Downtown Huntsville Dynamic Growth

Welcome (back) to the DHI Explorer Blog!

We recently hired Katelyn Henderson as our new Communications Director and thought that presented an opportunity to bring back our blog.  As with its previous life, the DHI Explorer Blog is intended to dig deeper into Downtown strategies—both here in Huntsville and best practices in peer cities.  Our plan is to publish each Monday morning with a thought-provoking post of around 1000 (hopefully) interesting words.

To kick things off, we want to share with you a new infographic that DHI has compiled (with the help of our friends at Matter Design Co.).  During the last five years, we’ve seen lots of anecdotal evidence that Downtown Huntsville offers a dynamic business opportunity for new and existing businesses. 

Increased sales.  Expanded hours and spaces.  Fast-growing investment.  All of these and more indicate that the Huntsville City Center is a significant force in the regional economy.  We wanted to dig deeper though to quantify all these great qualitative successes.

The result is the “Downtown Huntsville Dynamic Growth” infographic below. We started with a simple premise: let the numbers speak for themselves. 

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This is not intended to be a marketing or persuasive document only.  Sure, we do highlight our quantitative successes, but we were also careful to be accurate and not “over-sell” the numbers.  That’s the right thing to do for several reasons including the fact that sophisticated business operators will research and test the metrics themselves.  Over-stating the Downtown Huntsville metrics is one of the fastest way to lose credibility in the marketplace.

So, we prioritized accuracy and reliability above all when compiling the infographics.  Fortunately, we had great resources that the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber (h/t to Ken Smith their statistical guru) and the U.S. Census Explorer tool (one of the best resources out there to learn more about census tracts on an empirical level).

The result is an impressive set of data points which demonstrate that the Downtown Huntsville retail, residential, office, and tourism markets are performing at a very strong level.  Among the highlights are notably high trade area income levels and notably low Class A office vacancy.  These indicate high potential purchasing power in the immediate Downtown area and significant demand for office space in the city center.

A strong trade area income segment allows Downtown businesses to rely on a “built-in” local customer base.  In other words, persuading the growing number of higher income Downtown residents to shop, eat, drink and play creates a more predictable and accessible customer base when compared to Downtowns that rely on primarily out of market (tourists/business travelers) or out of trade area customers.

We’ve worked with numerous real estate professionals and development experts to compile these metrics.  They are intended to present an overview of the dynamic Downtown business climate.  If you are interested in learning more about these metrics or discussing others such as our Downtown Housing Demand Study, Downtown Retail Demand Study, or the Downtown Huntsville Master Plan Update, please contact our President & CEO Chad Emerson at

We’ll see you in the Huntsville City Center soon!