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  #2001  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 7:36 PM
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Here's the ntire Article from the Birmingham News

3 Alabama cities' economies hailed
Mobile leads Forbes' list in expected growth
Friday, February 01, 2008
ROY L. WILLIAMS
News staff writer

Alabama had three cities on Forbes magazine's list of the nation's fastest-growing small metro areas - including Mobile, which business leaders have warned could one day challenge Birmingham as the state's economic center.

Mobile ranked No.1 on the list, which appeared Thursday on the magazine's Web site. Huntsville was No.4, and Auburn-Opelika No.6.

Birmingham-Hoover didn't earn a spot on the list of nation's fastest-growing large metro areas, which was headed by Austin, Texas.

Bill Sisson, vice president of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Forbes report confirms the economic vitality the Port City is experiencing. Mobile topped the list because its gross metropolitan product - a broad measure of its economy - is expected to grow 34.3 percent between 2007 and 2012.

One reason for that projection is ThyssenKrupp's $3.7 billion steel plant under construction near Mobile. It will employ 2,700 people and create thousands of spinoff jobs.

"Being at the top of this list is the best third-party endorsement we could ever receive," said Sisson, who used to work for the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. "This proves that our economy is on a roll and continues to be recognized by investors throughout the world."

Huntsville, ranked fourth with expected GMP growth of 26.4 percent during the period, was given high marks because it has become a hub for defense, aerospace and technology jobs. Auburn-Opelika has projected GMP growth of 24 percent between 2007 and 2012, Forbes said.

Larry Holt, director of research for the Birmingham chamber, said metro areas such as Mobile, Huntsville and Montgomery have seen a surge thanks to economic projects in recent years. But he added that Birmingham remains vibrant as the state's economic center.

"We think it's worth noting that the Birmingham economy is as large as Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile combined," Holt said.

Forbes didn't provide a figure for Birmingham's expected GMP growth.

Carolyn Trent, an economic analyst for the University of Alabama's Center for Business and Economic Research, said the Birmingham-Hoover metro area generated 32.6 percent of the gross state product in 2005, the last year for which data was available. Huntsville was second at 10.6 percent, followed by Mobile at 8.4 percent and Montgomery at 8.6 percent.

"This will certainly have changed over the last two years, but the other metro areas are certainly not close to overtaking the Birmingham-Hoover area as the economic hub of the state," Trent said.

Last year, some business leaders warned that Birmingham could fall behind faster-growing Alabama cities because of a lack of vision and an inability of political officials to work with one another and with business interests.

But Birmingham has advantages. The state's largest metro area has continued to record population growth, despite declines in Jefferson County, Trent said. Between 2000 and 2006, the Birmingham area's population grew 4.6 percent, behind Huntsville's 10 percent and Auburn-Opelika's 9.3 percent but ahead of Mobile's 1.1 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

Mobile, which is benefiting from expanded economic activity at the Alabama State Docks and from Retirement Systems of Alabama investments such as the new RSA office tower and the Battle House Hotel, still faces challenges, Trent said.

"The challenge is to grow jobs that provide higher wages, as the (Mobile) area's wages have been historically low," she said.

E-mail: rwilliams@bhamnews.com
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  #2002  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 7:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HSVTiger View Post
well even if it is, it is really an irrelevant statement . The writer seemed to throw that in as an attention getter.
Quote:
which business leaders have warned could one day challenge Birmingham as the state's economic center.

Attention getter perhaps... more of an effort to point out Alabama metros are in a healthy race for top dog. I personally think Huntsville stands a better chance of becoming the state's economic center than Mobile.
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  #2003  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 8:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallman02 View Post
"We think it's worth noting that the Birmingham economy is as large as Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile combined," Holt said.
Someone needs to tell that fool to stop smoking dope, to say that B'ham's economy is as large as all 3 cities comined is idiotic. Nor is B'ham's economy projected growth anywhere near Mobile or Huntsville's over the next 5 years. I think the guy is just jealous that Birmingham didn't make a Forbes list.
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  #2004  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 8:32 PM
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Quote:
Someone needs to tell that fool to stop smoking dope, to say that B'ham's economy is as large as all 3 cities comined is idiotic.
As crazy as it sounds, here's the BEA data (only updated through 2005):
http://www.bea.gov/regional/gdpmetro/

