the southeast corner of U.S. 72 and County Line Road is still to be determined. The supermarket was originally slated to open in late summer or early fall of 2017.

Publix-anchored Pinnacle at Providence coming soon to Huntsville

logo(March 15) A new Publix-anchored shopping center will begin taking shape soon in Huntsville. Bob Peck, vice president of development for Watkins Real Estate Group in Atlanta, said Pinnacle at Providence will break ground near the Madison County 911 Center and the North Alabama Dance Center at the intersection of Oakwood and Johns/Old Monrovia roads. Pinnacle at Providence will feature a 45,000-square-foot Publix grocery store, 14,000 square feet of local shop space and one outparcel. The $12 million project should be operational early next year.

LINE-X launches new corporate headquarters in Huntsville to meet demand

logo(March 1) LINE-X is expanding in a big way this spring with a new location near Huntsville International Airport. The company recently built a new 60,000-square-foot corporate facility on 301 James Record Road to accommodate its growing business. The structure is more than 20,000 square feet larger than the previous location on Sparkman Drive.

Ascent acquires Huntsville Marriott, will invest in $10 million remodel

logo(March 1) A hotel near the U.S. Space and Rocket Center will soon get a big makeover. The Huntsville Marriott on 5 Tranquility Base was recently acquired by Ascent Hospitality of Buford, Ga., the company announced last week. Ascent said it will spend $10 million remodeling the property's guest and meeting rooms, public spaces, and pool and lobby areas.

February 2017

Toyota produces 5 million engines at Alabama manufacturing plant

logo(February 24) The 5 millionth engine rolled off the assembly line Friday at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Huntsville. That's enough engines to stretch from Huntsville to Los Angeles, and to supply just about every registered vehicle in Alabama.

TownePlace Suites opening this week at Redstone Gateway in Huntsville

logo(February 16) Redstone Gateway visitors will soon have a new hotel option in Huntsville. Team Redstone announced today that TownePlace Suites Huntsville West/Redstone Gateway will open Friday outside of Gate 9 at Redstone Arsenal. The extended-stay property features 120 rooms with kitchenettes, free breakfast and Wi-Fi, an on-site market, fitness and laundry facilities and a business center for guests to use.

North Huntsville Industrial Park Phase III achieves AdvantageSite designation

logo(February 10) Officials hope a site designation near the Toyota engine plant will lead to new jobs and development in north Huntsville. The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County hosted a news conference Friday announcing the 67-acre North Huntsville Industrial Park - Phase III has been named an Alabama AdvantageSite, a program that requires economic development organizations to provide documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status.

Navistar engine plant under new ownership in Huntsville

logo(February 10) The old Navistar International engine plant in Huntsville is under new ownership. Tuscaloosa-based Pate Holdings said it closed on the purchase of the building in Jetplex Industrial Park near Huntsville International Airport on Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 55-acre property spans more than 555,000 square feet and can accommodate manufacturing, warehouse and logistics work. Pate Holdings owner Stan Pate said the facility is among the best available industrial sites in the Southeast.

Chuy's, ULTA coming to new Huntsville retail project

logo(February 3) A Tex-Mex restaurant founded in Austin will launch at a new project at Bob Wallace Avenue and Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. RCP Companies Director Odie Fakhouri confirmed Chuy's will open a 7,100-square-foot eatery in 2018 at Merchants Square, a proposed development across from the Whole Foods-anchored Shops at Merchants Walk. Chuy's operates 80 full-service restaurants across 16 states and has two locations in Alabama.

January 2017

System for Work Skills Maximized

Alabama’s workforce development system — grounded in input from industry — gets a streamlining that communicates clearly in its newly branded voice, AlabamaWorks

(Business Alabama, January, 2017) Last November, the Alabama Workforce Council and its partners unveiled a new state-wide initiative aiming to offer a more unified way for companies and skilled job seekers to connect and for students to locate available education and training opportunities.

New Huntsville development to bring 3 new-to-market restaurants

logo(Jan. 27) A new development on Bob Wallace Avenue promises three restaurants new to the Huntsville market, city officials said Thursday night.

The city council agreed to spend $3 million on a parking deck at the site of the development at Bob Wallace and Memorial Parkway across from the Merchants Walk development anchored by Whole Foods27

Huntsville will be 'wowed' with Topgolf anchoring MidCity project

logo(Jan. 12) Topgolf will build a $20 million facility at the new MidCity mixed-use development planned for the site of Madison Square Mall, providing the entertainment anchor to the project. That's according to Shane Davis, director of urban development for the city of Huntsville. Topgolf, an indoor golf driving range featuring other entertainment aspects as well, announced Thursday it was locating at MidCity and providing 325 full- and part-time jobs.

