CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Last year Urban Story Ventures bought real estate on the west end of town.
It encompasses a total of 112 acres and includes the former Alstom plant on the Tennessee River that’s been unused for a few years.
“There’s been a great wall that’s separated this site from the city of Chattanooga and the river and our goal is to integrate that back in,” Urban Story Ventures Co-Owner Jimmy White said.
On Thursday, a group gathered inside the plant to see draft concept designs of what the area may look like in the future.
“Taking a big parcel and imagining it as a series of small interconnected blocks that, you know, a street pattern like in a normal traditional neighborhood. So you can walk around and you can drive if you want to but you can also use or bike or take an Uber or a scooter or a bike-share bike,” Town Planner and Urban Designer Victor Dover said.
The designs show a mixed-use area filled with housing, offices, green spaces, places to eat, stay and even a music venue.
The space also incorporates a canal.
“The canal is really a kind of recreation in a way of an ancient creek that was on this site 100 years ago, but was lost to all the asphalt and pipes that kind of covered it up. So peeling back that pavement and opening that canal to the sky will be a way of making a greener kind of stormwater treatment on the site, but also I think, a fun and interesting address,” Dover said.
The development is projected to bring in over $11 million in tax revenues, over 5,100 jobs, and billions of dollars of investment.
“It’s really almost like a city within a city that’s going to connect to other communities and that’s just what Chattanooga is all about,” Chattanooga District 7 City Councilman Erskine Oglesby said.
Work is already happening on the site.
Construction of new buildings could start in a year.
The owners want to keep the former Alstom plant in tact and bring in a company to operate in the unique facility.
They said they have had some interest in the plant.