Decatur Development Blog

Expansion and Development in the Greater Decatur area

Posts Tagged ‘Decatur Daily’

High End Apartments for Young Professionals?

Posted by alalto on July 7, 2011


The Daily recently did an article about how the city is attempting to attract a developer that will construct some upper class apartments in order to attract young professionals that work in the city.

While I believe that the effort is a good one, and I agree that we need to be working harder to keep our young professionals from living outside our city, I’m not sure how well the city’s idea would work.

Why?

Put bluntly, Decatur doesn’t have good nightlife.  Retaining these young professionals is all fine and dandy, but they have to have something to do, right?  We have some good restaurants, and downtown is FINALLY starting to pick up as far as night business goes.  BUT, more has to happen before we can truly have something that these 20 somethings desire.  I should know, I’m 22, as of today of course.  It’s my birthday 😉

Anyways, if this apartment complex idea is to be effective, it has to be constructed in or near downtown.  Why?  Because young people are more and more trying to get away from driving EVERYWHERE.  Our 20 somethings that have grown up in Decatur may not be so open to walking everywhere because of our car based layout, but young professionals that have attended schools like Alabama, Auburn, Vandy, or Ohio State have been using public transit for years.  I remember when I first got to Alabama, I never thought I’d use the buses, but they turned out to be an invaluable asset in the mornings…  So, since we cannot at present provide adequate public transit, we need to be able to provide a walkable community.

Bottom line is that our city needs to start working constructing walkable communities.  I was very happy with how they installed sidewalks along Sandlin Rd, and the results have been great.  There’s been much more foot traffic.  So, we need to replicate that, especially along 6th Ave.  That street is aging and needs something to bring it back.

So, all in all, the city’s idea for a high end apartment complex is a good one.  BUT, they need to be careful on which area they’re interested in for this project or else it will never succeed.

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You reading this?

Posted by alalto on June 28, 2009


Hmmmm, seems like someone might be reading my blog…

Daily article

Of course, that is kind of arrogant of me, but hey, it’s a big coincidence. Later today, I plan to post on some possible ideas, and good course of action for using the Delphi campus.

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Ready for a rebound?

Posted by alalto on October 15, 2008


Is Decatur ready for a rebound in this horrid economy?
(btw, if you only wanna read about Decatur’s economy, just scroll down to the bottom)

I’m thinkin it is. Take a look at the Decatur Daily… If you take out all the stories about what’s happening nationally and you focus on what’s happening in the state, it appears that the economy in Alabama is just business as usual. That’s not to say that there isn’t a problem going on that we just can’t see. There is, we know it. National stock declines have an effect on all publically (sp?) traded companies, and there are a lot of those in Alabama.

First of all, we have been very fortunate. The bank that holds the largest amount of the banking market in Alabama (Regions Financial) has been effected by the economic slump. Forunately for our state, the Southeaster United States isn’t in as bad a shape as the rest of the country. The economic conditions going on will only magnify the Northern cities that are experience a mass exodus of their population. Which cities are these? Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo. These were the major manufacturing centers of the 20th Century and they’ve been going through a rough time in the past few decades.

Let’s compare these northern cities to some southern ones. New Orleans, Birmingham, Mobile and to some extent Jackson. Detroit and New Orleans, major manufacturing cities, shipping ports and a hub of culture and money. That isn’t so anymore. Pittsburgh and Birmingham. THERE is where you’ll find a HUGE contrast. Read below:

Pittsburgh and Birmingham:

Here’s how I look at it, enormous manufacturing cities all go through I process that I like to call “eating/digesting themselves”. Both Pitt and Bham were huge steel producing cities, so they’re easy to compare. Birmingham has done a fantastic job and the city is in it’s last leg of the digestion process. These cities have to nearly collapse and fail before they can be reborn and turn into regions burgeoning with economic prosperity. Pittsburgh has just begun their journey down the throat. Birmingham was fortunate that when the steel industry in the U.S. began to shrink, the mills went to Pittsburgh. Why was that good? The city had to find a place to create jobs, which is where UAB came in. UAB, the largest employer in the state and a university that has a multi-billion dollar impact on the state’s economy. Yes, Pitt has some great schools, but they have not been the focus of job creation to replace the aging steel industry.

To stop comparing cities, let’s focus on why Alabama is more primed for a rebound than other states. Two main reason, IMO, slow growth (stable economy) and prime developable land.

Take a look at this map:

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2 turning into 4 on 67

Posted by alalto on August 22, 2008


In today’s Decatur Daily, an article announced that Alabama 67 will be widened to four lanes all the way to Priceville (5.7 miles). This is great news. There is a significant lack of four lane highways in the eastern Morgan County part of the Greater Decatur Area. About 13,500 cars travel this portion every day. For a road this size, that is a lot of cars. I am almost certain that once the economy picks back up, there will be some significant development spurred in the Somerville Area. Priceville should see a lot of economic growth too.

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New hospital for Moulton??

Posted by alalto on August 14, 2008


In today’s Daily, the plan to build a new hospital in Moulton was mentioned. Patient numbers have increased quite a bit in the past few years and the building isn’t adequate for the expected future patient numbers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the current hospital is on the edge of downtown.

In other news, Sweetwater has hit yet another snag. Again with finding a hotel developer. John Q Hammons had thrown his support behind developing a hotel at Sweetwater, but because he was recently hospitalized, for some reason, the deal is off. I don’t think this is really a big deal, I mean, what hotel developer wouldn’t want to locate here???

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More about District 2 race and Bama gets a B

Posted by alalto on August 5, 2008


Some interesting things in this article.  When asked about whether or not they would support current council president Billy Jackson (District 1) for another term of president, David Bolding raised some interesting points.  They weren’t specifically about a council president though.

He proposed demoting the position of mayor to a part time position and giving it a salary that is about equal to the current city council salary of $15,071, random number…  Anyways, He says that the former money used for the mayor’s salary ($100,480) should be put towards hiring a well qualified city manager to deal with all the budget issues and such.  I’m a fan of the idea of a city manager, these have been shown to be very effective in other cities.  Greenville, SC has a city manager if I’m not mistaken.  Vestavia Hills, AL has proposed it too I believe. 

The problem with the whole proposition of the city manager position is that I like Don Kyle, and I don’t wanna do him any wrong by paying him less.  Either way, I support David Bolding for the District 2 position.  He’s convinced me that he’s the man for the job.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the Daily’s articles that have all these question in them for the candidates.  They’re actually quite interesting.

In other news, the State of Alabama gets a B overall in the No Child Left Behind junk.  Three schools in Decatur did not make the cut, Austin High, Brookhaven Middle, and Decatur High.  The high schools have been hitting a rough spot lately, and Brookhaven regularly is on these lists.  Hartselle Schools met all their goals, as did all in Lawrence County except for RA Hubbard and Hazelwood.  Morgan County schools also did great. 

It was a pretty good day for Decatur Metro Area schools.  These results don’t sound good, but they’re an improvement over last year.  Looking at the high, middle, and elementary school details in the articles, I noticed that there is a wave of improved student scores coming up from the elementary schools and it looks to be pretty strong.  Looks like it’ll hold on through once the first few classes come through.

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