Long-awaited groundbreaking set for downtown Huntsville development

logo(Jan. 3) A formal groundbreaking for a long-awaited development project in downtown Huntsville has been set for next week, perhaps signaling a move forward in efforts to re-shape a high-profile spot near the Von Braun Center. The groundbreaking ceremony at CityCentre, to be located on the site of the now-demolished Holiday Inn on Williams Avenue at Monroe Street, will take place Jan. 10 at 2 p.m.

December 2016

UAH to begin construction on $32 million residence hall, expand campus greenway

logo(Dec. 14) Construction is set to begin on a new residence hall on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. That construction will also result in the permanent closure of part of Charger Way. UAH will break ground on the second phase of Charger Village, a 400-bed residence hall with a $32.6 million price tag that is expected to be completed in June 2018.

'Precision medicine' for each patient is focus of new HudsonAlpha biotech center

logo(Dec. 13) Gov. Robert Bentley broke ground in Huntsville Tuesday on a new biotech center that will use the genetic profiles of patients to provide "precision medicine" designed for them. Bentley, a physician, said the center's work "may be more important" than the Saturn V moon rocket developed in Huntsville, because it is "helping the lives of people in this state, and in this country, and in this world."

HudsonAlpha biotech institute adding 100,000-square-foot building

logo(Dec. 9) The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will break ground Dec. 13 on a new 100,000-square-foot building on its biotech campus in Huntsville, Ala. The new building will house "several new and expanding life sciences companies," the institute said Friday, plus parts of the institute's research, educational outreach, genomic medicine and data-processing programs.

Project at Madison Square Mall site could mean $250 million to Huntsville

logo(Dec. 6) The planned mixed-use development at the site of a downtrodden Huntsville mall is expected to net the city more than $200 million in tax revenue, according to a study. The revenue study of MidCity Huntsville, recently completed by Robert Charles Lessor & Co., said that the tax revenue would be generated over a 20-year period, according to Odie Fakhouri, director of RCP Companies, which is developing the project.

Verizon to add 300 full-time jobs at Huntsville call center

logo(Dec. 5) Verizon on Monday announced plans to hire up to 300 full-time employees throughout 2017 at its Huntsville call center. The wireless communication company will hold an onsite career fair Saturday at its Huntsville call center at 475 Quality Circle.

Toyota taps new president for Huntsville engine plant

logo(Dec. 5) David Fernandes will be the new president of Toyota Motor North America's Huntsville engine plant, beginning next month. The company made the announcement today. Fernandes said in a statement that he is "grateful and humbled for the opportunity."

LASIK center to anchor development at former Huntsville Times site

logo(Dec. 2) The mixed-use development planned for the former site of The Huntsville Times has plans for office space, retail and restaurants, according to a Huntsville realtor. Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate, which first announced the planned development last month at the former home of The Times at 2317 Memorial Parkway South, said the project would be developed by Huntsville ophthalmologist Danny Lee.

November 2016

Redevelopment Seeks to Preserve and Respect West Huntsville’s Rich History and Diversity

(Nov. 27) A rich part of Huntsville’s history will continue to be an essential part of its future, thanks to a new West Huntsville neighborhood development and partnership with a community company that “is a combination of vision and concrete,” according to Bill Kling, Huntsville City Councilman for District 4.

Boeing bringing 400 jobs to Huntsville, investing $70 million in Rocket City

logo(Nov. 15) Boeing announced Tuesday plans to bring about 400 jobs to Huntsville in a move celebrated by Mayor Tommy Battle as reflecting the talented high-tech workforce in the Rocket City. Boeing also said it plans to make capital investments in Huntsville of about $70 million by 2020.

AT&T bringing 'ultra-fast' fiber internet to Birmingham area

logo(Nov. 15) AT&T announced today "ultra-fast" fiber internet is now available in the Birmingham area. The service will cost $90 for one GB per second as a standalone service and is similar to another recently offered in Huntsville. It can be cheaper when bundled with other offers from AT&T.

Study: Boeing contributes about $2.2 billion to Alabama economy

logo(Nov. 2) The Boeing Company is responsible for more than $2 billion in economic impact to Alabama, according to a study from the University of Alabama's Center for Business and Economic Research. That figure, coming in the company's 100th year of business, is just the surface, however. Jim Chilton, president of Boeing's Network and Space Systems, said Boeing has made a longterm investment in Alabama and Huntsville.

