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  #4961  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2012, 1:59 AM
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Boeing Dreamliner 787 arrives in Huntsville tomorrow between 4:30 and 5
at Huntsville International and departs Monday at 3pm, Huntsville Boeing employes (which helped designed the plane ) will be able to tour the giant.


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  #4962  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2012, 6:51 PM
nickodemis nickodemis is offline
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Originally Posted by MovingAL View Post
AirTran could have chosen to fly from HSV to DCA rather than BWI. In fact, the better business strategy is to fly from HSV to DCA. US Air, Delta, United, and AA fly into DCA from HSV because that's what the market demands.

BWI is a hub for AirTran but that isn't the convenient airport for people flying into DC. It's a 45 minute ride up the 2-lane BW parkway that many people don't want to drive. Also, metro doesn't go to BWI and you have to transfer over to the MARC Dulles is easier to get to from VA and DC. I've flown out of BWI on AirTran into HSV before but chose to fly "crap-tacular" US Air out of DCA when the fare price was equal.

Further, Federal employees and contractors mostly have meetings in VA. DCA and Dulles would have been the airport choice to better persuade federal flyers to switch.

AirTran only came because of the subsidy and likely was to remain only as long as the subsidy.

Until HSV has a greater number of private flyers than gov't flyers, fares will remain high and plane quality low.
I agree 100%. There are not enough private fliers out of HSV. Most people that live here would rather drive 14 hours to Orlando and save $100 vs flying. Plus lets face it, the HSV locals simply don't travel anywhere beyond 300 miles. How many local actually make it beyond DC or Texas in their life time. Not that many people flying to Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, etc for vacation.

In regards to BWI. There are a large amount of government jobs in northern DC and Maryland area. The NSA for example is close to BWI. A lot of the gov. contractor companies are based in the Maryland area. There are quite a large amount of travelers from HSV to BWI. Most of them didn't fly Airtran directly but instead choose to connect through Charlotte or Atlanta for the FF points.

At the end of the day, if you can't beat them, join them. I'll guess I start flying Delta again. If I really want to save money, I'll just drive to Nashville or Atlanta and fly non-stop on Airtran/Southwest. 3 hour drive or 3 hour connection with layover, it's all the same if I can save $200+.
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  #4963  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2012, 7:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nickodemis View Post
I agree 100%. There are not enough private fliers out of HSV. Most people that live here would rather drive 14 hours to Orlando and save $100 vs flying. Plus lets face it, the HSV locals simply don't travel anywhere beyond 300 miles. How many local actually make it beyond DC or Texas in their life time. Not that many people flying to Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, etc for vacation.

In regards to BWI. There are a large amount of government jobs in northern DC and Maryland area. The NSA for example is close to BWI. A lot of the gov. contractor companies are based in the Maryland area. There are quite a large amount of travelers from HSV to BWI. Most of them didn't fly Airtran directly but instead choose to connect through Charlotte or Atlanta for the FF points.

At the end of the day, if you can't beat them, join them. I'll guess I start flying Delta again. If I really want to save money, I'll just drive to Nashville or Atlanta and fly non-stop on Airtran/Southwest. 3 hour drive or 3 hour connection with layover, it's all the same if I can save $200+.
Huntsville, and also Chattanooga, suffers from its location. But, it also greatly benefits from it. It's near the center of this big square created by Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, and Knoxville. The thing is, while this makes it very easy to get products to market and to have easy access to brainpower, it also drives down the need for the most likely air routes.

It's not all a bad thing. Huntsville has a HUGE GDP for its size; a GDP that many cities would be happy to have. Airliners aren't the only indicator of economic might.
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  #4964  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 1:08 PM
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Didn't See This One Coming

Huntsville International Airport average air fare second most expensive in the nation

The airport's average fare of $473 in the third quarter of 2011 placed it second in the nation, following only Cincinnati's average of $488, according to a release Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/01/..._airpo_12.html
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  #4965  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 8:44 PM
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What a pointless less analysis. Of course airports like IAH and IAD are going to have high fares. They have transcontinental services with fares close to and above $1000. Only in the light of that is Huntsville's position startling. A better analysis would have been to weigh the fare average with the number of miles flown out of the airport to come up with a cost per unit distance figure.
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  #4966  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2012, 12:48 AM
JuanHunt JuanHunt is offline
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This author of this article does alot of tweaking of the airfare costs and Huntsville still comes out near the top of the list of most expensive airports.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...-unfair-fares/
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  #4967  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2012, 5:11 PM
nickodemis nickodemis is offline
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For what it's worth,

