HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The family behind southeast Huntsville’s busy Valley Bend at Jones Farm shopping center is proposing to build a high-end neighborhood right next door.
These are architectâs renderings of the proposed Lendon neighborhood off Carl T. Jones Drive in Jones Valley. Being developed by John Blue and Peter Lowe, the 69-acre neighborhood will feature as many as 250 residences â from 800-square-foot carriage houses to 5,000-square-foot estates â multiple parks, shops, restaurants and a pedestrian mall lining both sides of a canal. (Drawing courtesy of Smith Gee Studio.)
Brothers-in-law John Blue and Peter Lowe hope to start construction later this year on Lendon, a 68-acre project that Blue considers a template for future development of scenic Jones Valley.
Plans call for as many as 250 homes of varying sizes and styles, boutique shopping, outdoor cafes, a large clubhouse that doubles as a bed and breakfast for out-of-town guests, and narrow streets to encourage walking – all bordering city-owned Jones Farm Park.
Blue said the mix of uses is designed to evoke the feel of downtown Huntsville.
“If downtown appeals to you, then I think Lendon will appeal to you, because that’s the model,” he told The Times last week.
Before the bulldozers roll, the city has to agree to rezone the property from multi-family residential to Planned Unit Development – a flexible zoning classification being used by the developers of the Village of Providence.
The Huntsville Planning Commission approved the Lendon rezoning last month and recommended that the City Council do the same.
A public hearing has been scheduled for the council’s June 28 meeting.
Lendon – the name is a tribute to the developers’ late fathers, Len Lowe and Don Blue – is earmarked for a large field between Valley Bend and the Brookdale Place senior living community.
The site is one of the last remnants of sprawling Jones Farm on the Valley Bend side of Carl T. Jones Drive.
This is where developers John Blue and Peter Lowe plan to build a neighborhood called Lendon featuring 250 residences of varying styles and sizes, multiple parks, shops, restaurants and a “pedestrian mall” lining both sides of a landscaped canal. (The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)
Blue, whose wife, Carolyn, is the younger daughter of the late Carl T. Jones, said the family has no immediate plans to develop roughly 1,000 acres of pasture land on the north side of the road.
“It’s not going to be in our lifetime or our kids’ lifetimes that the farm will be absorbed,” he said Tuesday.
Lowe is married to Jones’ other daughter, Betsy.
Architecture and history buffs, Blue and Lowe spent four years laboring over design plans for Lendon. Blue estimates it will cost $5 million just to install the streets, sidewalks, utilities, landscaping and other infrastructure.
The biggest challenge may be turning what is now a stagnant, weed-filled drainage ditch into a charming canal lined with shops, cafes and people.
“We want to make it an amenity rather than an eyesore