Polaris impact on Alabama economy: $2 billion

logo(Nov. 1) They came from Montgomery and Washington D.C. to throw bouquets at Polaris, heralding the formal grand opening of its new manufacturing plant in Huntsville as an economic windfall to the state. Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce, described the financial impact of the facility that plans to eventually employ 1,700 people at the Huntsville plant as more than $2 billion over 20 years.

October 2016

Get the latest on 4 anticipated mixed-use projects in the Huntsville area

logo(Oct. 24) Some of Huntsville's top developers gathered last week to discuss the future of the area's most anticipated mixed-use projects. David and Todd Slyman of The Village of Providence and The Village at Oakland Springs joined Sealy Management operators Charlie and Sasha Sealy at a luncheon Thursday with Leadership Huntsville/Madison County in Cummings Research Park. Wesley Crunkleton, principal of Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group, also spoke on the panel about his firm's projects in downtown Huntsville.

Marshalls moving from Huntsville to new store next to Fresh Market in Madison

logo(Oct. 14) Marshalls is expanding this fall with a new location next to The Fresh Market under development on U.S. 72 at North Madison Corners. The off-price chain said Friday it will move from its current location on 6275 University Drive in Huntsville to the shopping center on 7950 U.S. 72 West in Madison. The official grand opening is set for 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 27.

Developer fielding interest in new Kroger-anchored shopping center in Madison

logo(Oct. 14) Sembler Company is fielding interest from tenants since Kroger unveiled its new grocery store last month at Midtown Marketplace in Madison. Steve Althoff, senior vice president of leasing for the retail development and management firm, said pre-opening sales at 9Round and other tenant success stories have also generated enthusiasm about the $20.5 million project at Wall Triana Highway and Browns Ferry Road.

AT&T launches fiber internet in Huntsville, Madison

logo(Oct. 11) AT&T announced its launch of ultra-fast internet service in the Huntsville area on Tuesday, fulfilling a promise it made late last year. Officials would not say how many customers nor which specific geographic areas would have access to the fiber internet. But it will cover parts of Huntsville and Madison as well as stretching beyond those city limits into Madison County.

September 2016

HDT expansion bringing 123 jobs, $4 million investment to Limestone County

logo(Sept. 27) HDT Expeditionary Systems will create more than 120 jobs when it transfers manufacturing operations from Buena Vista, Va., to a new facility in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, the Chamber of Commerce and other leaders gathered this morning on 5951 Endeavor Way to make the announcement involving HDT, which produces state-of-the-art shelters, generators, heaters, air filtration devices, robotics and other technologies for the military, civilian government and commercial industries.

4 new businesses coming to Bridge Street in Huntsville by late 2016

logo(Sept. 26) Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville will end 2016 on a high note as several local and national brands expand at the mixed-use development. Van Geroux, spokesman for the outdoor lifestyle center, said Moe's Southwest Grill will launch a 2,128-square-foot restaurant between Michael Kors and Steel City Pops. Anna Cate, a locally-owned fashion jewelry shop, is also opening a 1,500-square-foot store next to Kona Grill, which debuts in October.

Academy Plaza will feature sporting goods store, additional retail in Huntsville

logo(Sept. 23) The former Walmart property at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Drake Avenue in Huntsville will not sit empty for much longer. Tom Mirandi, vice president of real estate at RD Management, said tenant announcements are expected in early 2017 at Academy Plaza, a brand new project to be anchored by Academy Sports + Outdoors and surrounded by 36,000 square feet of additional mid-sized retail space.

Fresh Market project at old Star Market facility underway in Madison

logo(Sept. 22) Fresh Market will open its first specialty grocery store next year in Madison, a city leader told today. Mary Beth Broeren, director of planning and economic development for the City of Madison, said the North Carolina retailer is expanding at the old Star Market building on 7950 U.S. 72 West. The property at North Madison Corners has been empty since Star Market closed at the site in October 2014.

Environmental approval paves way for interchange, Town Madison growth

logo(Sept. 20) Big changes are underway for the proposed interchange at Interstate 565 near Zierdt Road. Officials announced this morning the Alabama Department of Transportation and U.S. Federal Highway Administration have authorized the Environmental Assessment Document for the interchange, allowing leaders to move forward on the final design with construction slated to begin in January.

