Sunday, January 22, 2017

Business News

January 2017

Long-awaited groundbreaking set for downtown Huntsville development

logo(Jan. 3) A formal groundbreaking for a long-awaited development project in downtown Huntsville has been set for next week, perhaps signaling a move forward in efforts to re-shape a high-profile spot near the Von Braun Center. The groundbreaking ceremony at CityCentre, to be located on the site of the now-demolished Holiday Inn on Williams Avenue at Monroe Street, will take place Jan. 10 at 2 p.m.

December 2016

UAH to begin construction on $32 million residence hall, expand campus greenway

logo(Dec. 14) Construction is set to begin on a new residence hall on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. That construction will also result in the permanent closure of part of Charger Way. UAH will break ground on the second phase of Charger Village, a 400-bed residence hall with a $32.6 million price tag that is expected to be completed in June 2018.

'Precision medicine' for each patient is focus of new HudsonAlpha biotech center

logo(Dec. 13) Gov. Robert Bentley broke ground in Huntsville Tuesday on a new biotech center that will use the genetic profiles of patients to provide "precision medicine" designed for them. Bentley, a physician, said the center's work "may be more important" than the Saturn V moon rocket developed in Huntsville, because it is "helping the lives of people in this state, and in this country, and in this world."

HudsonAlpha biotech institute adding 100,000-square-foot building

logo(Dec. 9) The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will break ground Dec. 13 on a new 100,000-square-foot building on its biotech campus in Huntsville, Ala. The new building will house "several new and expanding life sciences companies," the institute said Friday, plus parts of the institute's research, educational outreach, genomic medicine and data-processing programs.

Project at Madison Square Mall site could mean $250 million to Huntsville

logo(Dec. 6) The planned mixed-use development at the site of a downtrodden Huntsville mall is expected to net the city more than $200 million in tax revenue, according to a study. The revenue study of MidCity Huntsville, recently completed by Robert Charles Lessor & Co., said that the tax revenue would be generated over a 20-year period, according to Odie Fakhouri, director of RCP Companies, which is developing the project.

Verizon to add 300 full-time jobs at Huntsville call center

logo(Dec. 5) Verizon on Monday announced plans to hire up to 300 full-time employees throughout 2017 at its Huntsville call center. The wireless communication company will hold an onsite career fair Saturday at its Huntsville call center at 475 Quality Circle.

Toyota taps new president for Huntsville engine plant

logo(Dec. 5) David Fernandes will be the new president of Toyota Motor North America's Huntsville engine plant, beginning next month. The company made the announcement today. Fernandes said in a statement that he is "grateful and humbled for the opportunity."

LASIK center to anchor development at former Huntsville Times site

logo(Dec. 2) The mixed-use development planned for the former site of The Huntsville Times has plans for office space, retail and restaurants, according to a Huntsville realtor. Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate, which first announced the planned development last month at the former home of The Times at 2317 Memorial Parkway South, said the project would be developed by Huntsville ophthalmologist Danny Lee.

November 2016

Redevelopment Seeks to Preserve and Respect West Huntsville’s Rich History and Diversity

(Nov. 27) A rich part of Huntsville’s history will continue to be an essential part of its future, thanks to a new West Huntsville neighborhood development and partnership with a community company that “is a combination of vision and concrete,” according to Bill Kling, Huntsville City Councilman for District 4.

Boeing bringing 400 jobs to Huntsville, investing $70 million in Rocket City

logo(Nov. 15) Boeing announced Tuesday plans to bring about 400 jobs to Huntsville in a move celebrated by Mayor Tommy Battle as reflecting the talented high-tech workforce in the Rocket City. Boeing also said it plans to make capital investments in Huntsville of about $70 million by 2020.

AT&T bringing 'ultra-fast' fiber internet to Birmingham area

logo(Nov. 15) AT&T announced today "ultra-fast" fiber internet is now available in the Birmingham area. The service will cost $90 for one GB per second as a standalone service and is similar to another recently offered in Huntsville. It can be cheaper when bundled with other offers from AT&T.

Study: Boeing contributes about $2.2 billion to Alabama economy

logo(Nov. 2) The Boeing Company is responsible for more than $2 billion in economic impact to Alabama, according to a study from the University of Alabama's Center for Business and Economic Research. That figure, coming in the company's 100th year of business, is just the surface, however. Jim Chilton, president of Boeing's Network and Space Systems, said Boeing has made a longterm investment in Alabama and Huntsville.

Polaris impact on Alabama economy: $2 billion

logo(Nov. 1) They came from Montgomery and Washington D.C. to throw bouquets at Polaris, heralding the formal grand opening of its new manufacturing plant in Huntsville as an economic windfall to the state. Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce, described the financial impact of the facility that plans to eventually employ 1,700 people at the Huntsville plant as more than $2 billion over 20 years.

October 2016

Get the latest on 4 anticipated mixed-use projects in the Huntsville area

logo(Oct. 24) Some of Huntsville's top developers gathered last week to discuss the future of the area's most anticipated mixed-use projects. David and Todd Slyman of The Village of Providence and The Village at Oakland Springs joined Sealy Management operators Charlie and Sasha Sealy at a luncheon Thursday with Leadership Huntsville/Madison County in Cummings Research Park. Wesley Crunkleton, principal of Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group, also spoke on the panel about his firm's projects in downtown Huntsville.

Marshalls moving from Huntsville to new store next to Fresh Market in Madison

logo(Oct. 14) Marshalls is expanding this fall with a new location next to The Fresh Market under development on U.S. 72 at North Madison Corners. The off-price chain said Friday it will move from its current location on 6275 University Drive in Huntsville to the shopping center on 7950 U.S. 72 West in Madison. The official grand opening is set for 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 27.

Developer fielding interest in new Kroger-anchored shopping center in Madison

logo(Oct. 14) Sembler Company is fielding interest from tenants since Kroger unveiled its new grocery store last month at Midtown Marketplace in Madison. Steve Althoff, senior vice president of leasing for the retail development and management firm, said pre-opening sales at 9Round and other tenant success stories have also generated enthusiasm about the $20.5 million project at Wall Triana Highway and Browns Ferry Road.

AT&T launches fiber internet in Huntsville, Madison

logo(Oct. 11) AT&T announced its launch of ultra-fast internet service in the Huntsville area on Tuesday, fulfilling a promise it made late last year. Officials would not say how many customers nor which specific geographic areas would have access to the fiber internet. But it will cover parts of Huntsville and Madison as well as stretching beyond those city limits into Madison County.

September 2016

HDT expansion bringing 123 jobs, $4 million investment to Limestone County

logo(Sept. 27) HDT Expeditionary Systems will create more than 120 jobs when it transfers manufacturing operations from Buena Vista, Va., to a new facility in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, the Chamber of Commerce and other leaders gathered this morning on 5951 Endeavor Way to make the announcement involving HDT, which produces state-of-the-art shelters, generators, heaters, air filtration devices, robotics and other technologies for the military, civilian government and commercial industries.

4 new businesses coming to Bridge Street in Huntsville by late 2016

logo(Sept. 26) Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville will end 2016 on a high note as several local and national brands expand at the mixed-use development. Van Geroux, spokesman for the outdoor lifestyle center, said Moe's Southwest Grill will launch a 2,128-square-foot restaurant between Michael Kors and Steel City Pops. Anna Cate, a locally-owned fashion jewelry shop, is also opening a 1,500-square-foot store next to Kona Grill, which debuts in October.

Academy Plaza will feature sporting goods store, additional retail in Huntsville

logo(Sept. 23) The former Walmart property at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Drake Avenue in Huntsville will not sit empty for much longer. Tom Mirandi, vice president of real estate at RD Management, said tenant announcements are expected in early 2017 at Academy Plaza, a brand new project to be anchored by Academy Sports + Outdoors and surrounded by 36,000 square feet of additional mid-sized retail space.

Fresh Market project at old Star Market facility underway in Madison

logo(Sept. 22) Fresh Market will open its first specialty grocery store next year in Madison, a city leader told today. Mary Beth Broeren, director of planning and economic development for the City of Madison, said the North Carolina retailer is expanding at the old Star Market building on 7950 U.S. 72 West. The property at North Madison Corners has been empty since Star Market closed at the site in October 2014.

Environmental approval paves way for interchange, Town Madison growth

logo(Sept. 20) Big changes are underway for the proposed interchange at Interstate 565 near Zierdt Road. Officials announced this morning the Alabama Department of Transportation and U.S. Federal Highway Administration have authorized the Environmental Assessment Document for the interchange, allowing leaders to move forward on the final design with construction slated to begin in January.