2005 GDP by Metropolitan Area (millions of current dollars) :

Birmingham : 49,321
Huntsville : 16,058
Mobile : 12,733
Montgomery : 12,988
Tuscaloosa : 7,003
Decatur : 4,745
Dothan : 4,238
Florence : 3,430
Anniston : 3,286
Auburn : 3,034
Gadsden : 2,385

Granted, some of those (like Huntsville and Auburn) are growing at a faster rate than most of the others, so the 2008 numbers might be a good bit different.
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  #2005  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 8:41 PM
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To be fair this line in the article is what started all of this

"Last year, some business leaders warned that Birmingham could fall behind faster-growing Alabama cities because of a lack of vision and an inability of political officials to work with one another and with business interests."

I think with the new mayor for Birmingham this worry has been eliminated.
So this was really a manipulation of a story by the writer to create another
more dramatic story even if it wasn't very factual. This was back during the Kincaid slumber that this concern was raised.
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  #2006  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 8:45 PM
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Someone needs to tell that fool to stop smoking dope
Actually according to Bureau of Economic Analysis the following is correct for year 2005 (the most recent year I could find)

Birmingham = 49.3 Billion

Huntsville = 16.1 Billion
Montgomery = 13 Billion
Mobile = 12.7 Billion

Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile = 41.8 Billion

http://www.bea.gov/regional/gdpmetro/action.cfm
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  #2007  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 8:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hallman02 View Post
Actually according to Bureau of Economic Analysis the following is correct for year 2005 (the most recent year I could find)

Birmingham = 49.3 Billion

Huntsville = 16.1 Billion
Montgomery = 13 Billion
Mobile = 12.7 Billion

Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile = 41.8 Billion

http://www.bea.gov/regional/gdpmetro/action.cfm
He is right in what he said, I'm not really surprised. But he (Holt)missed the point , it can't be an equal comparison. The article is about potential and predictions. I believe you will see BHM on this list next year.
The article was presented in a poor fashion.
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  #2008  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 9:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallman02 View Post
Actually according to Bureau of Economic Analysis the following is correct for year 2005 (the most recent year I could find)

Birmingham = 49.3 Billion

Huntsville = 16.1 Billion
Montgomery = 13 Billion
Mobile = 12.7 Billion

Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile = 41.8 Billion

http://www.bea.gov/regional/gdpmetro/action.cfm
Three year old stats don't mean jack compared to here and now and the prospects of future economic growth...of which right now Mobile and Huntsville are leading the pack in this state in terms of future growth. As of today, I don't see Birmingham's economy as large as the other 3 metro areas in this state combined.
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  #2009  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Three year old stats don't mean jack compared to here and now and the prospects of future economic growth...
I'm afraid it does. Economic growth is a definate ebb and flow. Today's hero may be tomorrows heel. Huntsville would be in trouble if NASA/Redstone had a dramatic budget cut. Mobile would be in a world of hurt if Thyssenkrup decided to nix their new plant. That's all. Birmingham's economy is as large as all three combined plus some. Sorry.
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  #2010  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2008, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallman02 View Post
I'm afraid it does. Economic growth is a definate ebb and flow. Today's hero may be tomorrows heel. Huntsville would be in trouble if NASA/Redstone had a dramatic budget cut. Mobile would be in a world of hurt if Thyssenkrup decided to nix their new plant. That's all. Birmingham's economy is as large as all three combined plus some. Sorry.
Guess it's a matter of opinions, and you know what they say about those. I have mine and out dated statistics won't change it.

PS: OBAMA & CLINTON IN 2008!!!
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  #2011  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2008, 1:30 AM
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Here's GDP for some cities

(millions of dollars 2005)
Atlanta 242,000 or (242 billion dollars)
Detroit, MI (198 billion)
Dallas, TX (315 billion)
Nashville (69 billion)
New York (1.05 trillion)
L.A. (632 billion)
Colorado Springs (21 billion)
Chicago (461 billion)
Chattanooga (18 billion)
Knoxville (26 billion)
Jackson, MS (20 billion)
Columbus, GA (9.5 billion)
Raleigh, NC (43 billion)
Charlotte, NC (106 billion)
Miami (231 billion)
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  #2012  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2008, 2:18 PM
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A Huntsville view of the above article that is more realistic.