August 2016

lululemon athletica expanding this fall at The Shops at Merchants Walk

logo(Aug. 10) A yoga and fitness clothing retailer will expand this fall with its first flagship store in north Alabama. lululemon athletica will transition in November from a small showroom at The Shops at Merchants Walk to a 2,600-square-foot store with a larger selection of clothing for men and women. The shop will operate next to future tenant Local Taco in Suite 313 on the lower level of the building at South Memorial Parkway and Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville.

First look: Details, renderings of MidCity at Madison Square Mall in Huntsville

logo(Aug. 8) Thirty-two years ago this month, the hallways of Madison Square were overflowing with guests as the area's first regional Super Mall celebrated its grand opening in the Rocket City. It's a different, but hopeful story today at the struggling shopping center on busy University Drive.

Non-stop Huntsville to New Orleans flights coming in September

logo(Aug. 8) New Orleans-based GLO will begin offering nonstop flights from Huntsville International Airport (HSV) to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in September. The 3-year-old regional carrier made the announcement today on 1000 Glenn Hearn Boulevard with Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong and other north Alabama business leaders. The Huntsville market is the fifth U.S. city where GLO is providing nonstop service to New Orleans.

Brown Precision expands Alabama presence with $7M project

(Aug. 4) ATMORE, Alabama – Huntsville-based Brown Precision Inc. plans to invest $7 million to open a manufacturing facility in Southwest Alabama’s rapidly expanding aerospace corridor, officials said this morning. Brown Precision’s new facility in Atmore’s Rivercane Industrial Park will create more than 100 jobs, said Mayor Jim Staff, who welcomed the company at a joint meeting of the City Council and the Atmore Industrial Development Board.

Three Alabama cities have among lowest cost of living in the nation

(Aug. 4) Three of Alabama largest cities, Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile, are among the top 25 places in the nation with the lowest cost of living, according to the website Niche, with the Rocket City and state capital cracking the top 10. Huntsville is ranked fourth in the “2016 Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living,” trailing Ft. Wayne, Ind., which tops the list; Evansville, Ind., at No. 2; and Odessa, Texas, which is third.

Multi-million dollar development to take shape this fall in downtown Huntsville

logo(Aug. 2) A new mixed-use development will soon begin taking shape in a vacant corner lot in the heart of downtown Huntsville. Huntsville real estate firm Crunkleton & Associates said a groundbreaking ceremony will be held this fall for 225 Holmes, a 32,000-square-foot retail and office project across the street from Below the Radar, Old Town Beer Exchange and Sip, which is currently under construction.

Toyota Alabama engine plant marks 15 years of growth

(Aug. 1) The Toyota Alabama engine plant marked its 15th anniversary last week, celebrating an era that has brought great growth in size, skill and significance for the Huntsville facility and its workforce. The $864 million plant has expanded four times since its groundbreaking in summer 2001, and now produces six times as many engines as it did at its 2003 startup. The lineup has grown from one V-8 engine model to a variety of 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines.

July 2016

Polaris begins producing vehicles at new Alabama factory

logo(July 21) Polaris Industries began producing on- and off-road vehicles at its new Limestone County factory 18 months after announcing plans to expand to Alabama. The Minnesota powersports leader said Wednesday in a second-quarter earnings call it began making Polaris RANGER vehicles in early June and Slingshots at the beginning of July. The plant, located on 7049 Greenbrier Parkway N.W. in a Huntsville-annexed portion of the county, currently has 423 workers with the potential to employ up to 2,000 in a few years.

Verizon to hire 60 call center workers for Alabama state headquarters

logo(July 14) Dozens of customer service jobs will be up for grabs next week at the Verzion Wireless call center in Huntsville. The telecommunications provider will host a job fair from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday on 475 Quality Circle in Thornton Research Park. Verizon is looking to fill more than 60 full-time Customer Service Representative positions for the campus, which is the company's state headquarters.