August 2016

lululemon athletica expanding this fall at The Shops at Merchants Walk

logo(Aug. 10) A yoga and fitness clothing retailer will expand this fall with its first flagship store in north Alabama. lululemon athletica will transition in November from a small showroom at The Shops at Merchants Walk to a 2,600-square-foot store with a larger selection of clothing for men and women. The shop will operate next to future tenant Local Taco in Suite 313 on the lower level of the building at South Memorial Parkway and Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville.

First look: Details, renderings of MidCity at Madison Square Mall in Huntsville

logo(Aug. 8) Thirty-two years ago this month, the hallways of Madison Square were overflowing with guests as the area's first regional Super Mall celebrated its grand opening in the Rocket City. It's a different, but hopeful story today at the struggling shopping center on busy University Drive.

Non-stop Huntsville to New Orleans flights coming in September

logo(Aug. 8) New Orleans-based GLO will begin offering nonstop flights from Huntsville International Airport (HSV) to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in September. The 3-year-old regional carrier made the announcement today on 1000 Glenn Hearn Boulevard with Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong and other north Alabama business leaders. The Huntsville market is the fifth U.S. city where GLO is providing nonstop service to New Orleans.

Brown Precision expands Alabama presence with $7M project

(Aug. 4) ATMORE, Alabama – Huntsville-based Brown Precision Inc. plans to invest $7 million to open a manufacturing facility in Southwest Alabama’s rapidly expanding aerospace corridor, officials said this morning. Brown Precision’s new facility in Atmore’s Rivercane Industrial Park will create more than 100 jobs, said Mayor Jim Staff, who welcomed the company at a joint meeting of the City Council and the Atmore Industrial Development Board.

Three Alabama cities have among lowest cost of living in the nation

(Aug. 4) Three of Alabama largest cities, Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile, are among the top 25 places in the nation with the lowest cost of living, according to the website Niche, with the Rocket City and state capital cracking the top 10. Huntsville is ranked fourth in the “2016 Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living,” trailing Ft. Wayne, Ind., which tops the list; Evansville, Ind., at No. 2; and Odessa, Texas, which is third.

Multi-million dollar development to take shape this fall in downtown Huntsville

logo(Aug. 2) A new mixed-use development will soon begin taking shape in a vacant corner lot in the heart of downtown Huntsville. Huntsville real estate firm Crunkleton & Associates said a groundbreaking ceremony will be held this fall for 225 Holmes, a 32,000-square-foot retail and office project across the street from Below the Radar, Old Town Beer Exchange and Sip, which is currently under construction.

Toyota Alabama engine plant marks 15 years of growth

(Aug. 1) The Toyota Alabama engine plant marked its 15th anniversary last week, celebrating an era that has brought great growth in size, skill and significance for the Huntsville facility and its workforce. The $864 million plant has expanded four times since its groundbreaking in summer 2001, and now produces six times as many engines as it did at its 2003 startup. The lineup has grown from one V-8 engine model to a variety of 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines.

July 2016

Polaris begins producing vehicles at new Alabama factory

logo(July 21) Polaris Industries began producing on- and off-road vehicles at its new Limestone County factory 18 months after announcing plans to expand to Alabama. The Minnesota powersports leader said Wednesday in a second-quarter earnings call it began making Polaris RANGER vehicles in early June and Slingshots at the beginning of July. The plant, located on 7049 Greenbrier Parkway N.W. in a Huntsville-annexed portion of the county, currently has 423 workers with the potential to employ up to 2,000 in a few years.

Verizon to hire 60 call center workers for Alabama state headquarters

logo(July 14) Dozens of customer service jobs will be up for grabs next week at the Verzion Wireless call center in Huntsville. The telecommunications provider will host a job fair from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday on 475 Quality Circle in Thornton Research Park. Verizon is looking to fill more than 60 full-time Customer Service Representative positions for the campus, which is the company's state headquarters.

Alabama aircraft expansion may create up to 200 new jobs

logo(July 8) The construction of a new hangar and support facility in Meridianville may increase Yulista's local workforce by as many as 200 employees. The company broke ground this morning on a 60,000-square-foot aviation hangar and 20,000-square-foot support facility at Huntsville Executive Airport, formerly known as Madison County Executive Airport on 100 Bolling Road

June 2016

Aerojet Rocketdyne to establish Defense Business Unit headquarters in Alabama

logo(June 27) Aerojet Rocketdyne will establish its new Defense Business Unit headquarters in the Rocket City. The company announced the change this morning in a news release, saying it will also move its Defense Advanced Programs, known as the Rocket Shop, to Huntsville in an effort to be closer to the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Army, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Chamber, UAH sign agreement to boost business opportunities in north Alabama

logo(June 27) A longstanding partnership between the Chamber of Commerce in Huntsville and UAH was formalized today, allowing both organizations to focus on expanding business opportunities across the region. Chamber President/CEO Chip Cherry and UAH President Robert Altenkirch signed a Memorandum of Agreement to recruit industry, support entrepreneurs and cultivate new economic development projects in the Huntsville/Madison County community.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Polaris up and running in Limestone

(THE NEWS COURIER, June 22) It didn't happen with much external fanfare or fireworks, but the first Ranger all-terrain vehicle rolled off the Polaris assembly line in Limestone County earlier this month. Production on the Ranger line began June 1, according to Eric Blackwell, senior director of operations at the 725,000-plus-square foot manufacturing facility on Greenbrier Road. Production on the Slingshot line is set to begin July 6.

Yulista to break ground on hangar, support facility at Alabama airport

logo(June 21) Another company is expanding soon at Huntsville Executive Airport, formerly known as Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville. Yulista said it will break ground July 8 on a 60,000-square-foot aviation hangar and 20,000-square-foot support facility at the airport on 100 Bolling Road. The Yulista M5 Hangar should be fully operational a year after breaking ground and may double the company's aviation workforce in the Huntsville/Madison County community.

From Cotton Field to Engine Capital of the World: Toyota Alabama Operates on All Cylinders
Celebrating 15 years of building engines and community

(BUSINESS WIRE, June 21) Huntsville has long been known for engines…rocket engines that is. But today, it is well on its way to earning the title as "engine capital of the world" thanks to the more than 4.5 million engines produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

CityCentre announces AC Hotels construction timeline, artisanal food hall

logo(June 16) Work will begin this month on a new-to-Alabama hotel at one of the city's most anticipated projects in downtown Huntsville. RCP Companies and Yedla Hotel Management confirm grading will start before the end of June on AC Hotels by Marriott, a proposed 150-unit boutique hotel at CityCentre at Big Spring at the old Holiday Inn site, which was razed in January 2015. Vertical construction will follow early this fall.

GE Aviation breaking ground Thursday on $200 million factories

logo(June 15) Gov. Robert Bentley and GE Aviation leaders and Huntsville officials will break ground Thursday on two factories that will cost over $200 million to build and when operating will employee 300 people. The factories will produce silicon carbide materials used to manufacture ceramic matrix composite components for jet engines and land-based gas turbines.

Major Huntsville economic development announcement: Greenbrier land is official TVA megasite

logo(June 15) A Limestone County property passed over by Volkswagen eight years ago may soon bring thousands of new jobs to the Tennessee Valley. The Chamber of Commerce joined the Tennessee Valley Authority, City of Huntsville and Limestone County Commission on Wednesday to announce a 1,252-acre site off Powell Road in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County has been officially declared a TVA Megasite. In fall 2011, Huntsville leaders began gathering data needed to have the Greenbrier Road land certified as a TVA Megasite, the same program that helped Chattanooga, Tenn., land Volkswagen's first U.S. automotive plant over Huntsville.

Boeing to create 70 Alabama jobs with expansion of PAC-3 program

logo(June 9) Dozens of new jobs are coming to north Alabama next year as Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems expands in Huntsville. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to kick off the construction of a new 28,000-square-foot building for Boeing's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Seeker program on 499 Boeing Boulevard near Port of Huntsville. The expansion will create about 70 full-time engineering and manufacturing jobs.

Inside the Works: Boeing’s New R&D Center

(Business Alabama, June) This July, Boeing is celebrating its 100th year by developing new products and services “for the next 100 years,” says Steve Swaine, director of Support & Analytics Technology, who leads Boeing Research & Technology Alabama in Huntsville.

May 2016

Torch Technologies nationally ranked as a 'Great Place to Work'

(WAAYTV,, May 31) Fast-growing engineering services company Torch Technologies is receiving national recognition from Fortune Magazine. "We were selected as one of 20 companies nationally as a Best Workplace for Consulting and Professional Services," says Torch chief operating officer Scott Parker. Fortune Magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute ranked Torch in 17th place. It was the only Huntsville company to make the national survey, which uses anonymous employee surveys to rank the top workplaces.

