Public Invited To Shape City Center’s Future

Monday, September 23, 2013

The downtown district known as City Center needs the public's input. Officials said, "River City Company, along with long time partners in the Benwood and Lyndhurst Foundations are presenting a three-day design charrette that will lay the foundation for the on-going development and design of the city’s core."

On Oct. 7, from 5:30-8 p.m., the public is invited to the Bessie Smith Cultural Center at 200 East MLK Boulevard to discuss their ideas on what should happen in City Center. Between that meeting and Wednesday night, a professional design team will take the community’s input and data gathered from other sources to develop a plan to catalyze residential, commercial and civic development in this area. 

On Wednesday evening, Oct. 9, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the public is invited back to the Bessie Smith Cultural Center to see a draft of the plan for City Center and see how the proposed development and ideas will strengthen the urban hub.

“River City Company has a long history of involving the community in our planning process,” states Kim White, president and CEO of River City Company. “Downtown has a large demand for housing and at the same time vacant and underutilized properties in City Center. We hope a road map with specific recommendations to move this district forward will come out of this community-wide process.”

Similar to River City Company’s 2012 Urban Design Challenge in which teams of architects, urban planners, developers and others proposed plans for six key sites in downtown, the City Center Charrette aims to propose a plan with the input of key stakeholders and the public to better our city and ensure a vibrant City Center.

“Chattanooga has a proud history of working together to improve our city for all residents. The Benwood Foundation is glad to be a partner on the City Center Charrette to continue that tradition and to help stimulate creative and innovative efforts to strengthen our community,” said Jeff Pfitzer of the Benwood Foundation.

City of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke believes that “Chattanooga has transformed over the years to include a vibrant downtown. A major part of that transformation was collaborating with organizations and the public to ensure we build community and create opportunity for Chattanoogans. City Center is an important part of our downtown and this process will continue a conversation on how to strengthen our city." 

For more information about the City Center Charrette, visit

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