Cumberland Avenue Renovation Plans

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - As you drive around, you probably see lots of new development in and around Knoxville.

Two of the biggest projects are downtown and on the south side of the Henley Street bridge.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel takes a look at the two aimed to improve Knoxville's look and living quality.

The south Waterfront project and the effort to revitalize the Cumberland strip are big undertakings.

They've both been in the works for quite some time.

But it won't be long until we start seeing some change as developers hit the ground running.

"Streets and infrastructure really express an identiy for the city and in some places I think we don't look as good as we need to," says David Hill.

But two major projects are underway to revitalize some key areas of Knoxville: Within a year, you'll start to see improvements along three miles of the south Waterfront, located across the river from Volunteer Landing.

You'll soon see more park space, a boat dock and five to six million square feet of private re-development.

"It's going to have a cincergy and it's going to make Knoxville that much more an attractive destination for any visitor," says Hill.

Speaking of attractions, look at this! It's the proposed plan for a revitalized Cumberland Avenue.

"I think it's exactly what we wanted. I think the consultants did a great job of taking all the public input and consolidating it into a workable plan," says Rob Dansereau with Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association.

Both plans are still in the works, though.

Revitalizing the Strip brings 1,400 new residential units as well as 130,000 square feet of commercial space.

U. T. student, Jack Wood says, "The strip sort of represents the Univeristy of Tennesee, it's the first thing you see coming to the campus and so I think a really beautiful boulevard should accompany our University."

They are pushing wider sidewalks and shared parking, but the most notable change is the new streetscape.

Changing Cumberland Avenue from a four lane avenue into a three lane stree.

One lane in each direction with a turning lane in the center an issue raising some concern over traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, waterfront neighbors are voicing their concerns to city council as they vote to adopt a new set of development regluations for the area.

"We have a couple outstanding issues: the maximum building height and the width of the river set back for the river walk," says Hill.

While both projects have a long way to go they're both serving as a crucial step, to pointing Knoxville in the right direction.

City council votes Tueday on the new ordinance required to adpot a south Waterfront code.

And as for Cumberland Avenue, developers present their final plan to city council in April or May.


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