Future of Madison Square Mall very different under redevelopment plan

logo(May 26) The long-awaited redevelopment of Madison Square Mall in Huntsville is one step closer to reality. The Huntsville City Council voted Thursday to approve an urban renewal and development agreement between the city and Mid-City Owner, LLC, to revitalize the Madison Square area, which has struggled in recent years with higher crime, declining property values and low mall occupancy.

Research Park master plan will transform economic engine in Huntsville

logo(May 23) Cummings Research Park will look very different under guidelines listed in a new master plan presented today by the Chamber of Commerce in Huntsville. Nearly nine months after hiring architecture and design firm Perkins+Will (P+W) to lead the master planning process, the Chamber unveiled a new blueprint for CRP, the second-largest research park in the U.S. and fourth-largest in the world.

City of Huntsville Earns Aaa Credit Rating for 8th Straight Year

(City of Huntsville, May 19) The City of Huntsville received good news this week from Moody’s Investors Service. The Wall Street credit rating agency awarded Huntsville Aaa status for the eighth straight year. The triple-A rating is the highest a city can achieve, and is awarded to a minority of government entities in the nation. Less than six percent municipal and county governments across America receive the top ranking.

Huntsville Chamber releases report on state of the regional economy

logo(May 19) A new study by UAH shows the future is looking bright for one of the 40 fastest-growing major U.S. metros in north Alabama. The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County recently commissioned a regional study analyzing the impact of the 68 economic development projects announced by the Chamber from 2013-15. The report focuses on projects within Madison County, as well as the contiguous counties of Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and Lincoln County, Tenn.

Town Madison seeks new retail developer; master plan expected soon

logo(May 17) The developer of Town Madison has terminated its contract with the project, but hopes to maintain a relationship with Breland Companies for future growth. Sembler Company Vice President of Development Josh Beyer confirmed the company is no longer developing Town Madison, which will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the Southeast with 500 acres and more than two miles of Interstate frontage.

Mountain High Outfitters to hold grand opening at Whole Foods project

logo(May 4) Mountain High Outfitters will celebrate its 10th location this week at the new Shops at Merchants Walk development near downtown Huntsville. The outdoor retailer, which debuted at Bridge Street Town Centre in 2007, will hold a grand opening ceremony Saturday. The opening will begin at 8:30 a.m. with yoga, followed by a stand-up paddleboard customer demo at Ditto Landing at 11.

April 2016

Alabama innovation awards finalists named

logo(April 25) The search for Alabama's top innovation achievements in business is down to 11 finalists. The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama on Monday announced the 11 finalists for the 2016 Alabama Innovation Awards.

Alabama projects produce 19,000 jobs, $7.1 billion in investment last year

logo(April 22) Mercedes-Benz and Polaris Industries were among Alabama's top companies planning new facilities or expanding their operations in 2015. Gov. Robert Bentley and the Alabama Department of Commerce released today the state's 2015 New & Expanding Industry Report, which shows there were a total of 19,262 jobs and $7.1 billion in investment announced last year. The report does not include data on incentives tied to projects.

March 2016

Dream Chaser spaceship seems on a glide path to landing in Alabama

logo(March 31) Huntsville is "the only community" where Colorado space company Sierra Nevada is planning to land its Dream Chaser spaceship anytime soon, company officials said Thursday. To build on that commitment, city leaders took new steps Thursday to develop a market for the company's mini-space shuttle that flies to orbit atop an Alabama rocket and lands on a runway like an airplane. They held a workshop in Huntsville on the space marketplace of tomorrow that drew 70 people from business, government and academia. honors 6 Alabama beer makers, retailers

logo(March 31) Several beer-centric Alabama businesses are celebrating big honors this year by Huntsville-based Straight to Ale's Laika Russian Imperial Stout was named the state's best beer, while Fairhope Brewing Co. was dubbed Alabama's leading brewery in a list of top beers, brewers and new brewers by subregion.

Three counties account for half the growth in Alabama

logo(March 30) Alabama is growing at the edges. Baldwin County at the Gulf, Madison County on the Tennessee border and Lee County along the Georgia line combined to account for 49 percent of the residential growth in the state since 2010. In recent years, Baldwin, Madison and Lee have continued to add thousands of residents each year. And there are no signs of slowing in the latest reports.

Huntsville high-tech startup RadioBro opens Germany office

Alabama Department of Commerce (March 10) HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – RadioBro Corp., a start-up firm that makes miniature electronics systems for airplanes and spacecraft, has opened an office in Bremen, Germany, as it targets connections in the European aerospace industry.

New master plan this spring promises big changes for Cummings Research Park

logo(March 4) The new master plan for Cummings Research Park is on schedule for a spring debut as officials wrap up final plans for the technology hub in Huntsville. CRP Director Erin Koshut said there are about six weeks left in the master planning process, which began in September with help from architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. A new plan proposing big changes is expected in early- to mid-April.

More details on new-to-Alabama hotel, CityCentre project in downtown Huntsville

logo(March 4)A fast-growing hotel brand with Spanish roots will be the first tenant to break ground this year at CityCentre at Big Spring in downtown Huntsville. AC Hotels by Marriott will anchor the $100 million mixed-use project across from Big Spring International Park and the Von Braun Center. The 150-room facility will begin taking shape in May/June and be run by Yedla Management Company, which owns and operates Starwood, Marriott and Hilton franchises.

February 2016

Garage at Clinton Row will support growing retail corridor in downtown Huntsville

logo(Feb. 26) Leaders hope a project in downtown Huntsville will bring new life to the area by supporting existing retailers in and bringing traffic to the city center. Crunkleton & Associates said a small section of the first floor of the Clinton Avenue parking deck will be transformed into five or six retail parcels spanning about 7,500 square feet near UG White, Kaffeeklatsch, The Bottle/Humphrey's and The Clinton Row Project.

Huntsville technology incubator wins millions in grants from Obama administration

logo(Feb. 23) A technology business incubator at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is one step closer to reality after receiving a $500,000 grant from the Obama administration. Jay Williams, assistant secretary for economic development for the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), visited the college Monday to talk about the $9 million Innovation to Invention Center (I2C), which will provide office and lab space to startups from the university and surrounding 15-county region.

Huntsville Utilities OKs, spells out Google Fiber deal

logoHuntsville Utilities Electric Board unanimously approved a rate schedule and agreements Tuesday to bring Google Fiber to Huntsville as early as mid-2017. Board members also heard a review of the deals' highlights.

Sierra Nevada unveils plans for new aircraft facility, 200 jobs in Alabama

logo(Feb. 17) Monday was a big day for economic development in Madison County. Phase I rendering of the new Sierra Nevada facility. Huntsville first announced it will be the 10th city in the U.S. to become a "GIG City" with gigabit-speed, fiber optic Internet and television service from Google Fiber. Then, Sierra Nevada said it will create 200 jobs with a new aircraft and modernization facility at the Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville.

Google Fiber to Huntsville: Everything you need to know about the Gig City announcement

WHNT (Feb. 22) City leaders and Google representatives announced Monday morning that Google Fiber will bring its service to Huntsville. The announcement ends years of searching for an internet provider to help the city accomplish Mayor Tommy Battle’s goal of ensuring all citizens have access to gigabit internet.

Google Fiber is bringing its ultra-fast Internet service to Huntsville

logo(Feb. 22) Google Fiber is bringing its gigabit-speed, fiber optic Internet and television service to Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle announced today. Starting in mid-2017, Google will begin connecting homes and small- to mid-sized businesses to the Internet at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second – up to 85 times faster than average current speeds in the United States. Citywide service is expected in four years.

Why did Google Fiber choose a city in Alabama for its ultra high-speed Internet?

logo(Feb. 22) Before you get tangled up in the acronym of TEDAC, allow U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby to provide a translation. "This is a good day for the American people, a good

'A bad day for terrorists' as explosives center opens at Redstone Arsenal

logo(Feb. 16) Before you get tangled up in the acronym of TEDAC, allow U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby to provide a translation. "This is a good day for the American people, a good day for law-abiding people all over the world," Shelby said. "But this is a bad day for terrorists, I'll tell you that."

Research Park East to undergo 'urban renewal' as city targets priority zones in Huntsville

logo(Feb. 18, 2016) The original and oldest section of Cummings Research Park is on a path toward vibrancy as leaders work to reverse further decline in the city of Huntsville's largest economic engine. With vacancies on the rise and companies moving out due to deteriorated and aging conditions, Research Park East is at a crossroads as officials take a hard look at the 500-acre hub serving thousands of employees specializing in engineering, technology, research and design.

Toyota Alabama sets records as it works to be the 'engine capital of the world'

logo(Feb. 16, 2016) 2015 was a milestone year for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama as the plant produced more than 631,000 engines, a 3.5 percent increase over 2014. The Huntsville facility on Cottonvalley Drive also built its 4 millionth engine in September, just a little more than a year after completing its latest $80 million expansion to machine parts for V6 engines for the Toyota Tacoma and Lexus RX. The project created 125 new jobs.

