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  #41  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 2:48 AM
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Thanx for the post Druid!! I got back onto campus a few weeks ago for band camp. I noticed that that area was still sitting there as it was a few months ago, I was pretty dissappointed. I've been wondering what's goin on.
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  #42  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 3:34 AM
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Quote:
So instead of two buildings (a 13 story hotel and an 8-10 story condo), this will be one 14 story mixed use, right?
Yes, though the fate of the adjacent vacant parcel of land, owned by the university, is still unresolved. So, if this 14-story development does go forward, the university could well decide to sell or lease its vacant lot for some complementary development.

Also, Red Mountain Entertainment of Birmingham will book events for the amphitheater, if built. Red Mountain already books events like Bayfest in Mobile, concerts at The Wharf in Orange Beach, and Big Spring Jam in Huntsville: http://www.redmountainentertainment.com/about.php

Construction is ongoing on "City Lofts," a small development downtown next to DePalma's Cafe:
http://www.tuscaloosalofts.com/
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Last edited by DruidCity; Aug 27, 2008 at 1:29 AM.
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  #43  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 8:27 PM
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UA bus system reaches 2 millionth rider in its second year of operation:
http://cw.ua.edu/crimsonride_celebrates_two_million

For those unfamiliar with the city, this is separate from the city bus system, which serves just four fixed routes, mostly serving the poorest parts of town.
Although it's puny and pretty much useless to most area residents, ridership is up 9% this year to something in the neighborhoos of 15,000 riders a month, and the under-construction, city-owned parking deck in the heart of downtown which will house the new city transit HQ might facilite some vastly needed new routes :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/416073120

Right now, the biggest unserved "gap" in the local bus systems is transportation BETWEEN campus and the rest of the city, but the city is talking with the university about the possibility of the UA bus system adding a "night/weekend entertainment route."

UA starts "bike rental" program : http://cw.ua.edu/bama_bikes_rides_off_to_a_hot_start
I'll add that there is a similar program at Texas State University that is very popular and has grown to include a bicycle repair service.

The Bryant Drive streetscaping project isn't quite finished, but it is getting there. This should improve a major corridor between campus and downtown for pedestrians and bicycles.

Proposed Ridgecrest Nature Trail would provide another pedestrian connection between the university and the riverwalk:
http://cw.ua.edu/recretional_trail_may_be_on_the_way

Local governments pitch in to preserve 249-acre Hurricane Creek (environmental hotspot) near path of planned "eastern bypass" highway as park: http://www.alabamarivers.org/press-r...rea-to-be-park
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  #44  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 9:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DruidCity View Post
UA starts "bike rental" program : http://cw.ua.edu/bama_bikes_rides_off_to_a_hot_start
I'll add that there is a similar program at Texas State University that is very popular and has grown to include a bicycle repair service.
I know the person that started this and they are very excited that it has taken off this quickly. Basically you can leave your bike on the rack and the outdoors guys come and pick them up. Sounds like a great deal to me.

As for the bus system there used to be a similar one in Baton Rouge where the city and University reached a deal to make the buses go on popular routes. Obviously Crimson Ride isnt going to be replaced but it would be nice if they could use those buses to go to residential areas along with downtown.
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  #45  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2008, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DruidCity View Post
UA bus system reaches 2 millionth rider in its second year of operation:
http://cw.ua.edu/crimsonride_celebrates_two_million

For those unfamiliar with the city, this is separate from the city bus system, which serves just four fixed routes, mostly serving the poorest parts of town.
Although it's puny and pretty much useless to most area residents, ridership is up 9% this year to something in the neighborhoos of 15,000 riders a month, and the under-construction, city-owned parking deck in the heart of downtown which will house the new city transit HQ might facilite some vastly needed new routes :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/416073120

Right now, the biggest unserved "gap" in the local bus systems is transportation BETWEEN campus and the rest of the city, but the city is talking with the university about the possibility of the UA bus system adding a "night/weekend entertainment route."

UA starts "bike rental" program : http://cw.ua.edu/bama_bikes_rides_off_to_a_hot_start
I'll add that there is a similar program at Texas State University that is very popular and has grown to include a bicycle repair service.

The Bryant Drive streetscaping project isn't quite finished, but it is getting there. This should improve a major corridor between campus and downtown for pedestrians and bicycles.

Proposed Ridgecrest Nature Trail would provide another pedestrian connection between the university and the riverwalk:
http://cw.ua.edu/recretional_trail_may_be_on_the_way

Local governments pitch in to preserve 249-acre Hurricane Creek (environmental hotspot) near path of planned "eastern bypass" highway as park: http://www.alabamarivers.org/press-r...rea-to-be-park
Thanx for the update Druid. Things have been much better on campus this year in my opinion. I live on the other side of campus now, so I don't get to Bryant Drive very frequently. Though, I did drive down it the other day, and it look absolutely wonderful. I think it's gonna do a lot for that part of town.

