By Mayor Tommy Battle
No matter where you go in Huntsville, growth is everywhere you look. We’re not only growing our population, but our residential and retail bases and quality-of-life amenities, too.
Some people are coming here because their job requires it. For others, it’s because we’re no longer the best-kept secret in the South.
If you want proof of progress, look no further than South Huntsville. What’s even more amazing is that South Huntsville’s progress continued despite a global pandemic.
In 2020, we had 307 single-family residential building permits issued, almost all of which were located south of Hobbs Road. The exception was Hays Farm, a true mixed-use project combining residential and commercial development.
Commercially speaking, we issued 49 building permits to businesses in South Huntsville. Those included Torch Technologies, Sanmina SCI and a new Speedway gas station and convenience store at the corner of Memorial Parkway and Mountain Gap Road.
Not only did home sales do well, but home prices continued to rise. Just in the area around Chaffee Elementary and Haysland Road, home prices increased by about 35%. In fact, all South Huntsville neighborhoods saw some sort of price increase between 2019 and 2020.
Another growth indicator for us is Certificates of Occupancy, which are issued for both residential and commercial developments. Last year, 329 residential COs were issued in South Huntsville, most of which were on Green Mountain and south of Hobbs Road.
The reason why the number of permits and COs is impressive is because in a “normal” year, South Huntsville averages about 300 building permits and 300 residential COs. So, even in a year that was anything but “normal,” South Huntsville growth didn’t let up.
2020 was clearly a big year for home renovations, too, because we issued 181 permits for additions or alterations to existing homes. This is important because even with all our new construction, we have citizens who are continuing to invest in existing homes and businesses. That boosts the health of our neighborhoods and property values.
Looking forward, expect the pattern to continue as new subdivisions – and even some multi-family developments – are approved. The Planning Commission recently signed off on nine single-family subdivisions totaling 337 lots, the largest being the 108-lot Lakes at Aldridge development near Green Cove Road.
While there aren’t any multi-family developments under construction, two were recently approved near Green Cove Road. The developments will include a total of 374 units, though their design will be more unique compared to multi-level apartment buildings.
Now that I’ve explained how South Huntsville is booming, you’re probably wondering why. There’s a whole host of reasons. It’s still affordable and close to good schools. There’s also plenty of beautiful scenery, from mountain views to the river down at Ditto Landing.
We’re continuing to invest in outdoor amenities like our greenways and John Hunt Park. And if all that weren’t enough, Memorial Parkway offers the promise of a quick commute to just about anywhere in town.
South Huntsville has enjoyed its share of successes over the past year, but we’re seeing similar progress and growth in nearly every community. Each part of our City represents an exceptional and unique point on the Star of Alabama, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure it shines for generations to come.