Huntsville’s latest mixed-use development project – what to know

Front Row Photo Credit Torti Gallas Partners
Front Row, Huntsville’s latest mixed-use development, is a project by Rocket Development Partners. (Torti Gallas + Partner)

Downtown Huntsville seems to be changing almost daily, and some more change is on the way after an announcement Wednesday about the latest new mixed-use development coming to the area.

Rocket Development Partners, a joint venture of Essex Capital and Ascend Property Group, announced the name and first official rendering of its new mixed-use district: Front Row.

What to know about Front Row

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Front Row is a $325 million project that will encompass 11 acres. (Ascend Property Group)

You may have asked yourself over the years, “Are there places left to develop in Downtown Huntsville?” Well, Front Row will be sprawled across three sizable city blocks, converging around the Von Braun Center along Clinton Avenue at the site of the former Coca-Cola bottling plant.

Although specific details of Front Row will be announced at a later date, the devlopers did say the project will include:

  • Premier multifamily residences
  • Chef-inspired restaurants
  • Class A office spaces
  • A boutique hotel
  • An active and accessible urban plaza for community events and programming

How the project came to be

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The Huntsville City Council last summer approved the development that will become Front Row. (City of Huntsville)

The Huntsville City Council approved the project in June of 2021. The City will contribute $18 million toward the project, but not until the developer has started and/or completed its commitments.

In a presentation to Council, Shane Davis, Huntsville’s Director of Urban & Economic Development, estimated the City’s return on investment would be $25.4 million over a 10-year period.

Known officially as Big Springs Bottling, the plant closed in 2012 and was demolished two years later. The parcel is the largest downtown property available for redevelopment. It also spans two blocks and fronts three public streets – Monroe Street and Clinton and Holmes avenues.

Rocket Development Partners will be responsible for all construction and donate property to the City for right-of-way and easements as well as public mews. They will also provide a 50-year lease agreement to Huntsville for 400 spaces within the 800-space garage. The developer would also be responsible for all upkeep and maintenance of the garage.

General site work is scheduled for completion by the end of the summer, followed by the start of construction on the multifamily buildings, retail space, mews and surface parking lot. Hotel construction is anticipated to wrap up in June 2025, while office spaces and the parking garage would be completed by September 2025.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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