Tuscaloosa Federal Project
News Centre

Last Updated 09-26-04

We've got lots of courthouses, lots of government, plenty of regulations...what's missing? Hey, what happened to the town?
Goodbye, Tuscaloosa; Hello, Federal Security Zone!

The mysterious and secretive "federal complex," has finally come out into the light. On this page, I will attempt to link to all news stories concerning this project, as well as putting in updates about any news I hear locally.

The city council passed the plan with little notice, catching most of the businesses in the area by surprise. As far as I can tell, there were never any public hearings or attempts to get input from the public on this project. Funded by millions of federal tax dollars, it coming anyway. It should be noted that Sen. Richard Shelby, who landed this monsterous pork appropriation for T-town (or rather, on T-town), owns property adjacent to that which will be redeveloped, and it is reasonable to assume that this will enhance his property values.

Probably the only warning any of the business owners had was when a few friends and I distributed printed copies of my earlier essay on the mysterious project. It seems it was too late for them to do anything--this deal was undoubtably done months ago in the backrooms. There was never any intention of deigning to ask lowly citizens or mere property owners what they thought about all this "redevelopment."

Of course, many people who don't own businesses in the area will be fully in favour of the idea. A lot of ordinary people have little regard for other people's rights, so long as they think their own are secure. People who think that an auto glass or muffler-repair shop looks "trashy" next to the multi-million dollar shiny new copper-roofed munici-palace that is Tuscaloosa's City Hall Annex will have no qualms about using the armed might of government to force property owners out. You know this "property values crowd" [PVC]. They'd beat you to death in the street with a hammer if they thought it'd raise their property values, and the same goes for anyone who paints their house a colour the PVC doesn't like.

News Stories

(arranged in chronological order)

  1. Senate approves appropriation for project
    Tuscaloosa News, 01-25-03.

    I dug this story up recently. I did not notice it when it first came out. Apparently, no one else did either. The project was a near-total surprise to the property owners in the area.

  2. Guantanabama?
    FreeAlabama.Com, 06-26-03

    This is my intitial article on the subject. I distributed this as a printed flyer a few days before the project hit the front pages.

  3. New park at 15th and Queen City Ave.
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-06-03.

    This is a nearby, related project to the main downtown project. It will also be paid for with money funneled down from the federal trough by Richard Shelby.

  4. City Council approves $80 million downtown renovation
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-08-03.

    $50 million of the total will be used to construct a giant new federal building to house more swarms of officers to harrass and eat out our substance.

  5. Downtown Tuscaloosa due for a makeover
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-09-03.
    This is the MUST-READ article on the project. This lays it all out. The little kids have something the big kid wants, so he's going to take it. Your government in action.

    “It's bull, and I don't like the idea," said Ronnie Harless, owner of Auto Trim and Tire on Sixth Street. “They just spent a $3 million facelift on the federal courthouse on Greensboro [Avenue]; it's ridiculous" . . . .“It's a big money project, and they're doing this for the doctors and lawyers. They need to look at the business downtown. We stay covered up with customers."
    [City Councilman Lee] Garrison said he was not aware some downtown businesses were against the proposed project: “The city's bold and ambitious plan for the riverfront and downtown area will be welcomed by many, but we'll also have individuals who are hesitant about these progressive changes."

  6. Downtown Authority mulls options for redevelopment
    Crimson White, 07-09-03.

    More "planning" is on the way. I wouldn't want to own a business anywhere near downtown Tuscaloosa right now.

  7. Business owners concerned about renovation
    NBC 13 News, 07-10-03.

    "We're not trying to push people out of business but you will have to relocate," Cunningham said. "But we want the business. We'll make sure everyone is taken care of."

    Yeah, right.

  8. Downtown businesses embittered by project
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-10-03.

    "Andrea Andrews, spokeswoman for Shelby, said he supports the construction of the new federal building to address the future needs of the Tuscaloosa community. 'The current facility is fast becoming too small for the many offices located within it, and the building’s security features will eventually be insufficient to support its growing federal presence,' she said of the current federal building on Greensboro Avenue."

    Great. Just what we need--more fedgov parasites, snoops, and regulators in our midst. A "growing federal presence," hmm? Sounds like a disease--as a matter of fact, it is.

  9. Shelby’s lot is West Alabama’s gain; Senator has been able to acquire millions for state projects
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-13-03

  10. Downtown plan shows big dreams for Tuscaloosa
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-13-03.

    How generous of the News to suggest that the city hold a public meeting to get some input on this project. There haven't been any yet, and the thing is already a done deal. I guess the opinions of mere property owners are of no consequence to the planners. Contrary to the assertions of the News, this project was kept under wraps, and was a near-total surprise when announced this summer.

  11. Panel recommends consultant for downtown project
    Tuscaloosa News, 07-16-03

  12. Redevelopment may chuck The Chukker
    Crimson White, 07-23-03.

    The Chukker will be displaced to make way for a federal duckpond. Geez!

  13. Chukker forced out of business by City of Tuscaloosa
    Montgomery Advertiser, 10-06-03
    Early-closing laws and the threat of an imminent eminent domain action conspire to close Tuscaloosa's most historic bar.

  14. Downtown redevelopment contracts will be presented to council next week
    Tuscaloosa News, October 29, 2003

  15. Downtown project revised
    Tuscaloosa News, December 19, 2003

    It's being made even larger.

  16. City approves conceptual plan for downtown, Few merchants show up to oppose demolition plans
    Tuscaloosa News, September 10, 2004

Map of the Federal Project

Artist's drawing of proposed Tuscaloosa downtown redevelopment project.

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