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View of South Waterfront plan

The Knoxville South Waterfront Vision Plan, adopted in 2006, describes a long-term improvement strategy for an approximate 750-acre area fronting the 3-mile shoreline of the Tennessee River, directly south of downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Implementation tools were adopted soon thereafter, including a Knoxville South Waterfront Action Plan, an Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Plan, and the South Waterfront Development Code. The primary implementation of this 20-year Vision Plan is to create public-private partnerships by funding, at least in part, public improvements in support of private redevelopment projects. Some of the public improvements include a continuous pedestrian/bicycle riverwalk along the shoreline, parks and green spaces, new and reconstructed streets, a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge connecting the South Waterfront to the University campus, sidewalks, bike lanes, and parking. It is anticipated that these public improvements will stimulate private investment, resulting in the addition of new residential, commercial, retail, and recreational opportunities. These public-private partnerships are intended to benefit residents, businesses, visitors, and the City's tax base. The intent of the Vision Plan is to create a safe, secure, attractive, and walkable series of mixed use developments that complement and connect to the downtown and the university.


The founding principles for designing and implementing redevelopment in the South Waterfront are economic feasibility and transparency. Proposed private projects are subject to Return-On-Investment analyses to determine the extent to which public funding support may be offered. Although the extensive public involvement phase engaged to produce the Vision Plan and related implementation tools, the Office of Redevelopment remains committed to making project information available for public review and inspection through the links provided below. The Office of Redevelopment staff is also available to meet with individuals or groups upon request to discuss the general status of the South Waterfront, or to report progress on specific projects.


The South Waterfront Action Plan recommends several public improvement projects be pursued as part of Phase I, which covers the first five years of Vision Plan implementation. Detailed design work, property acquisition, and environmental permitting activities have already started for several projects, with more information provided in the table below. The slowing of the economy in 2008 staggered the start of private development interest in the South Waterfront. The City continues to prepare public improvement projects through advancing design work and reducing potential permitting delays in anticipation of private investment as the economy continues to improve.