As the third largest municipality in Morgan County, Priceville is part of the Decatur Metropolitan Area and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, the second fastest growing region in Alabama. This prime location makes Priceville ideally positioned to kick off new design and planning initiatives.
DesignPlace is doing just that – helping to guide Priceville in a new direction by providing design, planning and community identity assistance. DesignPlace, a program started by DesignAlabama last year, brings a team of experts into a community to show how quality of life increases when the design arts are put into action.
As part of the program, DesignAlabama brought professional consultants to Priceville last November to gather information and create a preliminary “blueprint” based on input from local residents and community leaders. The team’s report will be presented at a follow-up public meeting scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. March 29 in the Priceville Municipal Building.
Councilman Joe Lubisco says he was encouraged by the “fantastic turnout” at the first meeting and expects even greater attendance March 29. He points to several factors that make Priceville ideal for change, including its crossroads location, amenities already in place, a higher-than-average median household, and a commercial corridor that is “ripe for redevelopment.” Another advantage is the amount of land available to be developed through public and private partnerships.
A number of ideas have been expressed and among those topping the list is the downtown. To bring more amenities downtown and redevelop it as a town center where people can live, work and play. Lubisco notes that Priceville offers the best of both worlds – a small, hometown atmosphere and an easy commute to Huntsville.
Says Joey Hester, director of Planning and Economic Development at North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments: “What I see is the work created by the DesignAlabama team through the new DesignPlace initiative serving as the catalyst for a fresh approach to planning and development going forward in Priceville. This will only enhance the great quality of life already enjoyed by residents.”
DesignPlace, he adds, will positively influence new retail, office, institutional, recreational and residential development through careful planning.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had anything like this in terms of community involvement,” Lubisco adds. “If you can get the community involved, then the community thrives.”
Image 1: DesignPlace, a program started by DesignAlabama last year, brings together experts to assist the participating city with design, planning and community identity. Priceville is currently participating in the program, which is open to Alabama communities that have participated in the DesignAlabama Mayors Design Summit.
Image 2: More than 150 residents turned out for this first meeting to discuss a new direction for their town. Community leaders expect an even greater turnout at the next meeting scheduled for March 29 in the Priceville Municipal Building.
Image 3: An initial DesignPlace meeting was held last November to gain input from residents and community leaders. Two young attendees at that meeting study their town map.
Image 4: DesignPlace is looking at ways improve the quality of life in Priceville, a community near Huntsville and Decatur that already has a lot going for it. A popular idea is to create a town center that will provide residents a place to work, live and play.
*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Joe Lubisco, the Town of Priceville and DesignAlabama.