Framework Plan: Overview
Imagining the Potential
The Framework Plan captures the urban design and programmatic ideas for the next five to ten years of development in the Innovation District. Building on the palpable energy in the emerging startup community downtown and the momentum of public and private sector initiatives, the development concepts are focused on bolstering partnerships and deepening the impact of new economic, social and educational opportunities for Chattanoogans. Two nodes of new programs, projects, and public place—Civic Crossroads, on the western side of the Innovation District, and Downtown Campus on the eastern side—are connected by the ML King Cultural Corridor. Each of these zones in the city will serve a unique purpose and accommodate a complementary cluster of new initiatives and projects in re-purposed and new buildings, and in the public realm between.
The Civic Crossroads area anchors the western end of ML King Boulevard and contains major public uses such as Miller Park, TVA Park, the Public Library, and EPB, two major private office buildings, the Krystal and Tallan Buildings, and an entire square block of surface parking, the Civic Forum lot. This area has the potential to be a catalyst for new and re-purposed office buildings, innovation generating spaces and new public plazas and connections that emphasize its character as a crossroads of downtown.
This area on the eastern end of the Innovation District presents an exceptional opportunity to better integrate UTC into the district due to the proximity of the Mapp Block to downtown. The most successful innovation districts in the US have significant university engagement, and UTC will be such an innovation anchor for Chattanooga. The area will look less like a traditional college campus and will be more of a lively, mixed use and densely developed urban core.
ML King Boulevard bisects the Innovation District east to west and connects the ML King Neighborhood and UTC to the district and to the rest of downtown. In between the Krystal and Tallan office buildings on the west and UTC’s Mapp Block on the east lies the district’s cultural anchor, The Bessie Smith Cultural Center (BSCC). The vacant lots and buildings along the corridor represent redevelopment opportunities, and maximizing the impact of the BSCC could spur growth of all kinds in the district, particularly along ML King Boulevard.