You can fly to Chicago (non stop) for $200 almost every weekend. Leave on the 7am flight on Saturday and come back on a Tuesday evening flight on American. I found that Delta will match the price, but you have to connect through Memphis or Atlanta.
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  #4968  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2012, 2:42 AM
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Good fares can be had at times
http://www.huntsvillehotticket.com/
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  #4969  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2012, 4:01 AM
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Apartment construction update

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Construction is about to start on an addition to the Huntsville-area apartment market - Providence Place Apartments in west Huntsville's Village of Providence.
The Sterling Group, based in Mishawaka, Ind., is co-developing the apartments with Todd Slyman and David Slyman Jr., the founders of Providence.
Lance Swank, the chief operating officer of The Sterling Group, said site work at the northeast corner of Providence Main Street and Biltmore Drive will start next week. The first phase of Providence Place has 226 units, with completion expected by April 2013.
"The first buildings will be available for occupancy in September," Swank said.
The project could potentially have another 90 units, depending on the success of the first phase, he said.
Why build in this area, and why now?
"We do an extensive amount of research in markets we're interested in," said Swank, and Huntsville has "all the characteristics that draw us to a community," including a diverse economy, a large white-collar workforce and sustained income and population growth.
"There are extremely high occupancy rates in the existing multifamily properties in the submarket" where the Village of Providence is, he said. "It's a supply-constrained market right now."
The property also will have a competitive advantage being in the Providence community, he said.
There are a number of other apartment projects under construction or planned this year.
In downtown Huntsville, Charlie Sealy III and his wife, Sasha, are converting the vacant Belk Hudson building on Washington Street into 75 loft apartments.
"We're under construction right now," said Sealy, who expects Belk Hudson Lofts to be open in the fall, sometime around September or October.

Among other multifamily properties:
• Work is expected to start in early March on Franklin Hills, a 56-unit low-income housing tax credit property for ages 55 and older at 5300 Millennium Drive in northwest Huntsville. Mike Brandt, vice president of construction for the developer, Atlanta-based TBG Residential, said the project should take about 12 months.
Construction should start in the late summer for roughly 240 luxury, urban-style lofts as part of a planned redevelopment of the former Councill Courts public housing site near Huntsville Hospital, a joint project between Bristol Development Group and PGM Properties. Another downtown project)
"It's going to be a game changer for Huntsville," said Sam Yeager, one of the founding partners of Bristol Development Group.
• Depending on the weather, plans are to break ground in March for Limestone Creek, a 528-unit apartment complex in west Huntsville, east of Mooresville Road and north of the I-565 service road.
"We'll probably start with a little over 100 units for the first phase," said Jim Hall, who handles site planning for the developer Edward Rose Properties. "It will probably take us three to four years to build" the entire complex.
HSV Times
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  #4970  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2012, 9:09 PM
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Originally Posted by HSVTiger View Post
Apartment construction update

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama --

Construction should start in the late summer for roughly 240 luxury, urban-style lofts as part of a planned redevelopment of the former Councill Courts public housing site near Huntsville Hospital, a joint project between Bristol Development Group and PGM Properties. Another downtown project)
"It's going to be a game changer for Huntsville," said Sam Yeager, one of the founding partners of Bristol Development Group.

HSV Times
What exactly are these plans? Its the first I've heard or read about. Whats the exact details and specs on these lofts, and where on the property are they going to sit?
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  #4971  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2012, 9:13 PM
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According to the Birmingham News, a stretch of Governor's Drive will be getting a revolutionary traffic light system that is suppose to help move traffic faster based on automatically changing the timing of the signals.

Found the information from a story regarding how US 280 will also benefit from these signals, which is needed there.

Full Story Here:

U.S. 280 in Birmingham and Shelby County to get traffic signals designed to aid flow
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  #4972  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2012, 9:32 PM
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What exactly are these plans? Its the first I've heard or read about. Whats the exact details and specs on these lofts, and where on the property are they going to sit?