Alabama aircraft expansion may create up to 200 new jobs

logo(July 8) The construction of a new hangar and support facility in Meridianville may increase Yulista's local workforce by as many as 200 employees. The company broke ground this morning on a 60,000-square-foot aviation hangar and 20,000-square-foot support facility at Huntsville Executive Airport, formerly known as Madison County Executive Airport on 100 Bolling Road

June 2016

Aerojet Rocketdyne to establish Defense Business Unit headquarters in Alabama

logo(June 27) Aerojet Rocketdyne will establish its new Defense Business Unit headquarters in the Rocket City. The company announced the change this morning in a news release, saying it will also move its Defense Advanced Programs, known as the Rocket Shop, to Huntsville in an effort to be closer to the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Army, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Chamber, UAH sign agreement to boost business opportunities in north Alabama

logo(June 27) A longstanding partnership between the Chamber of Commerce in Huntsville and UAH was formalized today, allowing both organizations to focus on expanding business opportunities across the region. Chamber President/CEO Chip Cherry and UAH President Robert Altenkirch signed a Memorandum of Agreement to recruit industry, support entrepreneurs and cultivate new economic development projects in the Huntsville/Madison County community.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Polaris up and running in Limestone

(THE NEWS COURIER, June 22) It didn't happen with much external fanfare or fireworks, but the first Ranger all-terrain vehicle rolled off the Polaris assembly line in Limestone County earlier this month. Production on the Ranger line began June 1, according to Eric Blackwell, senior director of operations at the 725,000-plus-square foot manufacturing facility on Greenbrier Road. Production on the Slingshot line is set to begin July 6.

Yulista to break ground on hangar, support facility at Alabama airport

logo(June 21) Another company is expanding soon at Huntsville Executive Airport, formerly known as Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville. Yulista said it will break ground July 8 on a 60,000-square-foot aviation hangar and 20,000-square-foot support facility at the airport on 100 Bolling Road. The Yulista M5 Hangar should be fully operational a year after breaking ground and may double the company's aviation workforce in the Huntsville/Madison County community.

From Cotton Field to Engine Capital of the World: Toyota Alabama Operates on All Cylinders
Celebrating 15 years of building engines and community

(BUSINESS WIRE, June 21) Huntsville has long been known for engines…rocket engines that is. But today, it is well on its way to earning the title as "engine capital of the world" thanks to the more than 4.5 million engines produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

CityCentre announces AC Hotels construction timeline, artisanal food hall

logo(June 16) Work will begin this month on a new-to-Alabama hotel at one of the city's most anticipated projects in downtown Huntsville. RCP Companies and Yedla Hotel Management confirm grading will start before the end of June on AC Hotels by Marriott, a proposed 150-unit boutique hotel at CityCentre at Big Spring at the old Holiday Inn site, which was razed in January 2015. Vertical construction will follow early this fall.

GE Aviation breaking ground Thursday on $200 million factories

logo(June 15) Gov. Robert Bentley and GE Aviation leaders and Huntsville officials will break ground Thursday on two factories that will cost over $200 million to build and when operating will employee 300 people. The factories will produce silicon carbide materials used to manufacture ceramic matrix composite components for jet engines and land-based gas turbines.

Major Huntsville economic development announcement: Greenbrier land is official TVA megasite

logo(June 15) A Limestone County property passed over by Volkswagen eight years ago may soon bring thousands of new jobs to the Tennessee Valley. The Chamber of Commerce joined the Tennessee Valley Authority, City of Huntsville and Limestone County Commission on Wednesday to announce a 1,252-acre site off Powell Road in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County has been officially declared a TVA Megasite. In fall 2011, Huntsville leaders began gathering data needed to have the Greenbrier Road land certified as a TVA Megasite, the same program that helped Chattanooga, Tenn., land Volkswagen's first U.S. automotive plant over Huntsville.

Boeing to create 70 Alabama jobs with expansion of PAC-3 program

logo(June 9) Dozens of new jobs are coming to north Alabama next year as Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems expands in Huntsville. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to kick off the construction of a new 28,000-square-foot building for Boeing's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Seeker program on 499 Boeing Boulevard near Port of Huntsville. The expansion will create about 70 full-time engineering and manufacturing jobs.

Inside the Works: Boeing’s New R&D Center

(Business Alabama, June) This July, Boeing is celebrating its 100th year by developing new products and services “for the next 100 years,” says Steve Swaine, director of Support & Analytics Technology, who leads Boeing Research & Technology Alabama in Huntsville.

May 2016

Torch Technologies nationally ranked as a 'Great Place to Work'

(WAAYTV,, May 31) Fast-growing engineering services company Torch Technologies is receiving national recognition from Fortune Magazine. "We were selected as one of 20 companies nationally as a Best Workplace for Consulting and Professional Services," says Torch chief operating officer Scott Parker. Fortune Magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute ranked Torch in 17th place. It was the only Huntsville company to make the national survey, which uses anonymous employee surveys to rank the top workplaces.

