Major changes are happening in downtown Huntsville as the city has started the process of razing part of the Von Braun Center parking deck on Monroe Street to make room for a new hotel.
It’s long been in the plans as the city council last year approved the development of an Autograph Collection hotel by Marriott on the south side of the parking deck overlooking Big Spring Park.
But the demolition work has begun in earnest for a long-time downtown structure, though the parking garage was not necessarily an aesthetic asset. The new parking garage will have decorative panels that can be lit in different colors at night.
Only part of the garage is being torn down, which is the oldest part fronting Monroe Street across from the VBC. The newer sections of the garage, further to east away from the VBC, will remain in place. The new parking garage will be accessed from Clinton Avenue as well as Monroe Street.
The new hotel will only take up a portion of the demolished section of the parking garage, which will be rebuilt to five levels to recapture the lost parking spaces. In May, the council approved a $14.4 million contract with Turner Construction Company to rebuild the garage.
The parking garage will also provide parking for the Autograph hotel as well as the under-construction Hampton Inn & Suites at Monroe Street and Clinton Avenue.
The Autograph hotel, which has fallen behind its original schedule due to heavy rain last winter and the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to be open by the end of 2021. A 187-room boutique hotel, it will have a rooftop bar, two full-service restaurants and banquet/conference space.