HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Affiliates of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., Silverstein Properties, Essex Capital, and Ascend Property Group celebrated yesterday the start of construction on the Front Row development project in Huntsville with an official groundbreaking ceremony.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, city officials, project partners, and local community groups comprised the more than two hundred people in attendance at the event, which took place at the development site located at 500 Clinton Avenue. The occasion was commemorated with a formal speaker presentation, media interviews, a ceremonial shovel dig, and a presentation of Front Row’s $250,000 donation to the Huntsville Housing Authority. The afternoon’s reception continued with cocktails, food, and live music at the Mars Music Hall, situated directly across from the Von Braun Center.

Front Row is an 11+ acre mixed-use development featuring an anticipated 545 residential units, 36,000 SF of Class-A office space, and 47,000 SF of retail space. The development includes two six-story buildings containing residential units, commercial space, and a retail component with a multiuse urban green space lined by retail and restaurant patios, community activations, and public art.

“Given Huntsville’s amazing trajectory, expectations from commercial and retail tenants and residents alike are higher than ever for the places they choose to live and work— we are confident Front Row will stand out and raise the bar,” said Mitch Rutter, CEO of Essex Capital.

 “We’re redefining the live-work-play paradigm, prioritizing top-tier amenities,” noted Daniel Shields, President of Ascend Property Group. “Combining an elevated residential and retail experience in a prime location with park-like surroundings connecting the many vantage points within the city of Huntsville introduces an unprecedented offering to the downtown community.”

The retail space is expected to be delivered in late 2025. Apartments and office space are to follow, by early 2026. Additional phases, including plans for a boutique hotel, a Class-A office high-rise, luxury condos, and more will be disclosed at a future date. 

“We are thrilled to be part of this transformative development for Huntsville,” said Chris Milner, Chief Investment Officer – Real Assets, Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management. “Front Row will help ignite the city’s growth and ongoing evolution into a vibrant urban center.”

Front Row marks a landmark addition to Huntsville, bringing innovative modern design to the city. The development’s construction mirrors the city’s major growth initiatives, sharing a similar timeline to other expansion projects nearby including the recently announced Riverwalk and the forthcoming pedestrian Skybridge, which connects downtown with the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment district. Front Row will cement the core of downtown Huntsville at the intersection of the Von Braun Center development and additional key areas such as Big Spring Park, Fountain Circle, University of Alabama Huntsville, and the Downtown Greenway.

“Front Row is at the center of Huntsville’s redefined downtown core and another good example of the Qualified Opportunity Zone Program stimulating investment,” said Ashley Lin, Vice President, Silverstein Properties.

Cantor and Silverstein launched an opportunity zone business in early 2019 to invest in, develop, redevelop, and manage a diversified portfolio of institutional quality commercial real estate assets with an emphasis on multifamily properties located in qualified opportunity zones in the United States.

Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P.

Cantor Fitzgerald, with over 12,000 employees, is a leading global financial services group at the forefront of financial and technological innovation and has been a proven and resilient leader since 1945. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is a preeminent investment bank serving more than 5,000 institutional clients around the world, recognized for its strengths in fixed income and equity capital markets, investment banking, SPAC underwriting and PIPE placements, prime brokerage, commercial real estate, and infrastructure, and for its global distribution platform. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is one of the 24 primary dealers authorized to transact business with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Cantor Fitzgerald is a leading SPAC sponsor, having completed multiple initial public offerings and announced multiple business combinations through its CF Acquisition platform. For more information, visit

About Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management

Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management’s investment platform consists of $13 billion of assets under management across mutual funds, interval funds, exchange-traded funds, separately managed accounts, unified managed accounts, core real estate funds, opportunity zone funds, 1031 and 721 exchange vehicles, and other private investment vehicles managed on behalf of high net worth and institutional investors. The experience and knowledge of its senior leadership and portfolio management teams combined with the financial services prowess of industry leader, Cantor Fitzgerald, enable the delivery of a platform of solutions across a comprehensive range of capabilities. For more information, visit:

Silverstein Properties

Silverstein Properties is a privately held, full-service real estate development, investment and management firm based in New York founded by Larry Silverstein. Silverstein Properties has developed, owned and managed more than 40 million square feet of commercial, residential, retail and hotel space. Recent projects include 7 World Trade Center, the first LEED-certified office tower in New York City (2006), 4 World Trade Center (2013), the Four Seasons Downtown (2016), One West End (2017) and 3 World Trade Center (2018). The company has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business. For more information, visit

About Essex Capital

Essex Capital, founded in 1991 by Mitchell Rutter, is a New York based real estate investment and development company with experience in office, residential, industrial, and retail projects. Under Rutter’s leadership over the past three decades, Essex Capital has overseen the acquisition, repositioning, and development of more than 5.0 million SF of assets with $3.0 billion+ in value. Essex Capital’s success is based on creative vision and attention to detail. Essex has a demonstrated record of identifying emerging neighborhoods ripe for dense multifamily, office and mixed-use development. Among Essex’s notable transactions is the construction of The Mill in Ridgewood, Queens and the Allen Building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as well as the acquisition and redevelopment of a 250,000 SF parking garage into DHL’s primary logistics center in Manhattan, and a future 600,000 SF development site in Hudson Yards. Learn more at

About Ascend Property Group

Ascend Property Group is a boutique real estate development and private equity firm led by Dan Shields, who has over 25 years of experience in banking, investment, and capital markets in the northeast and southeast regions. After a successful career managing and growing M&T Bank’s $8 billion NYC real estate loan portfolio, Shields established Ascend to leverage his background in law and credit and bring a unique risk mitigation approach to real estate development. Ascend’s principals have been integral members of various real estate development teams, providing equity for large-scale development projects totaling over 4 million square feet and over $1 billion in cost. Most notably, Ascend has partnered in the ground-up construction of a master-planned, mixed-use, multi-family rental community of five buildings in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more at