Farm Burger opens first Alabama restaurant Monday in Huntsville

logo(Feb. 12, 2016) Farm Burger's first Alabama restaurant will launch Monday morning at the new Shops at Merchants Walk development in Huntsville. The 2,300-square-foot grass-fed burger joint will open at 11:30 a.m. at 930 Bob Wallace Ave., Building 200, Suite 219, near Whole Foods. It will be Farm Burger's seventh location, joining restaurants in Georgia (Decatur, Buckhead and Dunwoody), North Carolina (Asheville), and California (Berkeley and Marin).

$8.3 million senior apartment community under development in north Huntsville

logo(Feb. 10, 2016) A new apartment complex for senior citizens is in the works in Huntsville. Each unit will have energy-efficient appliances and its own emergency call system. Tenants will have access to other amenities, including Wi-Fi, a computer center, picnic area with grills, gazebo, playground, community room, and fitness area with equipment.

2 Alabama cities among the country's Best Mid-sized Cities to Make a Living

logo(Feb. 9, 2016) Only one Alabama city is among Money Geek's top-five Best Mid-sized Cities to Make a Living in the U.S. Huntsville ranked No. 3 on the list, which includes cities with populations between 100,000 and 500,000 that have "relatively low costs of living and high salaries to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck."

GATR Technologies of Huntsville acquired for $232.5 million

logo(Feb. 3, 2016) A California company has officially acquired GATR Technologies in Huntsville. Cubic Corporation of San Diego announced Wednesday it received regulatory approval this week to purchase GATR for $232.5 million. The Huntsville business will now operate within the Cubic Global Defense business unit.

Huntsville adds 1,400 construction jobs as industry struggles with worker shortage

logo(Feb. 2, 2016) Construction jobs are on the rise in the Huntsville area despite a growing worker shortage across the nation. The Associated General Contractors of America announced Tuesday the Huntsville metro was among the fastest-growing in the nation last year with the addition of 1,400 new jobs between December 2014 and December 2015.

Huntsville named the best affordable city in the U.S.

logo(Feb. 1, 2016) A new study ranks Huntsville as one of the cheapest cities you'd actually want to live in in 2016. has named the Rocket City the most affordable in the U.S. The website created the list using five criteria: median household income, income equality, consumer spending, entertainment options and economic conditions.


January 2016

Alabama tech business makes Forbes' America's Best Small Companies list

logo(Jan. 28) A technology hardware and equipment business in Huntsville is among Forbes' "small giants" in the magazine's America's Best Small Companies list. Torch Technologies was the only Alabama company to make the inaugural ranking, which includes 25 firms that "have chosen to be great, instead of big."

Remington exceeds hiring, wage milestones at new Alabama gun plant

logo(Jan. 27) Remington Outdoor has exceeded its hiring and wage milestones at its new advanced manufacturing and research and development center in Huntsville. A report from the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County shows the firearm maker had 324 employees as of Aug. 31 with an average hourly wage nearly $10 higher than stated in the development agreement between the company, City of Huntsville and state. Remington was required to create at least 280 full-time positions by the close of the second project year ending Feb. 28.

Fresh Market coming to old Star Market building? City of Madison says yes

logo(Jan. 20) The former Star Market building in Madison will get new life when The Fresh Market opens a specialty grocery store there in the future. Mary Beth Broeren, director of planning and economic development for the City of Madison, said the North Carolina retailer will open a 25,000-square-foot store at the U.S. 72 West property, which has been vacant since Star Market closed in October 2014.

Thrive at Jones Farm senior living community breaks ground in Huntsville

logo(Jan. 19) A new two-story senior living facility officials say will be unlike any other in the area is coming to Jones Valley later this year. Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living broke ground Tuesday on Thrive at Jones Farm, a 93-unit assisted living and memory care community on Cecil Ashburn Drive by Mellow Mushroom. The site, located near the intersection of Four Mile Post Road and Carl T. Jones Drive Southeast, is a joint venture between Thrive Senior Living, local investors and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital.

NASA boosts Alabama's chances of landing Dream Chaser spaceship in Huntsville

logo(Jan. 14) NASA'S award of an International Space Station resupply contract to Sierra Nevada Corp. of Colorado today increases the chance the company's Dream Chaser spaceship will one day land in Alabama at the Huntsville International Airport, officials said.


December 2015

NASA Space Launch System Monthly Highlights, December 2015

Going Up: Bolden Sees Progress on SLS Test Stand / Operation Insulation: NASA Marshall Prepares for SLS Foam Testing / NASA Marshall’s John Hanson Wins AIAA Award for Work on SLS Rocket

San Diego company to acquire GATR Technologies in Huntsville

logo(Dec. 21) A California company said it will acquire Huntsville-based GATR Technologies in an effort to expand its satellite communications (SATCOM) and networking applications business. Cubic Corporation announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase GATR for $232.5 million. The price includes $7.5 million of contingent consideration and is subject to pre- and post-close adjustments.

Yellowhammer sets new brewery opening date at Campus No. 805

logo(Dec. 18) Yellowhammer Brewing of Huntsville hopes to draw some of the after-Christmas crowd next week during its opening at Campus No. 805. The craft beer maker has received state approval to launch at 11 a.m. Dec. 26 at the former Stone Middle School campus off Governors Drive. Co-owner Ethan Couch said the brewery will be open until 11 p.m. and feature live music that night.

Alabama landings for Dream Chaser spaceship move a step closer

logo(Dec. 17) Huntsville is a step closer to landing a spaceship at its international airport. Now, if it can just get a federal blessing for the sonic boom that will be heard in three states when the ship approaches. Officials said today they were "successful" in the first phase of testing whether Sierra Nevada Corp's Dream Chaser could safely and without damage land at the Huntsville International Airport. The Colorado company is developing the mini-space shuttle to ferry cargo and eventually astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit. It will take off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket built in nearby Decatur, Ala.

Town Madison will get bigger with 200-acre Intergraph land purchase

logo(Dec. 17) The $400 million Town Madison mixed-use project is about to get a lot bigger. Leaders gathered Thursday outside the new Intergraph headquarters in Madison to announce Breland Companies has purchased more than 200 acres at the campus along Interstate 565 and Wall Triana. The addition will make Town Madison one of the largest developments of its kind in the Southeast with more than two miles of Interstate frontage.

$50,000 Launchpad prize will help north Alabama startup grow in 2016

logo(Dec. 16) A $50,000 prize from Alabama Launchpad will allow one Huntsville entrepreneur and motorcycle enthusiast to accelerate his small business in 2016. Jeff Hammock, CEO and founder of MechOptix, took home a check last week during the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama's Launchpad Competition Finale at Lincoln Mill. The annual statewide event awarded $190,000 total to four early-stage startups in Huntsville and Florence.

NASA changes Huntsville skyline with soaring new Space Launch System test stand

logo(Dec. 15) When it's finished in 2016, the new rocket test stand NASA showed off at its Marshall Space Flight Center Monday will stand 225 feet tall. That's 15 stories tall, skyline changing for neighboring Huntsville, Ala. What NASA will hang from Test Stand 4693 is even more impressive: a large section of the cylindrical core of the Space Launch System, the rocket that will carry astronauts back to the moon and beyond in the next decade.

AT&T certifies northwest Alabama business, air parks as 'Fiber Ready'

logo(Dec. 15) Leaders hope to attract new business in northwest Alabama after achieving AT&T Fiber Ready certification in parks throughout the Shoals. AT&T hosted a press conference Tuesday in Florence to announce it is investing in fiber infrastructure at the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park, Shoals Research Airpark and Rogersville Business Park.

New HudsonAlpha genomic clinic in Huntsville receives $525,000 gift

logo(Dec. 14) The new Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is poised to grow after receiving a large donation this month. The HudsonAlpha Foundation is the recipient of a $525,000 gift for the clinic from an anonymous donor. Supported by HudsonAlpha, Children's of Alabama, and UAB Medicine, the clinic is considered the first of its kind worldwide.

Huntsville manufacturer boosts portfolio with acquisition of Texas firm

logo(Dec. 10) Huntsville-based T-H Marine Supplies is celebrating 40 years in business with the acquisition of a Texas marine sound technology device firm. The company recently purchased HydroWave, which designs, manufactures and sells marine sound technology devices that attract fish for anglers. HydroWave is moving its assets and employees from Carollton, Texas to Huntsville, where assembly and shipping take place on 200 Finney Drive.

Earth and Stone opens at Campus 805, new tenants expected soon

logo(Dec. 8) Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza is the latest tenant to open at Campus No. 805 at the former Stone Middle School in Huntsville. The food truck launched its first brick-and-mortar spot last week during a soft opening at the new 10,000-square-foot Yellowhammer Brewing facility off Governors Drive. Stan Stinson, who founded the business with Tina Ford about two years ago, said the response has been fantastic so far.

