The Huntsville City Council unanimously approved a massive development project in south Huntsville, bringing housing, office space, and stores to the area. The development, called the Hays Farm Village Center, is a portion of an 850-acre project.
The approved development agreement features a nine-acre community green space, along with revitalizing the old Haysland Square Shopping Center, where empty retail buildings sit along Memorial Parkway.
The space will have 200,000 square feet for retail, 50,000 square feet for office space, 200 apartments, and 200 single-family lots. According to the development agreement, 50 percent of the project must be done by December 2025. The City committed to spend $3.6 million dollars to develop the public park portion. The entire development Hylis Inc, a group managed by the Hays family in Huntsville, is a $140 million dollar project.
The City estimates to see a return of $11.25 million dollars to the taxpayer within the first three years. They say the development should have an economic impact of $450 million dollars to the area.
"Each one of these projects has a ripple effect that impacts the whole city," Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. "This adds multi-family, it adds residential, it adds retail, it adds offices."
John Hays owned the land, it's been part of his family for more than 100 years. But the Hays family will now cement a legacy in south Huntsville forever, creating the hub in the district.
"But it's time to sell the farm, because by doing that, they're able to lift up a whole area of the community," Mayor Battle said.
Construction of phase one will begin in 2020.