The City of Huntington, WV is poised for new community revitalization and exciting approaches for overcoming our key challenges. Mayor Steve Williams and the City of Huntington are working in partnership with the business sector, neighborhood groups, community organizations, the health care industry, Marshall University and others to launch a new initiative that will focus revitalization in three targeted areas, and use 21st Century infrastructure to connect it all together. The Revitalization Plan project will build on community efforts already underway in three key areas, and connect them with advanced broadband communications infrastructure, and a community-wide PATH trail for walking & cycling. The three bricks & mortar projects are:
• Highlawn Brownfield Revitalization: The Highlawn neighborhood is challenged by the legacy of former industrial manufacturing and contaminated brownfields properties including the ACF Industries plant and other closed factories and blighted parcels clustered around 3rd Avenue and the Ohio River. Huntington has launched a “River City Brownfields Transformation” initiative to clean these sites and prepare them for redevelopment. The vision is to develop, in partnership with Marshall University and others, advanced manufacturing and research entities, additional athletic and recreational facilities together with mixed use commercial, retail and entertainment development, and green space and green infrastructure to reduce flooding and stormwater pollution. Huntington is now seeking U.S. EPA funding and other support to move this forward.
• West End River-to-Rail Revitalization: Huntington continues the endeavor to eliminate blight, beautify the neighborhoods, ensure safe streets, and grow businesses and jobs in the economically distressed west end. Building on success from a robust community collaboration, community policing efforts, and the expansion and growth of the Central City Market, a local food center, and small grassroots businesses, Huntington seeks to take this “River-to-Rail Revitalization” to the next level. This includes growing new jobs and economic opportunities in manufacturing, warehousing, and commercial businesses associated with the expected boom that will result from the Heartland Intermodal Gateway transportation center on the Big Sandy River south of the city. Plans also include the development of retail, restaurants, a new hotel and other improvements in this neighborhood.
• Hal Greer Boulevard & Fairfield West Revitalization: Huntington is poised for exciting revitalization at this gateway corridor into our community, with the transformation of Northcott Court public housing to new, better housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families, the continued growth of the medical and health care sector around the anchor of Cabell-Huntington Hospital, and emerging opportunities for mixed-use investment on the Hal Greer corridor. Huntington seeks a total transformation of Hal Greer Boulevard while ensuring that long-time residents and neighborhood cohesiveness endure. This could include transformation of the roadway into a “Complete Street” that fosters walking, biking, transit access, trees, stormwater management, and connectivity as well as efficient vehicle access. It will include mixed-use development including a grocery store, retail and commercial businesses, and mixed-rate housing units. And it could include enhancements to community facilities such as the A.D. Lewis Community Center.
Altogether, these three initiatives will transform Huntington and create a more prosperous and vibrant future – a new frontier for community revitalization.