Abaco Systems starts new chapter in Huntsville with separation from GE

logo(Dec. 7) December marks a new chapter in Abaco Systems' history in Huntsville. The open architecture computing and electronic systems supplier held a renaming ceremony Monday, announcing it has separated from GE Intelligent Platforms as a result of an acquisition by New York private equity firm Veritas Capital. The company declined to disclose terms of the spin-off.

November 2015

Birmingham bakery, cafe will join Village of Providence with first Huntsville store

logo(Nov. 20) An Alabama-based restaurant and bakery will open its first Huntsville store next year at a new building at the Village of Providence. Terry and Dottie Smith are bringing a 4,300-square-foot Edgar's Bakery & Cafe to a two-story office facility at the intersection of Biltmore Drive and Providence Main Street. The 17-year-old Birmingham eatery, which lures customers from New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston and other major cities, has six locations in Jefferson County, Pelham and Tuscaloosa.

Huntsville Hospital among nation's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in study

logo(Nov. 20) Huntsville is home to one of the country's top hospitals for cardiovascular care, according to a new report by Truven Health Analytics. Huntsville Hospital was among the nation's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in a recent edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. Winning institutions were selected for achieving "superior clinical outcomes in the critical area of hospital care."

U.G. White hopes to change retail landscape in downtown Huntsville

logo(Nov. 17) An authentic general store with roots in north Alabama since 1917 is already having an impact on downtown Huntsville. Athens-based U.G. White Mercantile launched its second store Tuesday in the former Crossroads Music Hall on Clinton Avenue. The small business, which looked at other cities in the Southeast before settling on Huntsville, operates near The Clinton Row Project, a retail incubator for startups.

Versona to launch market-exclusive store this week at Bridge Street Town Centre

logo(Nov. 17) Versona will launch its first north Alabama store this week next to Belk at Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville. The Charlotte, N.C., retailer will open Thursday in a 6,000-square-foot space managed by Patricia Crumpton. The market-exclusive upscale women's boutique, one of three Versona locations in Alabama, employs 25 workers.

Chamber of Commerce, UAH team up in area's economic development

logo(Nov. 16) When a strong team has a good record and an excellent playing field, world-caliber performance can take place. Huntsville's economic development team is led by the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County and relies on The University of Alabama in Huntsville as a key player. With Cummings Research Park and Huntsville/Madison County as the playing field, people rooting for Huntsville can expect good things.

October 2015

Work underway on upscale lofts, commercial space at The Avenue in downtown Huntsville

logo(Oct. 30) Charlie and Sasha Sealy's future mixed-use development, The Avenue, is already changing the face of downtown Huntsville. Sealy Property Development is building a $34 million five-story building featuring 197 upscale lofts and 21,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space in a former parking lot at the corner of Jefferson Street and Holmes Avenue across from the federal courthouse.sville. The engine, which was produced on Toyota's four-cylinder line, is one of three types of engines made in Huntsville to pow

GE Aviation to invest $200 million, employ 300 with 2 new Alabama factories

logo(Oct. 27) The state of Alabama is celebrating another economic win in Huntsville this week after GE Aviation said it will launch two materials factories to service jet engines and land-based gas turbines. GE Aviation, a provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft, will invest more than $200 million on adjacent facilities at the southeast corner of the intersection of Greenbrier Road and Interstate 565 near FedEx in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. The operation, which will employ up to 300 workers, will mass produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials for ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components.

Crestwood Medical Center to undergo $8.9 million expansion in Huntsville

logo(Oct. 27) Crestwood Medical Center will get bigger next year with the addition of 30 general acute care beds at its hospital facility in Huntsville. The community healthcare provider said the Alabama Certificate of Need Review Board approved the $8.9 million, 21,300-square-foot project last week. Lori Light, spokeswoman for Crestwood, said build-out should start early next year, with completion slated for third quarter 2016.

4 Alabama companies to work with Lockheed Martin on $784 million contract

logo(Oct. 26) Four Huntsville firms will work with Lockheed Martin on a new nine-year, $784 million contract awarded by the Missile Defense Agency. Lockheed Martin said it will lead a team responsible for developing, building and testing Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) to support layered ballistic missile defense strategy to protect the U.S. from ballistic missile attacks.

Whole Foods Market announces opening date for first Huntsville store

logo(Oct. 26) Whole Foods will open its long-awaited natural and organic grocery store next month at The Shops at Merchants Walk in Huntsville. The Texas retail chain announced on Facebook it will launch a 42,000-square-foot facility on the northeast corner of Bob Wallace Avenue and South Memorial Parkway on Nov. 14. A pre-opening ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. with store leaders, special guests, free coffee and grand opening deals.

Alabama company once again named top Great Place to Work in the nation

logo(Oct. 23) Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation in Huntsville is once again the top Great Place to Work in a report presented by FORTUNE Magazine. The 12th-annual Great Place to Work national ranking divides companies into two categories: small (25-250 employees) and medium (251-999). INTUITIVE ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year for medium-sized businesses.

New details, renderings released of CityCentre at Big Spring in downtown Huntsville

logo(Oct. 15) New details and renderings are available of CityCentre at Big Spring, a $100 million mixed-use project that will begin rising late this year in Huntsville. RCP Companies, a Huntsville-based boutique real estate firm, is developing CityCentre at the former Holiday Inn site across from Big Spring International Park. The 270-room, nearly 40-year-old hotel was demolished early this year to make way for the complex, which will be built in phases.

HudsonAlpha's new genetic medical clinic wins major grant

logo(Oct. 14) Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has received a $100,000 grant to help establish its new genomic medical clinic. The grant from the Jane K Lowe Charitable Foundation was announced Wednesday. The institute has recruited five new faculty members who specialize in reading a patient's genetic profile to diagnose and treat rare diseases. In November, the institute will open the world's first clinic devoted to that approach.

Hibbett Sports to open third Huntsville store

logo(Oct. 7) Hibbett Sports will launch its third Huntsville sporting goods store next month before the busy holiday shopping season begins. The Birmingham-based athletic retailer announced plans Wednesday for a 2,400-square-foot store in the Huntsville Commons shopping center on 2250 Sparkman Drive N.W. It will join two other Hibbett locations currently open at Madison Square and Parkway Place malls.

September 2015

Cabela's opens to more than 3,000 eager shoppers at first Alabama outdoor superstore

logo(Sept. 30) Phyllis Clay never attended a grand opening before Cabela's Wednesday morning ribbon cutting ceremony in Huntsville. The Madison resident and outdoor lover, who retired from the military in 2000, decided to go all out for the event by getting in line 17 hours early so she could be one of Cabela's first customers in Alabama. Decked out in purple with a Cabela's lanyard around her neck, Clay arrived at the massive sporting goods emporium with a chair, blanket and plenty of reading material to get her through the night. She managed to catch a few naps in the parking lot, with new and old friends by her side.

Hampton Inn and Suites, Taco Mama coming to Village of Providence in 2016

logo(Sept. 23) A joint venture between hotel groups in Alabama and Tennessee will bring a Hampton Inn and Suites next year to the Village of Providence in Huntsville. Omega Hotel Group, of Madison, is working with Knoxville-based Kana Hotel Group and Providence developers David and Todd Slyman to build a $10.5 million, 92-room Hampton Inn directly north of SpringHill Suites at the corner of Providence Main Street and Town Centre Drive.

Toyota Alabama celebrates production of 4 millionth engine in Huntsville

logo(Sept. 15) Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama celebrated a major milestone Monday after its 4 millionth engine rolled off the assembly line in Huntsville. The engine, which was produced on Toyota's four-cylinder line, is one of three types of engines made in Huntsville to power seven Toyota vehicles built in North America: Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra and Venza.

Intergraph boosts portfolio with acquisition of Inc. 5000 Colorado company

logo(Sept. 14) Intergraph's Process, Power & Marine division has acquired an enterprise project controls software company recently ranked No. 1794 on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list. The company said it has entered into an agreement to purchase EcoSys Management, which has increased its revenue by 222 percent over the past three years and has about 100 employees across the U.S.

Curse still committed to Huntsville despite job layoffs, transfers to California

logo(Sept. 11) Curse is shrinking its Alabama workforce this year but plans to ramp up hiring in 2016 after its new West Coast office launches in the coming months. Donovan Duncan, former vice president of marketing for the Huntsville-based gaming information company, said they laid off 10 employees this week and will transfer 15 to Irvine, Calif., by the end of the year.

