In late January, Turner Construction completed the three-phase Freedom Center, a new office complex that is part of the revitalization of South Huntsville, Ala.
The project, designed by Matheny Goldmon Architecture + Interiors and estimated at between $10 million and $12 million, is a multi-tenant facility where its anchor, Torch Technologies, a defense contractor, now operates its corporate headquarters.
Torch’s sister company, Freedom Real Estate and Capital, cleared the path for the steel-framed Freedom Center last year by acquiring two office buildings as well as approximately 12 surrounding acres of land. The Freedom Center is positioning itself to be a hub for business close to Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal.
Torch received a $2.1 million incentive package to stay in Huntsville and redevelop these properties from the city, the state of Alabama, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to the Alabama Media Group’s website. It also received tax abatements and grants, and $250,000 from the state as reimbursement for capital expenditures, AIDT-provided workforce training, and the capital income tax credit.
The schematic of Freedom Center's main level shows what's been upgraded during its three-phase renovation. Image: Courtesy of Freedom Real Estate and Capital
The three-phase Freedom Center project included the renovation of a 40,000-sf four-story building at 4090 South Memorial Parkway, which was completed in October 2015. Phase 2 involved the construction of a one-story 12,000-sf building, which connects two existing properties developed by Freedom Real Estate and Capital. This new building features office and training spaces, as well as a 10,000-plus-sf conference center.
Phase 3 replaced the building’s HVAC system, refurbished its lobby and elevators, and replaced the roof on the four-story building a 4035 Chris Drive.
“This is a significant project for Huntsville. Companies like Freedom Real Estate are increasingly investing in the redevelopment of the area,” said Lee Holland, project executive in Turner’s Huntsville office and a native of the city. “We’re thankful to have played a small role in those efforts with the construction and renovations at the Freedom Center.”
Bill Roark, CEO of Torch Technologies & Freedom Real Estate & Capital added that the Freedom Center’s name is meant to honor “the many military members, as well as civilians, who fight and work every day to keep our country free.”
Other Building Team members on this project included 4 Site Incorporated, PEC Structural Engineering, and SSOE Group.
New Live-Work-Shop complex moving forward
Another major project that appears to have picked up momentum in downtown Huntsville is Constellation, a $180 million live-work-shop complex that would include restaurants and retail, 150 apartments, 280,000 sf of office space, a new hotel, and two parking decks.
This project was first conceived in 2000 but got waylaid during the last recession. But developer Scott McLain, of Coldwell Commercial Real Estate and McLain Real Estate, tells al.com that he has a “firmly established and functioning partnership” for this project, which he claims is now in “full development.”
Groundbreaking for Constellation could take place in a few months, said McLain.