Over the past 18 months, River City Company has led ONE Riverfront, a community planning process to create a new Riverfront District Master Plan. While the Riverfront saw investment in the early 2000’s with many landmark projects including the Tennessee Riverwalk, AT&T Field, the Tennessee Aquarium and the 21st Century Waterfront Park, today, the district grapples with challenges of aging infrastructure and amenities, single-mode roadway design and an imbalance of tourist and visitor activity relative to local use, said officials.
Since launching the planning process in early 2020, thousands of community voices have been heard, providing feedback on ways to improve the district. On Tuesday, River City Company unveiled the four aspirations and eight strategies of the ONE Riverfront plan.
The four aspirations of the ONE Riverfront Plan include:
Activate the Riverfront
Create a Place for All Chattanoogans
Develop a Greater Sense of Place
Strengthen Connectivity to the Riverfront
To achieve these aspirations, eight strategies were identified:
Humanize the Parks
Protect the investment in the riverfront parks by allowing the spaces to evolve to meet community needs
Attract and extend visits to the Chattanooga riverfront by providing comfortable and exciting park spaces
Elements may include shade, comfortable seating, color, flowers, swings, nature and art
Come Together at the River
Welcome Chattanoogans to the riverfront and create a nucleus of energy that serves the social and cultural needs of the community and spurs locally owned business and entrepreneurship
Implement regular programming at the Chattanooga Green and Aquarium Plaza to support local business and build community social life with weekly, evolving events and activities
Develop a community-based process for curating major riverfront events and creatively staging events around key park spaces and redevelopment sites
Use River City Company and City owned parcels to provide equitable development
Commit to a mix of affordable and market rate housing
Commit to providing low-cost commercial space to enable local and minority-owned businesses to locate in the Riverfront District
Establish the Riverfront Front Door
Activate the prime downtown riverfront corner with public serving uses including ground floor local and minority-owned businesses and mixed-income residential on upper floors
Complete the Chattanooga Green with a restaurant or café
Create a space for eating, drinking and socializing on the river
Create a Civic Campus
Activate the Aquarium Plaza 18 hours per day, 7 days per week to appeal to all generations and is robustly welcoming
i. Create an extension of the Broad Street public realm into a Civic Campus
ii. Build on Farmers Market momentum to create temporary market stalls
iii. Create an access-controlled space for the community and Aquarium events
iv. Provide an accessible connection and a powerful landscape statement that links the Riverwalk and Ross’s Landing with the Aquarium
v. Integrate education, local history and water in a safe and dynamic environment
Boldly Connect Downtown
Reallocate space on Broad Street with 75% available for signature urban street and civic commons and 25% for vehicular operations
Reimagine Broad Street and 4th Street Gateway Intersection
Facilitate redevelopment of infill sites on Broad, Market and Chestnut in a proven market with public realm value-drivers
Refresh the Riverwalk
Improve usability and legibility of the Riverwalk using a complete street approach
Use smart wayfinding graphics and maps to help people feel more connected
Get Your Feet Wet
Create Paddleboard and Kayak Access and Storage
Explore creation of a Water Taxi service
Enhance work at Maclellan Island
Develop concept for floating features to expand upon Tennessee Aquarium water education
Deploy floating features to allow visitors to venture onto the Tennessee River
“The first phase of implementation will include programming and animation of many areas in the Riverfront," said Emily Mack, president and CEO of River City Company. "We are excited to continue our partnership with stakeholders in the Riverfront to begin to identify the first steps of the larger projects including redevelopments of vacant spaces. This is a living plan that will lead River City Company’s work for many years to come."
River City Company is inviting the public for upcoming free events in the Riverfront District including Family Fun on the Green on Aug. 7, City Sweat on Ross’s Landing on Aug. 12 and the Musical Mystery Tour on Aug. 21. More information about these events can be found at www.rivercitycompany.com/events.
A recording of the ONE Riverfront presentation is available on the www.oneriverfrontcha.com website. The public is encouraged to send additional comments or questions to River City Company via the form on the website.
The ONE Riverfront planning process is sponsored by River City Company, Lyndhurst Foundation and Benwood Foundation.