The Unlikely Cities That Will Power the U.S. Economy

logo(Sept. 3) A decade ago, Richard Myers was the director of the Department of Genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he enjoyed the fruits of a rich endowment and his pick of faculty members and graduate students. So he left behind some befuddled scientists when, in 2008, he left Palo Alto, Calif., for Huntsville, Ala., to launch an independent research lab, the HudsonAlpha Institute.

August 2015

51 Alabama businesses among America's 2015 fastest-growing private companies

logo(Aug. 13) Dozens of Alabama companies are in the spotlight this week after being featured in Inc. Magazine's 34th-annual Inc. 5000 ranking. inc1.jpg Huntsville led the state with 18 Inc. 5000 companies, followed closely behind by Birmingham, which has 15. The list is ranked according to percentage revenue growth comparing 2011 to 2014.

Cabela's announces opening date for first Alabama store

logo(Aug. 12) A large crowd is expected in late September as Cabela's celebrates the grand opening of its first Alabama outdoor superstore in Huntsville. The Nebraska retailer announced today there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony with Cabela's leaders and other guests at 9:45 a.m. Sept. 30. The event will conclude with an arrow shot from a bow by a local Cabela's employee.

Lockheed Martin to add 100 new jobs in Huntsville by 2016

logo(Aug. 11) Lockheed Martin is bringing 100 high-paying jobs to Huntsville as it works to consolidate its Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) program by mid-2016. The global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company said it will consolidate the C2BMC program, which has a presence in Huntsville, Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Baltimore/Washington metro.

Whole Foods hiring for new grocery store opening soon in Huntsville

logo(Aug. 11) Whole Foods is seeking employees for its new natural and organic foods store set to open this fall in Huntsville. The Texas-based chain is building a 42,000-square-foot store at The Shops at Merchants Walk, a large-scale project under development on the northeast corner of Bob Wallace Avenue and South Memorial Parkway. The grocer specializes in natural foods free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated fats.

MEDS starts construction on new commercial building in Huntsville

logo(Aug. 6) Management Enterprise Development and Services (MEDS) has come a long way since its founders Carol Jones and Stanley McCall launched the firm in a trunk of a car three decades ago. The woman-owned small business broke ground today on a 10,000-square-foot commercial building that will complete a 45-acre portion MEDS originally owned and developed on Millennium Drive between Adventist Boulevard and Rideout Drive in Huntsville. The $900,000 Millennium Center will allow MEDS to move its growing construction division and attract outside tenants to the property.

Heavy rain doesn't stop Village at Oakland Springs groundbreaking in Madison

logo(Aug. 6) Heavy rain and clouds didn't stop a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the first traditional neighborhood development rising soon in west Madison. Seeking shelter under umbrellas and a single canvas tarp, city and Limestone County leaders gathered at the intersection of Huntsville Browns Ferry Road and Holladay Boulevard to celebrate the start of construction for the Village at Oakland Springs. The $250 million project, developed by Placemaker's Oakland Springs and led by the Village of Providence's David and Todd Slyman, will cover more than 150 acres and feature over 400 single-family homes, town houses, condos, apartments and a village retail center.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Mountain High Outfitters plan expansions at Bridge Street Town Centre

logo(Aug. 4) Work is underway at Bridge Street Town Centre as two retailers plan expansions at the shopping center in the coming months. Van Geroux, spokesman for Bridge Street, said Dick's Sporting Goods is under construction in the former Sports Authority space on Governors West next to Bed Bath & Beyond. Sports Authority closed Feb. 21 after six years at Bridge Street. The existing 42,000-square-foot building will expand by 5,000 square feet to accommodate the company's full line of sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear. Geroux said the Pennsylvania retailer's projected opening is February 2016.

July 2015

At Home superstore on target for September opening at former Kmart in Huntsville

logo(July 16) North Alabama's first At Home superstore is under development and on target for its grand opening celebration this fall. The Texas-based home décor retailer said construction is going as planned at the 104,000-square-foot former Kmart building on 1401 N. Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. The site will launch Sept. 10, with grand opening festivities to be held Sept. 19.

Publicly-traded company acquires US Diagnostics in Huntsville for $60 million cash

logo(July 16) A publicly-traded global diagnostic device and service provider based in Waltham, Mass., has acquired US Diagnostics (USD) of Huntsville for $60 million in cash. Alere, working with Founders Investment Banking of Birmingham, announced this morning it purchased "substantially all" of USD's assets in a transaction that closed July 10. The Huntsville business is a distributor of Alere Toxicology products.

Straight to Ale poised to become Alabama's largest brewery with Campus No. 805 expansion

logo(July 9) Straight to Ale is poised to become the largest brewery in the state of Alabama with its latest expansion at Campus No. 805 in west Huntsville. When complete, the project will span 40,000 square feet, double Straight to Ale's workforce and triple the brewery's production capacity at the former Stone Middle School campus near the intersection of Triana Boulevard, Clinton Avenue and Governors Drive. Dough's Nuts Bakery, Sweet Liberty BYO Homebrew Supplies and Ronnie Raygun's Arcade will operate in the complex with Straight to Ale.

Alabama business named one of nation's best workplaces for millennials

logo(July 1) An Alabama engineering and defense contractor has been named one of the country's best companies for working millennials. Intuitive Research and Technology of Huntsville is No. 13 on Fortune Magazine and Great Place to Work's 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials list. About 31 percent of the firm's workforce includes employees from the millennial generation, or those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

June 2015

Huntsville tech company breaks ground on new $1.75 million facility

logo(June 30) A 25-year-old technology company is nearly doubling its footprint with the addition of a $1.75 million new facility on 180 West Park Loop in Huntsville. AZ Technology broke ground last week on a 15,500-square-foot building that will expand the firm's manufacturing capabilities to meet growing domestic and international demand for its portable optical measurement instruments and satellite/spacecraft coatings.

School's out forever: Straight to Ale to break ground next week at Campus No. 805

logo(June 29) School's out forever at the old Stone Middle School in west Huntsville. Straight to Ale will gather with local leaders next week to celebrate the groundbreaking of its new 40,000-square-foot brewery, taproom and mixed-use event space at Campus No. 805 on 2620 Holmes Ave. N.W., near downtown.

Boeing sets its sights on space with massive new research facility

(Business Insider, June 25) The world’s largest aircraft maker has opened a new, state-of-the art research facility in Alabama — and it’s larger than a football field Boeing’s massive, 80,000-square-foot Research and Technology Center in Hunstville, Alabama will focus on development of “future aerospace solutions” — and possibly, space flight.

Wal-Mart to build Neighborhood Market at former Star Market store in Huntsville

logo(June 19) The former Star Market building on Bailey Cove Road in Huntsville will soon be home to a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg confirmed the retail giant plans to build a 40,000-square-foot store on 9020 Bailey Cove Road S.E. It will be the first development to rise at the property since Star Market closed there in October 2014.

Boeing celebrates launch of new $6M research and tech center in Huntsville

logo(June 18) Boeing leaders didn't cut the ribbon on their new Huntsville research and technology center Thursday with a giant pair of ceremonial scissors. The company, joined by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, used tablets to mimic a virtual ribbon cutting instead. Jennifer D. Hawton, a communications specialist with the company, said the simulation symbolized the new approach Boeing is taking to developing advanced technology in Alabama and across the U.S.

Alabama Rockets On

(Aviation Week, June 16) Despite the ongoing threat of U.S. government budget cuts, the missile defense business in Alabama keeps churning along with the Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin leading the way. The Missile Defense Agency recently awarded Raytheon a $559 million contract for Standard Missile-3Block IBs guided missiles to be used by the U.S. Navy.

HudsonAlpha has $1.3 billion impact on Alabama since opening

logo(June 16) Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has had an economic impact on Alabama exceeding $1.3 billion since its first full year of operations in 2006, according to a new study by the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The study also says HudsonAlpha and its associate companies have generated 1,177 jobs in Alabama.

Twin entrepreneurs behind RadioBro target mini-satellite, aviation opportunities

(Alabama Department of Commerce, June 16) PARIS — Twin brothers Mark and Eric Becnel built their first mini-satellite while attending the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Now 27, they operate a company that has developed communications radios for small spacecraft and a data logging kit for aircraft testing that will be on exhibit at the Paris Air Show.

Dream Chaser study a 'major step forward' for Sierra Nevada, Huntsville community

logo(June 15) Sierra Nevada Corporation leaders don't expect any direct jobs from a Dream Chaser landing feasibility study announced this morning, but officials feel confident the company's Huntsville operations will grow in time. The Chamber of Commerce, cities of Huntsville and Madison, Madison County Commission and Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority said a series of preliminary studies will kick off soon to assess the feasibility of landing the Dream Chaser spacecraft at Huntsville International Airport.