- A Nashville developer plans to turn part of the former Councill Courts public housing site near Huntsville Hospital into at least 200 high-end apartments, multiple stores and restaurants, and a supermarket(believed to be a Publix)
Bristol Development Group has agreed to pay the Huntsville Housing Authority $3.67 million for 5.58 acres along St. Clair Avenue and Gallatin Street in the medical district.
Bristol Development is one of the biggest apartment builders in the Nashville area. Its portfolio includes hundreds of high-end urban lofts in downtown Nashville, as well as Birmingham, Memphis and Norfolk, Va.
The company's co-founder, Sam Yeager, is a Huntsville native.



As many as 225 apartments renting for between $800 and $1,300 per month will be built around a central courtyard with a pool, clubhouse and other amenities, he said.

"This will have a very sleek, modern look," Yeager said. "Some people are going to want their house in the suburbs, but for a lot of young professionals, this is exactly what they're looking for."
A map of the proposed project shows a Publix supermarket at the corner of Gallatin Street and Lowe Avenue, with smaller stores and restaurants lining Gallatin.
Yeager said plans calls for a minimum of 15,000-20,000 square feet of new retail space, in addition to the grocery store. He cautioned that the developers do not yet have a signed agreement with Publix.
"They're certainly aware of the site," he said, "and are in the process of evaluating it right now."
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  #4973  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2012, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by HSV Resident View Post
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Brace yourself for a more expensive power bill.

The Huntsville City Council on Thursday night approved a 3.5 percent electric rate hike sought by Huntsville Utilities -- the first local increase since 2002.

Combined with an unrelated 2 percent rate hike OK'd last month by the Tennessee Valley Authority, utility customers can expect their monthly bill to jump by about $7 beginning Oct. 1.

President and CEO William C. Pippin said Huntsville Utilities has to charge more to restore the "financial stability" of an electric system that has operated in the red since 2008.

Revenues have lagged behind expenses for the past three years, with losses of $3 million in 2008, $11.1 million in 2009 and $3.95 million in 2010.

The rate hike passed 4-0, with Will Culver, Bill Kling, John Olshefski and Mark Russell all voting yes.

Richard Showers was at a church conference and missed the meeting.

Culver said he knows it's not a great time to ask people to pay more for electricity. However, Huntsville Utilities has to be able to quickly get the power back on during future ice storms and tornadoes, he said.

"While I personally don't like it," Culver said, "I'm going to support it."

Kling urged utility officials to show more compassion to customers with legitimate financial troubles.

The utility's switch to a new billing system in May triggered widespread complaints about rude clerks, long lines at utility payment centers and long waits to get questions answered by phone.

While the utility extended lobby hours and hired more calltakers, Olshefski said he remains concerned about its customer service.

"They added a few (employees) now," he said, "but where are we going to be in six months?"

Also Thursday, Mayor Tommy Battle presented his proposed $228.6 million city budget for fiscal 2012.

Battle said the city needs to ramp up spending on basic services -- street resurfacing, ditch maintenance, replacing worn-out garbage trucks -- but stay lean in case the country slides back into a recession.

His budget plan grants step raises to eligible city employees -- at a cost of $1.3 million -- but no cost-of-living increase. A limited hiring freeze would also remain in effect.

Culver said he wants to consider giving municipal workers a 5 percent cost-of-living raise. Their last COLA was a 2 percent pay bump in 2008.

Finance Director Randy Taylor said a 5 percent raise would cost the city $5.6 million.

Kling said he likes the emphasis on meat-and-potatoes government services. For example, Battle is recommending $400,000 for drainage ditch maintenance after halting that work for a year to save money.

"They're not glamorous," Kling said, "but that's what we want to provide to the community."

The council scheduled a work session for 4:30 p.m. Thursday to talk about the budget in more detail. A spending plan for 2012 needs to be adopted before the fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
You can thank SAP for this. I have friends in the inner circle at HSV utilities. They tried to implement SAP and it's been a complete failure. They where warned by numerous consulting firms that specialize in Advisory, to NOT to go with SAP. It's not designed for utility companies.

The upper level management received some kick backs from SAP in return for signing a contract. So far, tt's been a complete disaster, and all of the upper level management have taken new jobs with the help of SAP.