The CrimsonRide is also doing better. They even created a single route that goes between the univesity and an apartment complex.
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  #46  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2008, 8:42 PM
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From ESPN:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Forced out of New Orleans a week ago by the threat of Hurricane Gustav, Tulane got a standing ovation from Alabama fans just for jogging into the stadium.


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I'm proud to say that I was one of those. Lord, what an awful game on Bama's part. Tulane put up a great fight.
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  #47  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2008, 9:01 PM
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Forced out of New Orleans a week ago by the threat of Hurricane Gustav, Tulane got a standing ovation from Alabama fans just for jogging into the stadium.
I saw a LOT of Louisiana plates in town this past week because of Gustav. Shelton State Community College cancelled classes for the week to act as a shelter for several hundred evacuees, and Belk Community Center also served as a shelter for several hundred.

In another bit of news, a couple of restaurants that already have locations in the Birmingham area are opening locations at the Midtown shopping center in October : Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Iguana Grill.
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Last edited by DruidCity; Sep 7, 2008 at 9:25 PM.
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  #48  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 5:37 PM
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UA nears decision on adding to stadium

Quote:
TUSCALOOSA University of Alabama administrators will decide in the next few months whether to go ahead with an expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium, President Robert Witt said Tuesday.

Bryant-Denny Stadium
Capacity: 92,138
Under consideration: Expansion of the south end zone next to Bryant Drive
Estimated cost: $80 million

Earlier this year, Witt delayed the expansion, which was in an initial planning stage, because of an economic downturn. Sagging tax collections meant a cut in state money, forcing Witt's staff to focus on more pressing financial issues. More importantly for athletics, though, administrators wanted to know how a sluggish economy would affect fundraising.

Finding a way to pay for the expansion is the major issue, and Witt said architects are designing a wide range of options, from the most expensive to the cheapest, to see what is realistic, based on the university's finances.

'We'll know in the next few months whether we'll move forward,' Witt said.

The expansion of the south end zone has been discussed since early 2007 when demand for tickets skyrocketed after the university hired head football coach Nick Saban. In April 2007, UA hired Davis Architects of Birmingham to study an expansion of the south end zone next to Bryant Drive as part of an athletic facility master plan.

The expansion was included in a five-year facilities plan given to trustees in June, with an estimated cost of $80 million. However, a project's inclusion on the five-year plan does not guarantee it will happen, nor does it mean trustees would approve of every aspect of the plan.

Witt said the demand is still there. In fact, he joked at a Faculty Senate meeting last month that a 200,000-seat stadium is needed to meet fan demand.

UA paid $50 million to add roughly 9,000 seats to the north end zone before the 2006 season.

With a capacity 92,138, Bryant-Denny is the fourth-largest stadium in the Southeastern Conference. An addition of 609 seats would place it second, but a 9,900-seat addition is needed to surpass Neyland Stadium's capacity of 102,037 at the University of Tennessee. However, UT officials plan to add club seats in 2009, lowering capacity to close to 100,000.
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  #49  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 6:38 PM
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They should go ahead with the addition. ALL students at the university that keep themselves in order should be allowed to attend. I'm in the band, and they took the tickets that we purchased away from us to give to other students. It really made me mad, cause I don't sell my tickets, I use them so that my friends and family can come and see me march.

Either way, they should make it easier for every student to attend.
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  #50  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2008, 6:26 PM
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Either way, they should make it easier for every student to attend.
Absolutely. They should juggle some seats around and push some of the folk in the SW corner up into the new upper deck. Ultimately, students pay quite a bit more than the avg. fan who attends a game does (athletics fees, etc.) and have a massively higher local area economic impact vs. that same avg. fan. They also are much better at creating a sonically-disruptive environment which is a positive when discussing stadia. Making sure they're in the lower bowl would help enhance that effect.

Can't wait to see what it looks like. Will be nice when a real final rendering of the exterior even comes up (since all accounts seem to indicate the interior as a basic mirror of the opposing endzone). Haven't seen anything but odd bits and bobs on the internet to this point.
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  #51  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2008, 9:21 PM
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Article : "UA construction goes green" :
http://cw.ua.edu/ua_construction_goes_green

$60-million McKenzie Court Hope VI housing construction in west end, which will also include a branch of the county library:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl.../NEWS/17285379

http://www.mckenziehopevi.com/photogallery.php

It's worth noting that this is traditionally the poorest part of town, so this is the largest single non-industrial investment
in this area.
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Last edited by DruidCity; Sep 13, 2008 at 3:01 PM.
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  #52  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2008, 3:44 PM
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Workers Memorial Commons planned along the downtown riverfront:
http://workersmemorialcommons.org/T-News-view.html
It will feature a 15-foot sculpture incorporating a section of I-beam from the WTC, and four 30-foot metal things.

The left part of the photo is where the $13-million amphitheater is supposed to go in a couple years, with parking roughly where the orange clay area is.
The whole parcel (amphitheater plus workers memorial) is approximately 16 acres. Because of the site's former use as a city dump, it was deemed unsuitable for heavy buildings, which is why lighter uses such as an amphitheater, park space, and the memorial are planned.