"Brian Hilson, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said he's pleased with the ranking, but noted the study, which used data compiled by Moody's Economy.com, was based on forecasts, not performance, "so it will favor communities that might not have had strong growth in previous years but is projected in the future, whereas some (metros) that did grow a lot won't have a favorable projection[/B]."
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  #2013  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2008, 9:35 PM
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Dunwoody Place
112 unit apartments going in at the corner of Rideout Rd and Harris
This is just before the Oakwood Rd/Research Park overpass.
The company building this develops single and multi-family rental homes in markets
and neighborhoods which have been overlooked or under-built by larger developers.
TBG Residential
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  #2014  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2008, 1:26 PM
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Inner city neighborhood ideas wanted..
You have to take care of these

By JOHN PECK
Times Staff Writer john.peck@htimes.com
No firm plans yet; resident likes notion of improvements

The Huntsville Housing Authority is looking for redevelopment ideas for the aging Terry Heights neighborhood in northwest Huntsville.

The agency is soliciting proposals for developing "a market feasibility plan" for the neighborhood, which includes the Sparkman Homes public housing complex known as Mason Court.

Legal notices list Feb. 22 as the deadline to submit proposals.

Michael Lundy, Housing Authority executive director, said Monday the authority is simply seeking ideas. There are no plans to dismantle any of the 169-unit Sparkman Homes complex in Mason Court, he said.

Publicity is "premature in that we don't have any definitive plans at this point," he said.

Mason Court is on the south side of Holmes Avenue between Memorial Parkway and Triana Boulevard. The Terry Heights-Hillandale neighborhoods lie mostly north of Holmes and west of Pulaski Pike.

Tami Jordan, director of the Terry Heights-Hillandale neighborhood association, said Monday she was unaware of any major redevelopment study for the neighborhood.

Jordan said the neighborhood would support improvements such a new school, a grocery store and a plan to fill empty houses. A study last year found 84 vacant houses among about 500 in the Terry Heights-Hillandale neighborhoods, she said.

"My dream is to fill these empty homes," she said. "The vacant homes are mostly boarded up. It's a nice neighborhood, a nice community, but to me, personally, that just makes it look worse."
Jordan said the Housing Authority could move residents to Terry Heights from the Councill Court housing project downtown when it is sold and redeveloped.

Lundy said the study request grew from a meeting last year with city school officials over their interest in building a consolidated elementary school in the Terry Heights neighborhood.

The school was pitched as part of a plan to close Terry Heights and University Place elementary schools and build a school to replace them near Terry Heights.

The school system would sell the University Place property to the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The system obtained U.S. Justice Department approval to consolidate the campuses but has not listed the project in its five-year capital plan.

Lundy said school officials mentioned Sparkman Homes as a potential site for the school. He emphasized Monday that the site suggestion has never progressed beyond an idea.

"As a result of that (meeting with school officials), we decided we would try to get a university with an urban studies department to do a feasibility study," Lundy said. "Currently, there is no money available for any planning for something like this."

School board President Doug Martinson recalled Monday that the meeting last year over the possible school site and the Terry Heights neighborhood included him, Lundy, schools Superintendent Ann Roy Moore, Housing Authority board Chairman Dick Fountain and possibly a grants expert.

Martinson said one idea discussed was to build a consolidated school at the Sparkman Homes site, construct public housing on land the school system owns next to Terry Heights Elementary and keep the school building for social services. Martinson repeated Lundy's position that nothing was decided in that meeting.

Carlen Williams, development officer for the Housing Authority, said Monday the authority would like to work with schools and the city on any redevelopment efforts in the Terry Heights neighborhood.

"You have synergies that can work together," she said.

Jerry Galloway, director of Community Development for Huntsville, said Terry Heights and the aging Lowe Mill neighborhood nearby have been on the city's "radar" for redevelopment. He said no one from the Housing Authority has contacted his office about any partnership to revitalize Terry Heights and the Sparkman Homes area.

His office has access to federal Community Development block grants to help repair and rehabilitate houses but not the kind of money the Housing Authority would have.

"We're always looking at fixing the inner-city neighborhoods," Galloway said. "We consider both Terry Heights and Lowe Mill as gateways to downtown."
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  #2015  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2008, 1:19 PM
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Downtown mixed use project Constellation set to begin

By JOHN PECK
Times Staff Writer john.peck@htimes.com
Constellation willbegin; Summitoption deal expires

One condominium project for downtown Huntsville died Tuesday while another won clearance for a groundbreaking.