Future of Madison Square Mall very different under redevelopment plan

logo(May 26) The long-awaited redevelopment of Madison Square Mall in Huntsville is one step closer to reality. The Huntsville City Council voted Thursday to approve an urban renewal and development agreement between the city and Mid-City Owner, LLC, to revitalize the Madison Square area, which has struggled in recent years with higher crime, declining property values and low mall occupancy.

Research Park master plan will transform economic engine in Huntsville

logo(May 23) Cummings Research Park will look very different under guidelines listed in a new master plan presented today by the Chamber of Commerce in Huntsville. Nearly nine months after hiring architecture and design firm Perkins+Will (P+W) to lead the master planning process, the Chamber unveiled a new blueprint for CRP, the second-largest research park in the U.S. and fourth-largest in the world.

City of Huntsville Earns Aaa Credit Rating for 8th Straight Year

(City of Huntsville, May 19) The City of Huntsville received good news this week from Moody’s Investors Service. The Wall Street credit rating agency awarded Huntsville Aaa status for the eighth straight year. The triple-A rating is the highest a city can achieve, and is awarded to a minority of government entities in the nation. Less than six percent municipal and county governments across America receive the top ranking.

Huntsville Chamber releases report on state of the regional economy

logo(May 19) A new study by UAH shows the future is looking bright for one of the 40 fastest-growing major U.S. metros in north Alabama. The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County recently commissioned a regional study analyzing the impact of the 68 economic development projects announced by the Chamber from 2013-15. The report focuses on projects within Madison County, as well as the contiguous counties of Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and Lincoln County, Tenn.

Town Madison seeks new retail developer; master plan expected soon

logo(May 17) The developer of Town Madison has terminated its contract with the project, but hopes to maintain a relationship with Breland Companies for future growth. Sembler Company Vice President of Development Josh Beyer confirmed the company is no longer developing Town Madison, which will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the Southeast with 500 acres and more than two miles of Interstate frontage.

Mountain High Outfitters to hold grand opening at Whole Foods project

logo(May 4) Mountain High Outfitters will celebrate its 10th location this week at the new Shops at Merchants Walk development near downtown Huntsville. The outdoor retailer, which debuted at Bridge Street Town Centre in 2007, will hold a grand opening ceremony Saturday. The opening will begin at 8:30 a.m. with yoga, followed by a stand-up paddleboard customer demo at Ditto Landing at 11.

April 2016

Alabama innovation awards finalists named

logo(April 25) The search for Alabama's top innovation achievements in business is down to 11 finalists. The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama on Monday announced the 11 finalists for the 2016 Alabama Innovation Awards.

Alabama projects produce 19,000 jobs, $7.1 billion in investment last year

logo(April 22) Mercedes-Benz and Polaris Industries were among Alabama's top companies planning new facilities or expanding their operations in 2015. Gov. Robert Bentley and the Alabama Department of Commerce released today the state's 2015 New & Expanding Industry Report, which shows there were a total of 19,262 jobs and $7.1 billion in investment announced last year. The report does not include data on incentives tied to projects.

March 2016

Dream Chaser spaceship seems on a glide path to landing in Alabama

logo(March 31) Huntsville is "the only community" where Colorado space company Sierra Nevada is planning to land its Dream Chaser spaceship anytime soon, company officials said Thursday. To build on that commitment, city leaders took new steps Thursday to develop a market for the company's mini-space shuttle that flies to orbit atop an Alabama rocket and lands on a runway like an airplane. They held a workshop in Huntsville on the space marketplace of tomorrow that drew 70 people from business, government and academia. honors 6 Alabama beer makers, retailers

logo(March 31) Several beer-centric Alabama businesses are celebrating big honors this year by Huntsville-based Straight to Ale's Laika Russian Imperial Stout was named the state's best beer, while Fairhope Brewing Co. was dubbed Alabama's leading brewery in a list of top beers, brewers and new brewers by subregion.

Three counties account for half the growth in Alabama

logo(March 30) Alabama is growing at the edges. Baldwin County at the Gulf, Madison County on the Tennessee border and Lee County along the Georgia line combined to account for 49 percent of the residential growth in the state since 2010. In recent years, Baldwin, Madison and Lee have continued to add thousands of residents each year. And there are no signs of slowing in the latest reports.

Huntsville high-tech startup RadioBro opens Germany office

Alabama Department of Commerce (March 10) HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – RadioBro Corp., a start-up firm that makes miniature electronics systems for airplanes and spacecraft, has opened an office in Bremen, Germany, as it targets connections in the European aerospace industry.