Diatherix at HudsonAlpha in Huntsville acquired for $50 million

logo(June 11) One of Huntsville's rising companies has been acquired by Eurofins Scientific for $50 million. Eurofins announced early this month it has purchased Diatherix Laboratories at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Cummings Research Park. The Luxembourg company hopes to improve its pharmaceutical, genomic testing and specialty clinical offerings businesses through the acquisition.

Huntsville firm lands piece of $496 million aerospace and defense contract

logo(June 8) Employees at Boecore's regional office in Huntsville will work on a new $496 million Space and Missile Defense Advisory and Assistance Services (SMDA2S) contract, the Colorado-based company announced today. Boecore, which tripled its workforce and doubled its square footage last year in Huntsville, says it is one of four entities included on the five-year SMDA2S contract from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) / Army Forces Strategic Command (ARSTRAT).

Raytheon receives $149m US Navy contract for SM-6 programme

(June 4) Raytheon has received a $149m contract from the US Navy for 74 Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) all-up rounds, spares, containers, and services. Designed to offer over-the-horizon air defence capabilities, the surface-to-air supersonic missile SM-6 defends against land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles. It is also capable of engaging manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

Looking for a STEM career? New report says Huntsville is best in the US

logo(June 2) The same organization that ranked Huntsville the top city for engineers and the second best place for technology jobs has offered another accolade to the area's growing STEM community. NerdWallet has named Huntsville the best place for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) grads in the U.S. Nearby Decatur, the only other Alabama city to make the ranking, fell at No. 34 on the list.

Remington gun plant hiring underway as company adds new Huntsville jobs

logo(June 1) Remington Outdoor continues to add positions at its new firearms plant at Jetplex Industrial Park in Huntsville. The North Carolina manufacturer has posted several Huntsville jobs on its website, including senior SAP programmer analyst, executive administrative assistant, director of operations in finance, HR administrator/safety trainer and more. The current openings are listed here.


May 2015

Alabama economic projects yield 18,000 jobs, nearly $3.4 billion in investment in 2014

logo(May 19) Alabama's automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries got a major boost last year with the announcement of more than 18,000 new jobs and almost $3.4 billion in investment. Released today by Gov. Robert Bentley and the Alabama Department of Commerce, the state's 2014 New & Expanding Industry Report shows there were 392 projects for a total of 18,137 jobs and investment of $3.37 billion.

Cabela's hiring employees for first Alabama store opening this fall in Huntsville

logo(May 15) Cabela's is filling management and human resources positions for its new 80,000-square-foot superstore in Huntsville. The Nebraska-based hunting, fishing and outdoor sports retailer is building its first Alabama location off Governors West Road in the planned Parkside Town Centre, an $80 million mixed-use development near Bridge Street Town Centre. The store, which is under construction, will employ 180 full- and part-time workers.

Village of Providence tapped in Fortune Magazine new home trends article

logo(May 14) The Village of Providence in Huntsville got a shoutout Wednesday in a Fortune Magazine article on new home trends for 2015. The live-work-play development off U.S. 72 was praised for being a walkable community with a mix of uses. The mention comes after the Village of Providence was named the 2014 Community of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders.

April 2015

Curse expanding downtown Huntsville workforce, plans to hire 50 workers

logo(April 30) Curse's workforce in downtown Huntsville keeps getting bigger. The global multimedia and technology company, which creates content and products for gamers, already employs 80 workers from north Alabama, the U.S., England, Lithuania, Australia and more. Donovan Duncan, vice president of marketing for Curse, said they plan to hire an additional 50 employees this year in the Rocket City. Most of the new staff will work on Curse's growing development team, he said.

Huntsville is NerdWallet's second best place for tech jobs in the U.S.

logo(April 29) Recently touted as the best city for engineers in America, Huntsville has been named the second best place for technology-related jobs in the U.S. NerdWallet released a report this week analyzing the country's 370 largest metros. The personal finance site examined the size of the tech industry with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and annual salary for tech jobs in each area.

Click here to see the full list.

HudsonAlpha welcomes new company to biotech campus in Huntsville

logo(April 28) The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville has a new tenant working to improve human health. MetaboloStasis Therapeutics has joined the HudsonAlpha roster to develop treatments for patients suffering from metabolic and proinflammatory diseases. Founded this year, the company is led by President Tracy Nevitt.

Science and Engineering Services of Huntsville named top Boeing Supplier of the Year

logo(April 21) Science and Engineering Services (SES) of Huntsville won an elite Boeing award during a ceremony at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. The company was named the Supplier of the Year in the Aerospace Support category. Jerry Egbert, SES director of the Boeing Apache program, said the business is "proud to be a part of Team Apache and a partner with Boeing."

Toyota honored for commitment to environmental excellence

logo(April 21) Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville was among North American manufacturing facilities recently honored for environmental sustainability by the EPA. The automotive company has won its 11th consecutive Energy Star Partner of the Year award, the most by any automaker. Toyota said it has saved nearly $600 million, reduced 14 billion kilowatt hours of energy and cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent per vehicle since benchmarking began in 2002.

Northrop Grumman strengthens ties with UAH to bolster workforce, STEM education

logo(April 17) Olin B. King Technology Hall at UAH was busy early Friday as leaders with Northrop Grumman and the university announced an expansion of their existing partnership in Huntsville. Mark Thornton, program director for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Program at Northrop Grumman, joined UAH President Robert Altenkirch to celebrate the launch of a relationship to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, research opportunities and workforce recruitment in the Rocket City.

Northrop Grumman expanding tech workforce in Huntsville

logo(April 13) One of Huntsville's leading employers is expanding its full-time technical workforce in Cummings Research Park. Northrop Grumman, an American aerospace and defense technology company, will host a hiring event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday on 301 Voyager Way in Huntsville. A variety of positions, ranging from engineers and analysts to administrators and managers, will be available for job seekers who meet the company's employee qualifications.

Huntsville area led the state in new job creation, capital investment in 2014

logo(April 13) During a talk with the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County last year, state economic development leader Greg Canfield predicted 2014 would be a "banner year" for the area. Angela Till, deputy secretary at the Alabama Department of Commerce, confirmed Canfield's forecast Wednesday during the Chamber's annual Montgomery visit. Madison County announced nearly 3,500 new jobs and more than $300 million in capital investment in 2014, according to preliminary estimates from the state.

Gov. Bentley opens County Line Road interchange, expects traffic to double in decade

logo(April 10) Gov. Robert Bentley helped cut the ribbon to open the new $10.7 million County Line Road Interchange today, but drivers seeking easier access to Interstate 565 already had christened the fresh asphalt with their tires before the barricades disappeared. Madison Mayor Troy Trulock said a lot of motorists were "running the barrels" by ignoring the barricades once they saw the new off ramps and on ramps were ready. Oddly, after the city removed the barricades for the eastbound off ramp Monday, the amount of traffic using it dropped, he said.

NASA's Marshall Center Earns Agency's Small Business Administrator's Cup Award -- Again

(April 7) NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, has again been awarded the agency's Small Business Administrator's Cup, presented annually to the NASA center that operates the best overall small business program. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden came to Marshall for the ceremony -- the fourth time Marshall has earned the cup in the award's seven-year history.

Huntsville, Mobile among top 20 Southern cities for jobs right now

logo(April 3) Two Alabama metros are among the top cities in the South for job creation and hiring in 2015, according to a new study by ZipRecruiter. The hiring and job market data company released a report this week of the top 20 Southern cities with the greatest 2015 hiring demand and growth potential. Cities were ranked using ZipRecruiter's Hiring Demand Index, which is based on relative monthly job growth percentage measured across the U.S.

Verizon Wireless hiring 200 full-time workers for Huntsville call center

logo(April 1) Less than a year after announcing it would fill 300 new jobs at its Huntsville call center, Verizon Wireless said it is looking to hire an additional 200 full-time workers in the Rocket City. The customer service and tech support positions are needed to bolster Verizon's rapid growth, according to spokeswoman Kate Jay. The $44 million call center, which is located at 475 Quality Circle in Thornton Research Park, is Verizon's state headquarters.

March 2015

Wall Street praises Huntsville's economy, money management

logo(March 23) Huntsville on Monday earned Standard & Poor's best-possible AAA credit rating for the seventh consecutive year. The announcement comes less than a week after the other major Wall Street rating agency, Moody's Investors Service, also awarded Huntsville its top Aaa score. "When both Wall Street credit agencies continue to reward us with the highest rating achievable, our team is doing something right," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. "As a city, we have worked hard to maintain conservative fiscal policies, diversify our economic base and strengthen our infrastructure.

Torch Technologies will add 150 defense jobs at expanded Huntsville campus

logo(March 20) Defense contractor Torch Technologies announced Friday that it will create 150 new jobs as part of a $10 million-plus expansion project that city officials said will boost efforts to revitalize south Huntsville. During a well-attended groundbreaking ceremony, Torch CEO Bill Roark said the new positions will be added over "the next couple of years" as the employee-owned technology services and solutions firm overhauls its South Memorial Parkway campus.

