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Old 01-17-2008, 02:15 PM
Location: Albany, GA (Hell's Waiting Room)
602 posts, read 1,766,348 times
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Originally Posted by 33458 View Post
(Flourchild - the area seems stable and firmly middleclass...got McMansions being built higher on the hill and the older, possibly less-affluent neighborhoods below...am hoping the information about Lee being slated for reconstruction is correct...not sure if my toddler will be in Public or Private school yet...)
In that area, I'd go private if I were you. I can recommend Epworth as a good place to send your toddler; my son LOVED it there.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:32 PM
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,496,163 times
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Keep in mind that closing a homeless shelter in a bad neighborhood isn't a solution to a problem. The homeless don't go away, they end up sleeping on the streets and begging for alms and that just makes things worse.

Then some busybody comes along and makes it illegal to be homeless and suddenly you are criminalizing and arresting people for having no home or money while removing the stepping stones (like showers and clean clothes) to make it possible for them to stop being homeless.

To paraphrase an old adage, if you close a door, you gotta open a window. Shuffling a problem to another district is great grandstanding for a local politician but doesn't serve the overall community. Show me a politician reducing the need for homeless shelters by getting the residents back to work, and THEN I'll be impressed.

But Huntsville does not benefit from a sprawling county outside its borders. It must focus on itself from the center out or suffer the fate of city like Birmingham where many of the neighborhoods are boarded up with little hope of reviving.
Very nicely said.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:19 PM
4,740 posts, read 8,770,238 times
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NicoleC - Councilman's Kling point is that the Lowe Mill area (and SW HSV) has been dumped on and needs help (as noted by deesonic). IMO it is poised to become the 'hip' neighborhood, because it has ample commercial space and housing - Five Points does not have that much convenient commercial space...

Not disagreeing with you about the homeless, but removing that impediment to redevelopment is a big issue with his constituents. Personally, I would advocate for opening a shelter near Oakwood and the Parkway, closer to DHR (and on the bus line).
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:51 AM
1,063 posts, read 1,768,537 times
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Originally Posted by financelife View Post
OMG, are you ppl even from Huntsville? Think about it, and you will figure out that ppl in Huntsville (majority) don't care about a thriving downtown. Even if lofts were built, why would someone pay $150K when they can get a nice subdivision for that or a little more?

Also, demographically, downtown nightlife is not high on most people's lists, which is why there has never been a real downtown area for Huntsville. It's not NY, or ATL or Chicago, and I don't think ppl really want it to be like that. The only reason the city is trying to do something about it is because YOUNG people for the most part don't want to move here because the lack of some of these things. However, take a survey, and you will find people in Huntsville to be living simply. The city is trying to change a culture, and I applaud them since it's going to be a huge effort with high risk of failure.

Also, when you have kids or are contemplating kids, unless you're going to send them to private school, you're not going to move downtown.
I agree.. but thats if they offered condos for 150K, most of the condos in Huntsville have been offered for much higher than that. Most people in Huntsville now are not young professionals, its more older families here than anything and they are going to want to have a house. I still don't think many single people under 30 are going to be able to afford or want to pay 200K or more for a Condo if they could, I sure wouldn't. Why pay that much here when u get get a nice large home with a huge yard for less? The condos here are not priced right for our housing market. I do think that downtown can be much better than it is if they offered affordable housing and more entertainment attractions for the young professional crowd and even stuff for 35-50 crowd too. Also there needs to be a major effort to start recruiting more young professionals to this city especially for the BRAC jobs coming and the many older workers here that will be retiring soon. But they need to attract all kinds of people downtown not just young, but i focus on the young in particular because there are a great shortage here to be such a technology oriented city. Only so much can be improved however huntsville is what it is.. a sprawling city that is ridiculously spread out for its size. I think the constellation development is very important to making downtown vibrant. Hopefully the developer is really putting some thought into what goes in it.

Last edited by Huntsville_secede; 01-18-2008 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:10 AM
4,740 posts, read 8,770,238 times
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Huntsville_secede - I don't agree that HSV should expend a "major effort" to recruit single young professionals. Generally, SYPs are fickle, we can't meet their wants (big city stuff), and they're mobile. IMO HSV should focus on the brand and recruit young families - because they make a community stable and sustainable.

I don't mean abandon efforts to improve conditions for SYPs, but the world doesn't revolve around young singles, no matter how much they believe it does
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:30 PM
Location: Madison, AL
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I think the same recruitment techniques apply in many ways. Young families fish and camp and eat out and go to the movies just like single people do.

But it's much harder to attract existing families -- they often have two jobs to relocate plus kids in school. When you recruit young singles and childless couples, they are more likely to be willing to relocate. Yes, they are more "fickle" -- it's how you get them here in the first place! Many young singles get married and have families, so it's not an either/or situation.

