MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – A development in Madison will soon be Madison’s first arts and entertainment district.
On Monday, the City Council voted allow Ordinance 2022-298. With the exception of Councilwoman Karen Denzin, the majority of the council voted in favor of the resolution.
An arts and entertainment district means that people can leave their activities in the district and take their alcoholic beverages with them in designated cups.
Arts & Entertainment will span all of Madison’s shopping centers, including Toyota Field.
The city of Madison will install signs on sidewalks or light poles to let people know where the district boundaries are.
If that concept sounds familiar, it’s because it’s similar to Purple Cup districts like downtown Huntsville, Providence Village and Bridge Street.
However, Madison stands out. The mug will be a Kelly Green “stadium mug” with the Town of Madison logo on the side.
Mayor Paul Finley told News 19 they chose green because “a lot of what we do is green, it’s about ‘rooting.'”
Businesses wishing to participate under the new district permit will be required to pay a $50 license fee.
No problem with that Prohibition Rooftop Bar & Grill.
“We’re definitely going to do it here,” general manager Tyler Berger said. “We’ve already looked into getting a bowl at Kelly Green and managing it all.”
Berger said he’s excited about the program’s potential to bring new people to the district and through their front doors.
“Because we’re a new restaurant, we’re going to bring more people in and stop there and get something to hang around,” he said.
News 19 also spoke with the General Manager Moe Authentic BBQ, Davison Payne.
He said he’s excited about the opportunity, too, especially during Garbage Panda’s game days.
Payne said it’s exciting to see such continued growth within Towne Madison.
“Every day things are opening up and you can see a lot of things being done here,” Payne said.
Finley said the Arts and Entertainment District is just one of many things to come for the city of Madison.
One of the things he mentioned is the completion of the I-565 interchange in Madison.
The mayor said the funding had already been approved and explained how the “helicopter” would work.
“On I-565, the northbound lanes will be fully connected to the eastbound and westbound lanes. So it flies over 565 and connects what’s there,” Finley said. “It gives people more flexibility to get in and out of Huntsville and Decatur, and that makes the whole area more accessible.”
Improvements to the I-565 interchange aren’t just for citizens, he added.
“It’s a big difference for businesses,” the mayor said. “What they’re seeing is that there could be a lot of people coming out of there.”
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Finley said he expects the project to take “18 months to two years” to complete.
He said he looks forward to other development projects planned for Madison.
“We have a lot of opportunities that we see now, but boy, can you imagine where we’re going to be in two years,” he said.
As for the arts and entertainment district, it is expected to break ground in January 2023. The Alabama Beverage Control Board still needs to approve some things, and the city needs businesses to be ready.
Click here to read more about district rules and regulations in the ordinance here. Information begins on page 163.