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Quick Look: Five Redevelopment Projects in East Knoxville; $126 million in investments 
In August, crews began construction on Phase I of the Magnolia Avenue Streetscape Project. The East Knoxville state highway isn’t the only asset in the area receiving major investment.

Construction begins on Magnolia Avenue
Crews excavate the north end of Magnolia Avenue to make stormwater infrastructure improvements.

Here’s a quick look at five redevelopment plans and projects underway in East Knoxville:

East Knoxville Redevelopment Projects

Location: Jessamine Street to Bertrand Street

Magnolia Avenue Streetscape Rendering
Magnolia Avenue Streetscape Project rendering

This City of Knoxville project is an effort to revitalize the Magnolia Avenue Corridor through safety and pedestrian improvements such as enhanced sidewalks, wider bike lanes, more defined on-street parking, landscaped medians, LED roadway and pedestrian lighting, bus turnouts, and infrastructure for KAT stops.

The $4.2 million initial phase is now under construction, and will span from Jessamine Street to Myrtle Street.  The second phase is slated to start construction in 2019, extending the streetscape improvements from Myrtle Street to Bertrand Street.

To view the Magnolia Streetscape Project page, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/magnolia.

Location: Burlington Commercial District ( Along MLK Avenue between Kirkwood Street and Holston Drive)

A rendering of the Prosser Road entrance to Burlington
A rendering from the Burlington Enhancement Plan: Prosser Road entrance to Burlington

The City’s Redevelopment and Community Development departments have partnered with the East Tennessee Community Design Center to develop the Burlington Enhancement Plan. The conceptual study provides recommendations to revitalize the Burlington Commercial District and stimulate economic development by enhancing beauty of the streets, creating more public spaces, improving pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular infrastructure, and enhancing navigation with gateway entrance and wayfinding signage.

On August 27, 2018, officials cut the ribbon on a $127,500 enhancement project at the MLK Avenue and Fern Street intersection. Improvements included stamped asphalt crosswalks, ADA curb cuts, and a resurfaced intersection. This was a first step following the recommendations outlined in the Burlington Enhancement Plan.

There are also several façade improvement projects underway nearby, which are made possible through the City’s Community Development Department.

Click HERE to view a blog on the recent ribbon cutting of the Burlington intersection improvements.

CLICK HERE to view the Burlington Enhancement Plan.

Location: Corner of MLK Avenue and McConnell Street

Walter Taylor Homes
A completed phase of Five Points Housing.

The City of Knoxville has partnered with Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) to revitalize Five Points through the redevelopment of Walter P. Tayler Homes and Dr. Lee L. Williams Senior Complex.

The City of Knoxville and KCDC have committed to the Five Points Revitalization $83 million since 2010. The City’s overall investment over ten years will be just over $13 million to help with demolition and abatement of older structures, upgrade of outdated utilities, and installation of new streets, sidewalks, and street lighting.

Officials broke ground for Phase 3 of the project in May 2018. When all four phases are complete, the project will have produced 458 affordable, updated housing units.

Click HERE to view a KCDC news release on the May 2018 groundbreaking of Phase 3 of the project.

Location: 3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr.

Tiger Forest
One of Zoo Knoxville's three Malayan tigers plays in the water at the new Tiger Forest.

The City of Knoxville, Knox County, and many private donors are making possible a 10-year plan (adopted in 2014) to completely redevelop Knoxville’s most highly visited tourist attraction.  In 2014, the City allocated $10 million in capital improvements to bolster the zoo’s efforts.

 Since the ambitious master plan was implemented, the $18.3 million Boyd Family Asian Trek has been built (including Tiger Forest, Gibbon Trails, Langur Landing, and a white-naped crane exhibit).  Soon, a new restaurant and restrooms will open near Langur Landing in 2019.

Construction will soon begin on a $19 million facility for reptiles and amphibians, otter habitat, and upgrades to over three acres of the zoo.

The City also invested in supportive infrastructure enhancements in recent years. In 2014, City Engineering made $1.4 million drainage improvements to Prosser Road, which feeds to Zoo Knoxville. Bicycle lanes and a sidewalk were added to the road during that project. Zoo Knoxville invested in new infrastructure improvements, including a new gateway entrance located at the corner of Rudtledge Pike and Zoo Knoxville Drive.

Visit www.ZooKnoxville.org to learn about the “wildly” exciting new exhibits!

Location: 3301 Magnolia Ave.

Chilhowee Park

The City of Knoxville recently released a Request for Proposals from consultants to assist the City in developing the future direction and growth of Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center in conjunction with the existing development plans of Zoo Knoxville, leaseholders, Magnolia Avenue corridor, and redevelopment of the Burlington neighborhood.

The Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center contains about 81 acres and includes leasehold interests of The Muse, Tennessee Valley Fair, and Golden Gloves Charities.

View Chilhowee Park’s web site at www.ChilhoweePark.org.

To date, these five major redevelopment plans and projects combined represent more than $126 million in investment. Some of those dollars are private donations with Zoo Knoxville exhibits. (Remember, two of the projects are only in initial stages).

Scattered throughout these neighborhoods are also ongoing City façade grants, street resurfacing, and sidewalk replacement projects.

For information on City public improvement projects, CLICK HERE.

Posted by On 05 September, 2018 at 4:28 PM