At one point, everyone that had signed up for Automatic bill pay, was debited 3 times in one month. You couldn't call customer support, because their call system can only handle 20 people in the queue at a time; the rest just get a busy signal or it hangs up.

So now, HSV utilities can't afford to hire decent SAP contractors to fix their problems. The ones they do hire, fly in from India once a month and patch up the problems. They where spending almost $20K a month just in travel expense for one consultant plus $300/hour.

Last edited by nickodemis; Feb 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM.
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  #4974  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2012, 1:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSVTiger View Post
- A Nashville developer plans to turn part of the former Councill Courts public housing site near Huntsville Hospital into at least 200 high-end apartments, multiple stores and restaurants, and a supermarket(believed to be a Publix)
Bristol Development Group has agreed to pay the Huntsville Housing Authority $3.67 million for 5.58 acres along St. Clair Avenue and Gallatin Street in the medical district.
Bristol Development is one of the biggest apartment builders in the Nashville area. Its portfolio includes hundreds of high-end urban lofts in downtown Nashville, as well as Birmingham, Memphis and Norfolk, Va.
The company's co-founder, Sam Yeager, is a Huntsville native.



As many as 225 apartments renting for between $800 and $1,300 per month will be built around a central courtyard with a pool, clubhouse and other amenities, he said.

"This will have a very sleek, modern look," Yeager said. "Some people are going to want their house in the suburbs, but for a lot of young professionals, this is exactly what they're looking for."
A map of the proposed project shows a Publix supermarket at the corner of Gallatin Street and Lowe Avenue, with smaller stores and restaurants lining Gallatin.
Yeager said plans calls for a minimum of 15,000-20,000 square feet of new retail space, in addition to the grocery store. He cautioned that the developers do not yet have a signed agreement with Publix.
"They're certainly aware of the site," he said, "and are in the process of evaluating it right now."
Parking Deck on the agenda

An architectural contract for a parking deck at the former Councill Courts public housing site highlights tonight's Huntsville City Council agenda.
The council will consider paying Chapman Sisson Architects $349,000 to design a 720-space parking deck near the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Gallatin Street.
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  #4975  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2012, 4:16 PM
nickodemis nickodemis is offline
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Originally Posted by HSVTiger View Post
Parking Deck on the agenda

An architectural contract for a parking deck at the former Councill Courts public housing site highlights tonight's Huntsville City Council agenda.
The council will consider paying Chapman Sisson Architects $349,000 to design a 720-space parking deck near the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Gallatin Street.
$349K to DESIGN a parking deck!!!

They should build it for that price.
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  #4976  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 2:20 AM
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New Dunkin' Donuts and Five Guys Burgers and Fries to be built on Memorial Parkway at Country Club Ave NW this coming summer.
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  #4977  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 2:21 AM
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Time for Sci Quest to come downtown?
Yeah it is
"Sci-Quest, a hands-on science center that opened in 1999 in part of the Calhoun Community College building on Wynn Drive, is exploring three "strong" options for a new home, said Cyndy Morgan, SciQuest's executive director.
"We see this as a huge opportunity for SciQuest to get into a place of our own and grow," Morgan said Wednesday. The center had about 65,000 visitors in 2008 and more than 100,000 in 2010 and 2011, she said."
"We have several options on the table we're starting to explore," Morgan said.
One of those options could be the U.S. Space & Rocket Center campus, across Interstate 565 from Sci-Quest's location.(BORING!)
"I believe it would be a tremendous asset for both of us to be at the same location," said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, the space center's president and CEO.
HSV Times
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  #4978  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 2:27 AM
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And we prepare and wait for Audi
Huntsville is much better prepared this time with a master plan in place for the nearly 10,000 out there.