DynCorp International's DynAviation Group launches new headquarters at Bridge Street

logo(March 18) DynCorp International (DI)'s DynAviation Group is settling into a new home this month in Huntsville after moving from its previous location off Explorer Boulevard. DynAviation recently opened a new headquarters with more than 17,000 square feet of office space at 310 The Bridge Street, Suite 400, in Huntsville. Spokeswoman Beatrice Livioco said the company had been at its former location more than three years.

Governor’s Trade Excellence Awards honors export success

(March 18) MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Governor Robert Bentley today honored eight homegrown companies with Trade Excellence Awards for their accomplishments in exporting Alabama-made products and services to customers around the globe, reflecting a key priority of his administration’s economic growth strategy.


Companies that received the Governor’s Trade Excellence Award today includes Schwarze Industries Inc. in Huntsville.

Westbury Square shopping center in Huntsville bought for $23 million

logo(March 18) Westbury Square, the Huntsville shopping center anchored by Stein Mart, T.J.Maxx and Michaels, is now under new ownership. Inland Real Estate, an Illinois-based publicly traded real estate investment trust, said it has purchased the Airport Road development for $23.4 million in cash. The 115,000-square-foot center, which is fully leased, features multiple restaurants, retailers and service providers, including Chicken Salad Chick, Moe's Southwest Grill, Jenny Craig and BB&T.

Sprouts Farmers Market to debut first Huntsville grocery store

logo(March 17) Walking through Sprouts' newest grocery store in Huntsville-annexed Madison County, it's difficult to get lost while shopping. Ryann Haenel, marketing manager for the Arizona retailer, said the supermarket is designed for customers to be able to see everything from side to side using an open-concept floorplan, solar-powered natural lighting and skylights in the ceiling.

Rocket Republic's 'steampunk' brewery, taproom in Madison gearing up for St. Patrick's Day launch

logo(March 10) Watching their 9- and 11-year-old boys glide across the concrete floor on bikes and scooters, Madison residents Eric and Tatum Crigger occasionally take a few minutes to slow down and savor the moment. The couple, in partnership with John and Lynn Troy of Troy 7, Inc. in Huntsville, has been running at full-speed over the last year to transform a 10,000-square-foot industrial facility into Rocket Republic Brewing's first brick-and-mortar space near the Interstate 565 interchange at County Line Road in Madison.

Dick's Sporting Goods coming to Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville in 2016

logo(March 6) Dick's Sporting Goods will find a new home at Bridge Street Town Centre in 2016. Bridge Street management confirmed Thursday the sporting goods retailer will open a store next year in the former Sports Authority space on Governors West near the corner of Old Madison Pike next to Bed Bath & Beyond. Sports Authority, which opened at Bridge Street in 2009, closed at the outdoor center Feb. 21. Dick's, which operates two other Huntsville stores on 2718 Carl T. Jones Drive and 6275 University Drive, will span 47,000 square feet and sell a full line of sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear. As of Jan. 31, the Pennsylvania-based company had more than 600 locations across the U.S.

Yellowhammer, Earth and Stone groundbreaking at Stone Middle project a 'historic moment' for Huntsville brewery

logo(March 6) It was a historic moment Friday for Yellowhammer Brewing in Huntsville. The 5-year-old Belgian and German-style craft beer maker was the first tenant to break ground on the unnamed Stone Middle School project, a development near downtown Huntsville that will bring together Yellowhammer, Straight to Ale, a pizza restaurant, home brew supply shop and an outdoor amphitheater.

February 2015

Panalpina expands controlled air freight network from Huntsville to Brazil

logo(Feb. 27) A major air cargo carrier at Huntsville International Airport says it is expanding its controlled air freight network with a new full-freighter service to Brazil. In addition to scheduled charter flights from Hong Kong to Huntsville, Panalpina announced Thursday it will run flights from Huntsville to São Paulo, Brazil, as a result of a renewed long-term agreement between the company and Atlas Air.

North Alabama companies win big at Business Council's Manufacturer of the Year awards

logo(Feb. 19) North Alabama cleaned up this morning at the Business Council of Alabama and Alabama Technology Network's 2015 Manufacturer of the Year awards in Montgomery. The MOTY ceremony, which has recognized Alabama businesses since 2000, honors companies that excel in leadership, performance and operations, customer focus, profitability and workforce relations. An independent panel of judges selected the winners.

Madison County wants to create large industrial park to court Remington, Polaris suppliers

logo(Feb. 11) The Madison County Commission is considering creating a 248-acre industrial park near Triana. Map Data Terms of Use Map At its meeting this morning, the commission is expected to hire Littlejohn Engineering to study whether the county-owned tract is suitable for industrial development. The land is located at the corner of Wall-Triana Highway and 6th Street, just outside the Triana town limits.

January 2015

Here's what Polaris' new 505-acre Huntsville manufacturing 'campus' will look like when complete

logo(Jan. 23) Huntsville has taken the guesswork out of what Polaris' new all-terrain vehicle factory site will look like when it opens in 2016. A map unveiled at Thursday night's City Council meeting shows how Polaris intends to develop the 505-acre McCrary farm in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. The L-shaped parcel borders I-565 just west of Greenbrier Road and wraps around the massive Target distribution center.

BizTech building in Huntsville is now under a new name, plans big facility revamp in 2015

logo(Jan. 20) When BZ Sensor Solutions opened at BizTech nearly three years ago, there were only six clients in the sprawling high-tech incubator in Huntsville. Today, the facility that was once in limbo is at near capacity two months after Huntsville-based PROJECTXYZ subsidiary Creekwater Investments purchased the building on 515 Sparkman Drive. The 20,832-square-foot site was only 40 percent occupied when PROJECTXYZ owners Larry and Kim Lewis acquired the facility in November. A revitalization of the property and BizTech itself now has organizers scrambling to find room for entrepreneurs who need startup space, collaboration and mentoring.

Huntsville leaders confident $18M-plus incentive offer to Polaris will bring many happy returns

logo(Jan. 14) Huntsville leaders estimate it will take a dozen years to recoup the $18 million-plus in city incentives promised to Polaris, including free land and tax breaks. However, Director of Urban Development Shane Davis said Polaris will be a financial asset from the moment ground is broken on the company's all-terrain vehicle factory along Interstate 565. For starters, Davis said Polaris intends to use area construction crews to build its $142 million manufacturing "campus" just west of the Greenbrier Road exit. The property will boast a 600,000-square-foot assembly plant, large distribution warehouse and product research and development center, as well as a test track where Huntsville-built ATVs will be put through their paces.

What will Polaris make at its new $142 million Huntsville campus?

logo(Jan. 14) What kind of off-road vehicles will the new Polaris plant make in north Alabama? Marlys Knutson, spokeswoman for the Minnesota powersports company, said the $142 million, 600,000-square-foot site west of Greerbrier Road in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County will produce Polaris' RZR and RANGER vehicles. Polaris, a leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $3.8 billion, makes a variety of off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), the Polaris RANGER and RZR side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.

See which new businesses are on tap for an early 2015 opening at Bridge Street in Huntsville

logo(Jan. 9) Polaris isn't wasting any time getting its new $142 million off-road vehicle manufacturing plant up and running in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. Paul Vitrano, vice president of global government relations for Polaris, said the Minnesota company plans to break ground on the 453-acre site west of Greenbrier Road in a couple of months. The 600,000-square-foot facility will employ at least 1,700 skilled workers and be complete by the second quarter of 2016 with the campus fully operational the following year.

Polaris will build new manufacturing operation employing at least 1,700 in Huntsville area

logo(Jan. 9) Minnesota-based Polaris Industries said Friday it will build a state-of-the art manufacturing facility near Greenbrier in west Huntsville to produce off-road vehicles. When fully developed, it will employ about 2,000 workers, many of them in skilled positions. The 600,000-square-foot plant will be located west of downtown Huntsville on a 453-acre site in Limestone County annexed into the city several years ago. Polaris officials said they will break ground on the $142 million plant this year and open it in the second quarter of 2016.

Polaris wasting no time on new $142M Huntsville plant, expects to break ground within 2 month

logo(Jan. 2) Last year brought several changes to Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville. The outdoor lifestyle and power center welcomed a new $20 million Belk, three parking areas creating 1,023 new parking spaces, PANDORA and Michael Kors stores, a 5,000-square-foot Orvis, Kate Spade New York and Dickey's Barbecue Pit. In December, Bridge Street announced new-to-Alabama BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse will open in a new retail building in the center's Phase III expansion area. Spokesman Van Geroux said the business will launch sometime this summer.