Dreaming Big Along The Riverfront

Urban Story Ventures Reveals Its Vision For The “West End”

Friday, March 22, 2019 - by Ella Kliger

Plans for the new neighborhood of West End are underway on the 112 acres that includes the old Alstom plant. Victor Dover of Dover, Kohl and Partners gave a picture-rich presentation Thursday that showed designs for cultivated community spaces, a corporate headquarters, townhouses, a performance space, and commercial spaces including lodging. Manufacturing jobs are also a part of the equation for the south end of the parcel owned by Jimmy White and Hiren Desai of Urban Story Ventures.

Mr. Dover wrote Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns and has invested decades studying how to make livable communities. While underscoring that this is a draft that is open to revision, Mr. Dover enthusiastically delivered a talk about how his team visualizes a complete overhaul of the area.

“Cities are never finished, they’re continually works in progress. They’re like giant works of art where many, many people collaborate. So we approach a site like this with a lot of humility because lots of people have already thought about it, and they’ve lived their lives here…{this site} was really like an industrial wall between the city of Chattanooga and its river. There was and is a fence around all 112 acres here. You could only enter and approach the riverfront in this area with permission. And that’s begun changing.” He spoke about the Blue Goose Hollow Trail and how people can walk along the river there, but only a small slice of riverfront property. That is slated to change dramatically.

In their future, the area around Blue Goose Hollow Trail will be expanded into an extensive riverside park that will open onto “prestigious addresses and landmark locations”. Reconnecting people to the river where there has not been access for so long along an industrial tract of land is a key element of West End.

“This should be a place for everybody, not just a playground for the super-rich. It will be a place, we can be pretty certain, where folks with lots of money and choices about where to go will naturally want to be. It’s not hard to figure out how to make it attractive to people with lots of choices, they’ll be choosing it. What we need to spend time also working on is getting the rest of us to have a way to enjoy this space and participate in it, and that’s where the attainable housing components and affordable commerce components come in,” said Mr. Dover. He indicated that size of residential units and scope of views would contribute to price differences.

The residential components were categorized in the presentation under “Attainable Housing”. The elements included intentional inclusivity and workforce housing partners. “The real goal is an affordable life, not just an affordable house,” he said. Mr. Dover described how bringing more jobs to the population center of the region and reducing transportation costs creates a lower total cost. Mr. Dover said “If you have a great restaurant that you want to open in this neighborhood, we want your master chef to have a place to live in this neighborhood, too. That’s the intentionality.” He said that creating below market housing could be done with “a whole suite of tools” such as housing tax credits if those are available, public-private partnerships, and working with employers to consider housing as a method of retention and recruitment.

“When we design a neighborhood, what we’re doing fundamentally is designing human habitat. We’re trying to create a place where people like to be, and can live their lives productively, live healthy and happy lives…The umbrella idea here is a livable neighborhood, a community that’s part of our city-wide ecosystem of civilization,” said Mr. Dover. His understanding of the ecosystem of Chattanooga goes back more than 20 years when he was part of the planning process for development in Southside Chattanooga.

It’s clear that Mr. Dover believes in trees and how they shape a community. The plans call for at least 1500 new trees, shade trees, inviting trees. Encouraging people to walk under those trees is underlined by the 10-point plan for a car-optional neighborhood. “You can actually move around in such a neighborhood without wearing a car,” he said. The plans incorporate bike lanes separated from car lanes by trees, a density plan that brings housing and jobs together in practical ways, and street mapping that results in slower driving and happier pedestrians.

Contributing to green engineering elements are clever wastewater management strategies such as creating a canal and other water features that will be landscaped to attract people while filtering runoff to clean the water before it reaches the Tennessee. Reminders of the history of industrial activity could be kept by transforming some of the buildings into new structures. Mr. Dover imagines the steel skeleton of “Bay 46 kept here, partly remains enclosed, partly remains open to the sky facing the riverfront park. And just for fun we made a beach out of the ADM site.”

In the picture, Bay 46 has CHATTANOOGA across the top and serves as a performance space; there are yellow beach umbrellas where Archer Daniels Midland now loads barges.

Mr. Dover used “What if…” a lot in his talk. The execution of this big picture plan is expected to take at least ten years and will evolve throughout the planning and zoning processes. Public squares, vistas, streets that connect the neighborhood to the river with signature views are threaded through the design. The new pattern of blocks and streets is designed to fan out to maximize the natural views and architecture that might become intertwined with the name of our city. This design template is intended to provide a toolkit for the development of industrial assets into a neighborhood that draws on our history rather than paves over it.

 

 


Habitat's Home Dedication Ceremony Honors Amanda Moore And Family

Ooltewah Racetrac Sells For $1,850,000

Real Estate Transfers For Oct. 15-21


Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland will hold a Home Dedication Ceremony on Tuesday in honor of new Habitat homeowner, Amanda Moore, and her children. Her home is the 142nd home built in Bradley ... (click for more)

The Racetrac in Ooltewah has sold for $1,850,000. It is located at 9208 Lee Highway. The sale is to Ra Corp from Racetrac Petroleum Inc. (click for more)

NOTICE: The Hamilton County Register’s Office did not publish this data. All information in the Register’s Office is public information as set out in T.C.A. 10-7-503. For questions regarding ... (click for more)



Real Estate

Habitat's Home Dedication Ceremony Honors Amanda Moore And Family

Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland will hold a Home Dedication Ceremony on Tuesday in honor of new Habitat homeowner, Amanda Moore, and her children. Her home is the 142nd home built in Bradley County and is named the Women Build home. There will be a 6:30 p.m. ceremony at the Victory Cove Subdivision, 1237 Franitza Way SW in Cleveland. With a limited attendance, the ceremony ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Racetrac Sells For $1,850,000

The Racetrac in Ooltewah has sold for $1,850,000. It is located at 9208 Lee Highway. The sale is to Ra Corp from Racetrac Petroleum Inc. (click for more)

Breaking News

Bus Driver, 7-Year-Old Girl Killed In Meigs County School Bus Crash; 7 Other Children Sent To Hospital, Including 1 In Critical Condition; Utility Truck Lost Control And Hit Bus Head-On

The female bus driver and a seven-year-old girl were killed when a Meigs County school bus collided with a utility vehicle on Highway 58 near the Bradley County line late Tuesday afternoon. Seven other children were sent to Children's Hospital in Chattanooga, including one in critical condition. Five were airlifted and two taken by ambulance to the hospital. The Tennessee ... (click for more)

Man, 39, In Critical Condition After Being Shot Multiple Times On Highway 58

A 39-year-old man was in critical condition after being shot multiple times on Tuesday at Highway 58. Police said the incident happened at 4500 Highway 58, which is the location of Wendy's. At approximately 4:54 a.m., a Chattanooga police officer was in the area of 4500 Highway 58 when he heard multiple gunshots coming from nearby. Upon arrival, the CPD officer ... (click for more)

Opinion

We Must Love

I feel it too. It is easy to hate. Maybe we could try harder to love. Hate seeps into our bones, rules our integrity, and convinces us to forsake those we love. Hate is toxic. It spreads to our neighbors; people we once trusted. It spreads to our coworkers and friends; people who once trusted us. We lose sight of what truly matters. That is what we have in common now. Is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Bunch Of Hogwash

There are those who fault Donald Trump for the unkind divisiveness that is “the second plague” roiling the United States right now. But did you notice that when the brilliant Amy Coney Barrett was approved by the Senate to become our newest Supreme Court Justice, the entirety of “those” Democrat Senators voted against her? I tend to believe many who voted ‘no’ would actually support ... (click for more)