The City of Alcoa broke ground on a new downtown in April, marking the start of a project expected to have an impact not just on the City of Alcoa, but the entire Knoxville region.
Nearly twenty years of planning have gone into this project, including a 2015 workshop that was made possible through a Smart Growth America technical assistance grant. That workshop gave residents and planners tools and techniques to implement new development standards to create more compact, walkable places to boost the local economy and reduce public spending on infrastructure.
As the project continues to unfold, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization is working with Alcoa City Planner Jeremy Pearson to develop a master plan. The goal is to create a place that helps increase the value, identity, health, and happiness of the entire city. It will also respect the new downtown’s relationship with the high school, neighborhoods, airport, and the proposed new street.
For this to be achieved, the guiding principles for the plan include:
- Creating a strong identity;
- Attracting people and investment;
- Connecting the site with its surroundings;
- Providing attractive locations for socializing; and
- Encouraging economic growth.
The site will consist of 350 acres at Alcoa Highway and Hall Road. The proposal includes commercial, retail, office, and residential uses where an aluminum fabrication mill once stood. Work has already begun on the property with road construction, utility infrastructure installation, and site grading. Construction of a boulevard to connect the Hunt Road interchange with Hall Road and Associates Boulevard and grading of nearly 100 acres are expected next. Once the road construction is well underway, property will be available for development.
More information on this project can be found in this Daily Times article.