When Volkswagen considered building its first U.S. automotive plant on Huntsville's western fringe in 2008, city officials didn't have a blueprint for developing the surrounding areas.
If the same rural site ends up in the running for a rumored Audi factory, Mayor Tommy Battle will be able to trot out a detailed master plan that shows where new roads, schools, parks, neighborhoods and businesses might be built nearby.
On Tuesday, The Times' editorial board got a sneak preview of the plan for 9,323 acres of Limestone County farmland annexed by the city since mid-2008.
It was to be presented to the city's zoning subcommittee this morning.
Battle said he believes the annexed farmland, which stretches to Interstate 65 south of Athens, will succeed Hampton Cove, Zierdt Road and the Providence area as the city's next development hotspot.
"We have to keep an area that we can grow into," he said. "This gives us economic viability for the next 20, 30 years.
"None of us in this room will be around to see it fully developed, but we've at least got to put the seeds in the ground."
The linchpin of the city's plan is the 1,500-acre farm, owned by the Sewell family, that Volkswagen took a hard look at before selecting a site in Chattanooga.
The city's Industrial Development Board has paid the Sewell family $300,000 to keep the land under option for the past year and a half. Although the option is due to expire Nov. 30, David Johnston, an IDB member, said the Sewells have agreed to extend it until mid-2013.
That will give city officials more time to come up with the $30 million needed to buy the rolling site just north of the original Greenbrier Bar-B-Que restaurant.
The master plan envisions the Sewell tract becoming a sort of Cummings Research Park-west with a mix of industries, research and development work and other businesses.
Sasaki Associates, the Boston firm that wrote the master plan for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, says two new major roads are needed as that area grows.
A four-lane boulevard tentatively called Greenbrier Parkway would run from Interstate 565 north to Browns Ferry Road. Acting Planning Director Marie Bostick said the city hopes to begin engineering work on the first phase next year.
The other road would be a seven-mile-long interstate spur designed to open Limestone County's rural farmland to commercial development and create a new shortcut between I-565 and I-65.
Greenbrier Parkway and the interstate spur would meet, strategically, at the Sewell tract.
Because the area is so sparsely populated now - barely 800 people spread across more than 9,000 acres - Battle said the city has a unique opportunity to design a pedestrian-friendly community where residents can walk to work, schools and shopping.
More than 20 percent of the annexed farmland - about 2,000 acres - cannot be developed because of flooding concerns and existing wetlands.
Battle said the city would look to use those areas for walking trails, greenways and parks.
Frederick Merrill with Sasaki Associates said economists predict that Huntsville, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., are among the cities poised to be "economic winners" through 2050.
He cited a study that projects Madison and Limestone counties will add 177,000 new residents over the next 25 years.
That growth could be accelerated, officials agreed Tuesday, if the Rocket City lures a huge new employer such as Audi.

Luxury automaker Audi is expected to select a site for its first North American assembly plant by this summer, The Chattanooga Times-Free Press reports . Michael Macht, Volkswagen AG’s head of manufacturing, told Automotive News Europe that while Mexico has advantages, “Made in the USA” is an important statement. Macht told the publication that there’s still capacity at VW’s Chattanooga site. Audi is VW’s luxury brand. In addition to Chattanooga and Mexico, Volkswagen is said to be considering a 1,500-acre site in Huntsville near Greenbrier Road and Old Highway 20 in Limestone County off of I-565.
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  #4979  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 2:33 AM
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SMASHBURGER

http://www.smashburger.com/
The Shoppes of Madison, scheduled to open next month, are nearly complete with tenants ranging from cellular phone and pet stores to discount chains and dining establishments.
In addition to the anchor store, Target, some of the most recognizable retail stores include AT&T, Petco, Ross and the Dollar Tree, according to the City of Madison's website, www.madisonal.gov.
Some of the Shoppes of Madison eateries will be the first in Alabama.
Denver-based Smashburger is one of the nation's fastest-growing, fast casual "better burger" restaurants where the burgers are "smashed," seared and seasoned on the grill.
Another new restaurant to this area will be the Nashville-based Pie in the Sky Pizza, which was named "Best Pizza" in Nashville."
Dallas-based Which Wich, a sandwich shop, will also open in the Shoppes of Madison, along with Decatur-based Zen Berry Yogurt shop, and Fulin's Asian Cuisine, based in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Some of the new retail stores include Kinnucan's, which started in Auburn, but is now based in Oxford, Miss. It specializes in footwear, outerwear and women's apparel. Some of its top brands will include Carhartt, Columbia, The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain khakis, Ray Bay, Oakley and others.
Another women's apparel store opening in the shopping center will be Maurices.
HSV Times
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  #4980  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 2:34 AM
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Construction has started on the previously announced Chipotle on University Drive next to Earth Fare.
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