New master plan this spring promises big changes for Cummings Research Park

logo(March 4) The new master plan for Cummings Research Park is on schedule for a spring debut as officials wrap up final plans for the technology hub in Huntsville. CRP Director Erin Koshut said there are about six weeks left in the master planning process, which began in September with help from architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. A new plan proposing big changes is expected in early- to mid-April.

More details on new-to-Alabama hotel, CityCentre project in downtown Huntsville

logo(March 4)A fast-growing hotel brand with Spanish roots will be the first tenant to break ground this year at CityCentre at Big Spring in downtown Huntsville. AC Hotels by Marriott will anchor the $100 million mixed-use project across from Big Spring International Park and the Von Braun Center. The 150-room facility will begin taking shape in May/June and be run by Yedla Management Company, which owns and operates Starwood, Marriott and Hilton franchises.

February 2016

Garage at Clinton Row will support growing retail corridor in downtown Huntsville

logo(Feb. 26) Leaders hope a project in downtown Huntsville will bring new life to the area by supporting existing retailers in and bringing traffic to the city center. Crunkleton & Associates said a small section of the first floor of the Clinton Avenue parking deck will be transformed into five or six retail parcels spanning about 7,500 square feet near UG White, Kaffeeklatsch, The Bottle/Humphrey's and The Clinton Row Project.

Huntsville technology incubator wins millions in grants from Obama administration

logo(Feb. 23) A technology business incubator at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is one step closer to reality after receiving a $500,000 grant from the Obama administration. Jay Williams, assistant secretary for economic development for the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), visited the college Monday to talk about the $9 million Innovation to Invention Center (I2C), which will provide office and lab space to startups from the university and surrounding 15-county region.

Huntsville Utilities OKs, spells out Google Fiber deal

logoHuntsville Utilities Electric Board unanimously approved a rate schedule and agreements Tuesday to bring Google Fiber to Huntsville as early as mid-2017. Board members also heard a review of the deals' highlights.

Sierra Nevada unveils plans for new aircraft facility, 200 jobs in Alabama

logo(Feb. 17) Monday was a big day for economic development in Madison County. Phase I rendering of the new Sierra Nevada facility. Huntsville first announced it will be the 10th city in the U.S. to become a "GIG City" with gigabit-speed, fiber optic Internet and television service from Google Fiber. Then, Sierra Nevada said it will create 200 jobs with a new aircraft and modernization facility at the Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville.

Google Fiber to Huntsville: Everything you need to know about the Gig City announcement

WHNT (Feb. 22) City leaders and Google representatives announced Monday morning that Google Fiber will bring its service to Huntsville. The announcement ends years of searching for an internet provider to help the city accomplish Mayor Tommy Battle’s goal of ensuring all citizens have access to gigabit internet.

Google Fiber is bringing its ultra-fast Internet service to Huntsville

logo(Feb. 22) Google Fiber is bringing its gigabit-speed, fiber optic Internet and television service to Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle announced today. Starting in mid-2017, Google will begin connecting homes and small- to mid-sized businesses to the Internet at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second – up to 85 times faster than average current speeds in the United States. Citywide service is expected in four years.

Why did Google Fiber choose a city in Alabama for its ultra high-speed Internet?

logo(Feb. 22) Before you get tangled up in the acronym of TEDAC, allow U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby to provide a translation. "This is a good day for the American people, a good

'A bad day for terrorists' as explosives center opens at Redstone Arsenal

logo(Feb. 16) Before you get tangled up in the acronym of TEDAC, allow U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby to provide a translation. "This is a good day for the American people, a good day for law-abiding people all over the world," Shelby said. "But this is a bad day for terrorists, I'll tell you that."

Research Park East to undergo 'urban renewal' as city targets priority zones in Huntsville

logo(Feb. 18, 2016) The original and oldest section of Cummings Research Park is on a path toward vibrancy as leaders work to reverse further decline in the city of Huntsville's largest economic engine. With vacancies on the rise and companies moving out due to deteriorated and aging conditions, Research Park East is at a crossroads as officials take a hard look at the 500-acre hub serving thousands of employees specializing in engineering, technology, research and design.

Toyota Alabama sets records as it works to be the 'engine capital of the world'

logo(Feb. 16, 2016) 2015 was a milestone year for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama as the plant produced more than 631,000 engines, a 3.5 percent increase over 2014. The Huntsville facility on Cottonvalley Drive also built its 4 millionth engine in September, just a little more than a year after completing its latest $80 million expansion to machine parts for V6 engines for the Toyota Tacoma and Lexus RX. The project created 125 new jobs.

