A Downtown Transformation Creates Retail Synergy In An Unlikely Location

Our company is passionate about Downtown Huntsville.

Which is why we couldn’t be more excited to announce a brand new adaptive-reuse development for Downtown Huntsville: The Garage At Clinton Row.


Over the years, we’ve had the personal pleasure of living and working in the Downtown Huntsville area, partnering with organizations such as Downtown Huntsville Inc. to help sponsor and promote the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville and spearheading the leasing for many major Downtown developments, such as The Avenue, Twickenham Square and the UG White building. This project allows us to take yet another step towards our dream of creating a vibrant and thriving downtown community.

Here’s all the details you need to know about the project:

What Exactly Is The Garage At Clinton Row?

The Garage At Clinton Row is an adaptive reuse development, which will transform a small section of the first floor of the existing Clinton Row parking garage structure into 5-6 retail bays. With UG White and The Clinton Row Project across the street and The Avenue around the corner, it is our vision to create a destination shopping location filled with local and regional boutique retailers, that not only are a good fit for this project, but also for Downtown Huntsville.

Where Will The Garage At Clinton Row Be Located?

The project will utilize the current Clinton Row city parking deck located on Clinton Ave E between Washington St SE and Jefferson St S. Through adaptive reuse, the project will transform the front section of the parking deck on the first floor.

When Will The Garage At Clinton Row Be Completed?

Construction is planned to start early this spring with the hope of opening the shops in the fall of this year.

What Sort Of Impact Will This Project Have On Parking In Downtown Huntsville?

While the project is transforming a section of the first floor of the Clinton Row parking deck into retail bays, the entire project will only remove a total of 15 parking spaces out of the 497 available spaces in the garage, which leaves 482 spaces left for parking.  We have also diligently studied the garage along with city leaders over the last several months and discovered that there are, on average, approximately 200 empty space in the garage on a daily basis, so the removal of 15 spaces should not negatively affect parking in the Downtown area in any way.

What Does This Project Mean For Downtown Huntsville?

To answer this question we spoke with the lead project developer, Wesley Crunkleton, who had this to say about what he believes the project means for the Downtown Huntsville Area:

“Downtown is on a roll right now and it is absolutely critical that we keep that momentum going.

But retail can be complicated, especially in a downtown environment. However, one fact that seems to stand the test of time is that successful retail requires synergy. We cannot just spot place individual retailers throughout downtown and hope that they succeed on their own. If you want to get people out of their cars and on their feet, you have to create an experience for them.

And while we are certainly not the first to bring retail to downtown Huntsville, (retailers and developers such as UG White, The Avenue and The Hudson Family have invested a tremendous amount of time, money and effort in an attempt to create a retail atmosphere in the downtown core) we realized that we needed to create “the glue” that will help these projects stick. Fortunately, the City of Huntsville also believes in this recipe.

It is our belief that, with the addition of The Garage at Clinton Row, we have helped create the synergy needed to allow retail to succeed in downtown Huntsville.”  -Wesley Crunkleton

Who Is Behind The Project?

Clinton Row Partners, LLC is led by Wesley Crunkleton along with two local business men, Mark Harbarger and Graham Burgess, all three of whom have a passion for the Downtown Huntsville area, and helping to empower creative ways to encourage downtown’s continued growth and development.

The City of Huntsville’s partnership on this development was also absolutely integral to bringing such a creative idea to reality. We also have to thank Chad Emerson and the entire DHI team for their assistance in helping bring this project to fruition.

Where Can I Get More Information On Leasing Space In The Development For My Local/Regional Business?

While we are already in negotiations with several local and regional retailers, there are still a few spots open in the development. Potential tenants are welcome to visit the development’s website: www.shopclintonrow.com to get more information and to fill out a tenant application.  Or you can give us a call at 256-536-8809 and speak with our lead leasing agent for the development:  Anusha Alapati.

So Huntsville, what regional and local retailers would you love to see join The Garage at Clinton Row in Downtown Huntsville!? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get in contact with them!

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Could Adaptive Reuse Be The Key To Unlocking Huntsville’s Full Potential?

For those unfamiliar with the term “adaptive reuse,”  basically it’s a fancy way of saying you’re going to find a new use for an old building, or if we want to get more technical about it, “a process by which structurally sound older buildings are developed for economically viable new uses.”

The concept itself isn’t new, but really came into mainstream architectural parlance during the 1960s and 1970s due to the growing concern for the environment.  This, combined with high material costs, difficulties in securing building permits, and the growing preservation movement which was gaining ground due the national attention the grassroots efforts to save SoHo and Penn Statation were receiving in New York City at the time,  “resulted in adaptive reuse becoming a viable alternative to new construction,” stated  Sophie Cantell in an essay on The Adaptive Reuse of Historic Industrial Buildings.

But why? What are the benefits of adaptive reuse over simply building new?

Of course there is the fact that historic buildings help to “define the character of our communities by providing a tangible link with the past,” Cantell stated.  But there are also social and economic benefits to the community as well says Cantell.   “A successful adaptive reuse project can bring redevelopment, heritage tourism, and new life into a community.”

the-huntsville-timesbob-gathany-50da7f22e5f0db2bProof of this is already starting to trickle through our city as successful local adaptive reuse projects such as Lowe Mill are having an increasing impact on our community and new projects such as Campus No. 805 (the old Stone Middle School site) and Huntsville West (the former West Huntsville Elementary School) are popping up.

Here are just a few more creative projects from around the US that are igniting our imaginations right now for how adaptive reuse could have a big impact on Huntsville!

The Pratt Power Plant
Built in 1900, the plant served as the main source of power for the United Railways and Electric Company and later served as a central steam plant for the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company and finally shut down in 1973.  Since then the plant has gone under an adaptive reuse to become a mixed-use, office, retail and entertainment facility.
The High Line
The High Line (also known as High Line Park) was once a portion of the West Side rail line running to the Lower West Side of Manhattan that had been abandoned since the 1980s.   When plans to demolish the disused line caused a community outcry, the High Line went under a creative adaptive reuse to create a 1.45 mile long linear park.
Built in 1937 as an Oil Station, the building went under an adaptive reuse to become a restaurant, complete with original subway tiles and salvaged brick.
Olio Restaurant Exterior; Saint Louis, Mo., owned by Chef Ben Poremba

Rhode Island Mill
Built in 1901 as a textile mill and closing it’s doors in 2001, this old mill went under an adaptive reuse to convert the 102,000 SF building into 63 dwelling units for low income families, complete with a Head Start daycare and business center.
770 North Point
A parking garage built just after the turn of the century in San Francisco went under adaptive reuse to become a Patagonia clothing store.
Could projects like this help revitalize more of the Huntsville area and breathe life into the older industrial sectors of our city?   We’d love to know what you think!  Leave a comment below and let us know what Huntsville buildings you’d love to see go through an adaptive reuse!

Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!