Design plans unveiled for South Knoxville waterfront park

Design plans unveiled for South Knoxville waterfront park

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An artist's rendering of the completed Suttree Landing Park (source: City of Knoxville) An artist's rendering of the completed Suttree Landing Park (source: City of Knoxville)
Plans for the Suttree Landing Park (source: City of Knoxville) Plans for the Suttree Landing Park (source: City of Knoxville)

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  A public meeting was held on Wednesday night for people in South Knoxville to get a first look at plans for a new waterfront park. 

Construction plans for the Suttree Landing Park were shelved in 2009 under then-Mayor Bill Haslam, but resumed under Mayor Madeline Rogero.  

The park features a river park, arboretum and boat deck in the Old Sevier neighborhood on the south side of the river east of the Gay Street Bridge.  

Shane Barrier has lived in the Old Sevier neighborhood in South Knoxville for 20 years.  For part of that time, he's been waiting for Suttree Landing Park to become more than just a design.  

"Since we lived here it's been talked about for quite some time now. I am ready for something to happen," said Barrier. 

Cannon and Cannon, Inc., the engineering firm contracted by the city, showed current designs, and city officials will seek public input at Wednesday's meeting.

The park's amenities will include a walkway for pedestrians and bicyclists, a children's playground, a festival area, an outlook area and parking.

The proposed design will include a network of new city streets, including Waterfront Drive which will provide access to the park and run along the banks of the Tennessee River.

The first phase of construction includes the 5-acre Park and Waterfront Drive.  Officials expect construction to begin in Spring 2014.

Officials say Suttree Landing Park is a catalyst for existing re-development in South Knoxville and will spur adjacent development, also dormant on the water. 

"This is supposed to be the living room, where we can sit out there and look at the waterfront and also view the north waterfront as well from the park you have a festival lawn, a children's playground," said Michelle Dawn-Foster, the city's deputy director of redevelopment.

Foster says the park's design is similar to what was first envisioned, but never completed under then Mayor Haslam. Mayor Rogero used local money to re-start the process.  

"It's a long awaited effort. This is where the vision plan was adopted back in 2006," Foster said.  

The park will also include a proposed 3 mile extension of the greenway from Goose Creek to the Island Home neighborhood. 

The project is part of the Knoxville South Waterfront Vision Plan, a 20-year strategy for the south shoreline along the Tennessee River.  

Officials hope to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to take bids for the park's construction in January 2014.

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