Farm Burger opens first Alabama restaurant Monday in Huntsville

logo(Feb. 12, 2016) Farm Burger's first Alabama restaurant will launch Monday morning at the new Shops at Merchants Walk development in Huntsville. The 2,300-square-foot grass-fed burger joint will open at 11:30 a.m. at 930 Bob Wallace Ave., Building 200, Suite 219, near Whole Foods. It will be Farm Burger's seventh location, joining restaurants in Georgia (Decatur, Buckhead and Dunwoody), North Carolina (Asheville), and California (Berkeley and Marin).

$8.3 million senior apartment community under development in north Huntsville

logo(Feb. 10, 2016) A new apartment complex for senior citizens is in the works in Huntsville. Each unit will have energy-efficient appliances and its own emergency call system. Tenants will have access to other amenities, including Wi-Fi, a computer center, picnic area with grills, gazebo, playground, community room, and fitness area with equipment.

2 Alabama cities among the country's Best Mid-sized Cities to Make a Living

logo(Feb. 9, 2016) Only one Alabama city is among Money Geek's top-five Best Mid-sized Cities to Make a Living in the U.S. Huntsville ranked No. 3 on the list, which includes cities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 that have "relatively low costs of living and high salaries to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck."

GATR Technologies of Huntsville acquired for $232.5 million

logo(Feb. 3, 2016) A California company has officially acquired GATR Technologies in Huntsville. Cubic Corporation of San Diego announced Wednesday it received regulatory approval this week to purchase GATR for $232.5 million. The Huntsville business will now operate within the Cubic Global Defense business unit.

Huntsville adds 1,400 construction jobs as industry struggles with worker shortage

logo(Feb. 2, 2016) Construction jobs are on the rise in the Huntsville area despite a growing worker shortage across the nation. The Associated General Contractors of America announced Tuesday the Huntsville metro was among the fastest-growing in the nation last year with the addition of 1,400 new jobs between December 2014 and December 2015.

Huntsville named the best affordable city in the U.S.

logo(Feb. 1, 2016) A new study ranks Huntsville as one of the cheapest cities you'd actually want to live in in 2016. has named the Rocket City the most affordable in the U.S. The website created the list using five criteria: median household income, income equality, consumer spending, entertainment options and economic conditions.


January 2016

Alabama tech business makes Forbes' America's Best Small Companies list

logo(Jan. 28) A technology hardware and equipment business in Huntsville is among Forbes' "small giants" in the magazine's America's Best Small Companies list. Torch Technologies was the only Alabama company to make the inaugural ranking, which includes 25 firms that "have chosen to be great, instead of big."

Remington exceeds hiring, wage milestones at new Alabama gun plant

logo(Jan. 27) Remington Outdoor has exceeded its hiring and wage milestones at its new advanced manufacturing and research and development center in Huntsville. A report from the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County shows the firearm maker had 324 employees as of Aug. 31 with an average hourly wage nearly $10 higher than stated in the development agreement between the company, City of Huntsville and state. Remington was required to create at least 280 full-time positions by the close of the second project year ending Feb. 28.

Fresh Market coming to old Star Market building? City of Madison says yes

logo(Jan. 20) The former Star Market building in Madison will get new life when The Fresh Market opens a specialty grocery store there in the future. Mary Beth Broeren, director of planning and economic development for the City of Madison, said the North Carolina retailer will open a 25,000-square-foot store at the U.S. 72 West property, which has been vacant since Star Market closed in October 2014.

Thrive at Jones Farm senior living community breaks ground in Huntsville

logo(Jan. 19) A new two-story senior living facility officials say will be unlike any other in the area is coming to Jones Valley later this year. Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living broke ground Tuesday on Thrive at Jones Farm, a 93-unit assisted living and memory care community on Cecil Ashburn Drive by Mellow Mushroom. The site, located near the intersection of Four Mile Post Road and Carl T. Jones Drive Southeast, is a joint venture between Thrive Senior Living, local investors and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital.

NASA boosts Alabama's chances of landing Dream Chaser spaceship in Huntsville

logo(Jan. 14) NASA'S award of an International Space Station resupply contract to Sierra Nevada Corp. of Colorado today increases the chance the company's Dream Chaser spaceship will one day land in Alabama at the Huntsville International Airport, officials said.