Huntsville can't compete with attracting ultra-urban young party crowd compared to NYC or LA or even Nashvegas... I don't think Huntsville has anything to worry about if the concern is turning downtown into a 1980's Sunset Blvd.

But even that crowd grows up (most of them). Just the other day my hard-core socialite Hollywood friend confessed that it was all getting old and she would probably relocate in another 5 years or so to a quieter place, but that doesn't mean she wants a mobile home in the middle farmland or a suburban starter castle.

Huntsville_Secede, the condo market here is strange, it really, truly is. Condos out in suburbia here for the price of a house... it just doesn't make sense. An apartment complex for a person who wants a sense of space but can only afford high density living, yes, put it in the suburbs. Something cheaper than the surrounding houses, sure. But not the same old builder spec construction without the yard and with the price tag.

Condos make sense as a starter home, in a convenient location for people who don't want to do upkeep on a home and yard, as urban lofts and townhouses for people who want that lifestyle, or as a way for people to buy into a premium neighborhood at a reduced cost. That's about it.

There's one condo complex off University on the north side that is well maintained and about $100k. It's a borderline neighborhood that could either decline or rise, but the location is very convenient and the price affordable for many. And it's buffered by surrounding neighborhoods with HOAs and is just far enough from retail space to help keep crime traffic down. This is the kind of location and price tag that makes sense for a specific market, not $200k+ townhouses way out on the other side of Madison. Or $250k for a 2 bedroom in Hampton Cove.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:21 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,598 posts, read 4,125,037 times
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I agree, housing for childless professionals and students. Once you have a thriving population with a lot of extra time on their hands living there, you also create an environment that will allow for businesses to bloom in terms of dining, shopping, and entertainment. I think about places where things like fine restaurants, art galleries, independent movie houses, coffee houses, etc thrive... and there are always apartments with students and young people around.

And it does benefit everyone, not just the people who will live there. While it's true we do mostly patronize businesses near where we live and work, those of us who are busy with kids and who are happy in our tract homes (I take issue with the word 'tacky!') actually DO like to go out on with adults sometimes - spouses or friends, and would absolutely patronize downtown if it were a thriving, cool place. But the current downtown isn't worth it. Nor is Bridge Street, which IMO, is way too "manufactured". I live in a suburban subdivision because it's good for my kids and me as a parent, a solid community of other families and people who can help each other, and room for little kids to play ball and ride bikes, and where a house with room for 4 or 5 people and a yard comes with a lower price tag. It's not because when I popped out a baby my love of art and good food and good coffee evaporated. I would love to see Huntsville have some more culture, even though I'm not at the phase of my life where I have the luxury of enjoying it all the time. I am always a bit disappointed when I go downtown and there isn't more. And I'm not talking about it being Soho or something here.. I never drove into Los Angeles after becoming a parent but there were closer downtown areas near where I lived where, even in a city of 30k, that boasted a little village areas with character and plenty to do. But it was there not because people like me could patronize it once a month.. it was there because of the college students!
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:54 PM
Location: Alabama!
5,844 posts, read 15,901,573 times
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And how about us folks on the older side of young...we had a condo when we were young marrieds, and it was perfect. Lots of folks nearby, no responsibility for exterior and landscape upkeep, but we were building equity. I like the condo idea for us oldsters, too, for the same reasons - less responsibility for exterior upkeep, but ownership of the interior.
Actually, I'd LOVE assisted living for the able bodied...you have your bedroom, bathroom, living area, but just go down the hall for meals that somebody else cooks...kind of like living in a sorority or fraternity house, LOL, but with more responsible "sisters" and "brothers!" Take off in your RV without worrying if the faucets are freezing...yeah! That's the ticket!
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:00 AM
13,773 posts, read 33,825,110 times
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Good point Southlander. Retirees are looking to leave FL and AL has a lot to offer. Tampa has just started building lofts/apts in downtown area for the youngsters, but there are several assisted living type condos nearby. In Huntsville, you would be close to the medical center and if they could bring in businesses to the downtown area that would be a great draw. Youngsters like Zj wouldn't have to worry about going out to eat there if she waited to go until 7pm as all the seniors would be home after the early bird specials.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:56 AM
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,496,163 times
Reputation: 128
I certainly had the "oldsters" in mind, too. Mom wants a condo in town so bad she can taste it, but she's still working on her husband. He has agreed to sell the house and move closer in, though, which is a shocking change from his stance just a few months ago.

I'm fairly certain there's a 65+ condo complex going up behind and to the west of the Target on University. They are 4-square 4-plexes, which is a nice configuration for seniors -- everyone gets a front "yard" and windows on two sides and everyone is on the ground level. And it's very close to basic shopping needs.

(Fairly certain is my way of saying I saw them I remember seeing a 65+ sign out front when I was looking at MidTowne which is right next door, but now I can't find any reference to it.)

In many respects, I think many seniors would probably prefer to be in town but not necessarily downtown -- not if downtown is going to be bustling at night.
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