The Civic Crossroads is located in the western section of the Innovation District and contains large public and private assets, such as Miller Park, EPB, the Public Library, the Krystal and Tallan Buildings and a square block of surface parking between Market and Broad Streets. It also contains underutilized buildings, a lack of active ground floor uses, a disconnected park and vacant land. Opportunities should be pursued to maximize this area’s value for new innovation economy office uses, better integrating research and education in the district, and upgrading and activating public plazas and streets. This will include:
Civic Forum Block
This block is envisioned as a new office and research building anchor that could offer a combination of uses such as flexible lab space for local and visiting researchers, office space for digital technology companies and a multimodal transportation research center. At the ground level, upgraded public space will connect the block seamlessly to a plaza shared with the Public Library and adjacent buildings, linked on the south to TVA’s park.
Innovation Office Expansions
The Krystal and Tallan Buildings, the largest office buildings in the area, will become mixed-use collaborative office spaces, including a potential innovation laboratory and Smart City lab that brings together educators, students, researchers and urban problem solvers. Establishing a UTC presence in this area would be ideal. The buildings could be altered with additions to create workspace with more light flexible spaces for collaboration. New or renovated ground level spaces could be more visually engaging and open to the street.
Innovations in Technology
In an age of technological innovation, this innovation should be taken out on the streets and into parks and plazas where it can enliven public life, create new collective memories, showcase the work of digital and other artists and entertainers, better connect public spaces and help people imagine new ways to explore and enjoy the public realm. These interventions can be permanent or temporary installations. Miller Park will be the primary example of creative programming for public spaces in this area.