The latter - a 80- to 100-unit complex in the planned Constellation hotel/retail/condo development at the Memorial Parkway/Clinton Avenue intersection - was kept alive Tuesday when the City Planning Commission held an emergency meeting to approve the subdivision plat for the 17-acre site.


Approval clears the way for a real estate closing between the developer and tenants.

Developer Scott McLain said the action "allows us to have a closing and transfer title" to the Marriott Hotel Corp. for construction of the first phase, a pair of hotels. Construction on the condos, offices and retail stores will follow.

Meanwhile, the deadline under an option agreement for a condominium tower in Big Spring International Park expired Tuesday. Triad Development had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to submit development plans for a restaurant in Triad's Big Spring Summit office building next door to keep the option agreement alive.

City Inspection Department Director Hulan Smith said late Tuesday no such plans had been submitted. Triad planned an eight-story, 40-plus unit condominium building next to the Summit building but failed to put a restaurant in the office building. The firm continues its negotiations for a restaurant on the ground floor and a lounge for the top floor but will lose its option to build the condominium tower.

The restaurant was a major sticking point when the City Council voted 3-2 in December 2003 to allow Triad to build a multi-story office building overlooking Big Spring International Park. The restaurant was viewed as a way for the public to have access to a building on prime city-owned land.

McLain expressed confidence his condominiums will sell. The difference: He hopes to offer units in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. The proposed Ovation condominiums next to the Summit building were reportedly going to be $400,000 and up.

McLain declined to comment on the hotel projects, saying details would be announced in an upcoming press conference. In a letter to the Planning Commission requesting the quick emergency meeting, McLain complained that the city's lag in approving site matters nearly cost him one of the hotels.

Assistant City Planning Director Marie Bostick said the delays centered mostly on flood issues at the site.

The Constellation development, announced last May, will feature two hotels, offices, restaurants, condominiums and a multideck parking garage surrounded by retail space.

The hotels will be built first to help accomodate a request by Mayor Loretta Spencer to accomodate some large upcoming conventions, McLain said in his letter. Plans call for a Marriott Courtyard and Springhill Suites, both part of the Marriott family. McLain's business partner, Manu Patel, said Tuesday the hotels will be four or five stories and 130 rooms each.

In other business Tuesday, the commission gave final layout approval for a 147-lot subdivision called Willows at the River Landing. The development is west of Zierdt Road and south of Beadle Lane.

The commission also gave final approval to a 90-lot development called Cross Creek Phase 1, south of Capshaw Road and east of Balch Road. A 41-lot subdivision called Olde Cobblestone was also approved for property north of I-565 and east of Segers Road.
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  #2016  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2008, 2:43 AM
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Big changes for ALDOT ahead? sounds possible

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House has passed a bill that would take the Alabama Department of Transportation out from under the control of the governor and have it managed by a five-person commission.

The sponsor, Representative Cam Ward of Alabaster, says the commission would appoint the transportation director. He says this would give the state's highway planning continuity from governor to governor.

The members of the commission would be appointed by the governor and would serve staggered 5-year terms. The state would be divided into three geographical regions. One member would be appointed from each region and two at large.

The bill was approved by a 95-1 vote.
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  #2017  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2008, 3:53 AM
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^I don't like that allocation at all. It should be 3 regions, no more than two from any one region.
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  #2018  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2008, 4:03 AM
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HSVTiger, do you have any renderings/site plans for constellation you could share? Thanks.
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  #2019  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2008, 5:31 AM
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^I don't like that allocation at all. It should be 3 regions, no more than two from any one region.
It's a start, and better then what we have now.

Bring it on.
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  #2020  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2008, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by HSVTiger View Post
Big changes for ALDOT ahead? sounds possible

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House has passed a bill that would take the Alabama Department of Transportation out from under the control of the governor and have it managed by a five-person commission.

The sponsor, Representative Cam Ward of Alabaster, says the commission would appoint the transportation director. He says this would give the state's highway planning continuity from governor to governor.

The members of the commission would be appointed by the governor and would serve staggered 5-year terms. The state would be divided into three geographical regions. One member would be appointed from each region and two at large.

The bill was approved by a 95-1 vote.
Anything is better than the idiotic setup they have now where it takes almost a century to accomplish anything. In other states i've seen them build whole new expressway bypasses in a couple years or so.
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