$70M CityCentre development should be rising by next spring on former downtown Holiday Inn site


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A large hotel-dining-apartment development on the vacant former downtown Holiday Inn site should be under construction early next spring.

According to a recently-revised contract with the city, the developers of the $70 million CityCentre at Big Spring project intend to start work first on the hotel and retail space.

The contract says developers hope to have the necessary building permits in hand by Jan. 11, 2016, and start construction exactly two months later – on March 11, 2016.

The new hotel, shops and restaurants at CityCentre – clustered around the Williams Avenue-Monroe Street intersection – are scheduled to open in January 2017.

The development team, led by RCP Companies, plans to build a boutique-style hotel with up to 150 rooms and 25,000-plus square feet of retail space overlooking the Von Braun Center and Big Spring Park.

Huntsville Urban Development Director Shane Davis said he expects the name of the hotel to be announced in the coming days.

At the developer’s request, the City Council agreed last week to subdivide the former Holiday Inn tract into two pieces.

The hotel and retail will occupy 2.82 acres on the west side of the property. The remaining 4.9 acres at the corner of Williams and Lowe avenues is earmarked for as many as 230 apartments plus 40,000 square feet of professional office space. There will be two parking decks.

Davis said RCP Companies, which is also developing the Whole Foods-anchored Shoppes at Merchants Walk on Bob Wallace Avenue, asked to subdivide the Holiday Inn site because the hotel and apartments are being done as separate joint ventures with other firms.

The timeline in the revised CityCentre contract says apartment construction will start Aug. 10, 2016, with a planned completion date of Oct. 4, 2017.

Other previously-approved contract terms between RCP and the city remain unchanged.

CRS City Centre LLC will pay the city $144,000 per year to lease the prime downtown tract. The deal runs for 99 years. Also, the developers retain an option to lease or buy another 2.6 acres next door that house Williams Aquatic Center and Scruggs Recreation Center. Both city facilities are scheduled to close after Huntsville expands Brahan Spring Park Natatorium.

The second phase of CityCentre would include another hotel with at least 100 rooms near the downtown public library.