Just off the right of the photo is the old Tuscaloosa Chevrolet site, which is being used for RV parking this fall. The 7.2-acre site is currently for sale, and is the largest riverfront-area site in Tuscaloosa's downtown area available for private development.

I have not seen any progress on the planned 5-story Cambria and Staybridge hotels north of the river. The site was cleared last year, and there is still a construction trailer, but I'm wondering if the project has been abandoned ?
http://amason-associates.com/hospandcondo.html

Here's yet another of the many planned low-rise condo projects catering to the Bama football crowd: http://www.crimsoncommonscondos.com/

Renderings of the "City Lofts" project downtown, next to DePalma's Cafe:
http://www.marcumarchitects.com/proj...project&for=71

Overbuilding of multi-family residential ?
http://uanews.ua.edu/anews2008/jul08/market071508.htm
Quote:
Most managers of multifamily housing properties in Tuscaloosa – more than 75 percent – say they think the multifamily housing market in Tuscaloosa is slightly overbuilt or severely overbuilt, according to a survey conducted at the close of the spring semester by the Alabama Center for Real Estate at The University of Alabama.
UA enrollment tops 27,000 for first time :
http://uanews.ua.edu/anews2008/sep08...ment091608.htm

Stillman College :
http://www.stillman.edu/stillman/wha...008.12.08.html
"To date, 438 freshmen have made their way to Stillman -- over 150 more than at this time last year – and more are expected before classes start Aug. 18." (Article was posted August 9)
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Last edited by DruidCity; Sep 17, 2008 at 2:54 PM.
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  #53  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2008, 2:44 AM
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Check out dynasty park.

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  #54  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2008, 5:06 AM
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So, I've been by this site a few times w/in the past month and I haven't seen any change in the site. When is this expected to start?
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  #55  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2008, 4:00 AM
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So, I've been by this site a few times w/in the past month and I haven't seen any change in the site. When is this expected to start?
Early '09 I believe. The city council approved it last night.
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  #56  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2008, 5:43 AM
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Yea, I read all about it in the Crimson White this morning. A great read...
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  #57  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2008, 7:20 PM
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Yeah, the Dynasty Park plan is to open by the end of 2010, according to articles. Keep in mind, also, that there is other "developable" land nearby like the adjacent Solomon's lot that could produce more of that kind of development if the economy picks up. Having the Publix grocery, restaurants, and bars all in short walking distance bodes well for the demand for residential in that part of town, essentially the "university's downtown."

Here's a nice article about the $15 million intermodal facility/free public parking deck under construction downtown :
http://cw.ua.edu/city_intermodal_fac...g_along_nicely

Quote:
“The purpose of this project is to be a home for the city’s transit system,” said Joe Robinson, city engineer. “The facility will have 449 parking spaces for the public.”

...Robinson said the city is currently negotiating with Amtrak to shuttle people to the train station from the intermodal complex...
Robinson said the intermodal facility is expected to be completed in summer 2009.
Having the big chunk of free parking in the middle of downtown plus bus service to the university should be a nice boost for future downtown development.
The city has been maintaining a couple of large surface lots (like the "Cityfest block" that will hopefully be freed up for development, thanks to the new deck. The city also plans a $9.5-million "streetscaping/revitalization" project for 21st Avenue right in the heart of downtown.

Delaware Jackson housing project to sell for $13.6 million to developer planning student apartments :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/809170235
The whole "midtown" region (roughly speaking, from south of the university and hospital through the 15th/McFarland intersection over to Forest Lake) has made a lot of strides in the last couple years (Crimson Place, Midtown Village, and now this project). It wasn't long ago at all that this part of town was losing population.
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  #58  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2008, 3:32 AM
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I found a web site for the Dynasty Park tower, with some renderings:
http://www.dynastypark.com/static/gallery/

Downtown's most prominent building sold, and the new owner is considering the possibilities of top-floor residential and a lower-floor restaurant:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/810060285
Quote:
Tentative plans call for four apartments on the vacant 10th floor. The apartments would range in size from 750 to 1,250 square feet and come in one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Each apartment would feature a view only possible from the tallest structure in Tuscaloosa.

Hurd said residential use is just one possibility for the 10th floor, which served AmSouth Bank as extra storage space for years.
More UA stuff:
http://cw.ua.edu/1.821567
http://uanews.ua.edu/anews2008/oct08...ones101408.htm

Proposed $25-million, 150,000sqft retail development within Northport's greater downtown/riverfront master plan zone:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/810040292

Also, I noticed a "For Sale" sign on the property on the Strip where the University Station condo had been planned.
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  #59  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2008, 2:22 AM
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I really like the sound of that Northport proposal. That would be a great attraction for Northport's already nice downtown. Plus that would also encourage some more river oriented cultural growth, which I think is a HUGE draw for people from both in and out of town.

Also, the Dynasty Park pictures look AMAZING.
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  #60  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2008, 10:44 PM
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Thanks DruidCity for the updates. You certainly have an eagle eye for this sort of thing.
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