MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The city of Maryville is working on a master plan to revitalize its downtown area.

The city has hired an urban planning and landscape design firm to study downtown Maryville’s existing conditions and collect community input and feedback to create recommendations for land use, zoning, transportation, design, policy, and economic development.

“We have been focused on downtown for the last several years because we know that it’s really starting to get to its potential,” said Angie Luckie, Maryville’s public services director.

The project began in July 2023 and is aiming to be finished by the end of January 2024. The plan is currently in the Site Inventory & Analysis phase. Following this phase, they begin drafting master plan recommendations.

“There’ll be short-term recommendations, low-hanging fruit recommendations, all the way up to millions of dollar recommendations that may take 20 years to get there,” said Luckie.  

A kick-off meeting to share more about the project with the public was held on August 10 at the Maryville Municipal Center. To follow along with the project, click here. There will also be a survey in the fall on the website where people can share their input.

“[The kick-off] was great. We had more people than expected, the consultant said. They got some more ideas they didn’t have,” said Luckie. “So anytime we can get new voices, I think it’s great.”

The hope of the master plan is to be a “road map” for Maryville as they work to revitalize and grow their downtown area according to Luckie.

“We want our businesses to be successful, we want more businesses downtown. It’s not really focused on population growth, but it really is just having more people come downtown and be patrons of those businesses and keeping those businesses viable and encouraging new businesses to come,” said Luckie.  

Maryville has experienced significant growth in its downtown area. In January, WATE spoke with Jeff Muir, the Director of Communications for the Blount Partnership, about the growth expected for the area. He shared that there are several efforts underway to re-vamping the downtown areas. In addition, he shared that they are working on the final stages of connecting a greenway system from downtown Maryville to downtown Knoxville.

Other additions in downtown Maryville took place in May when Maryville College announced it was creating a space for classes in a building downtown and in October 2022 when IXsystems, a California-based software company, opened its newest and biggest campus in downtown Maryville.

This is also the first time Maryville has worked to create a master plan for the downtown area alone.

“We’ve done comprehensive plans for the city as a whole, but in the in the last several decades, we haven’t just focused on downtown and that’s what this is really about,” said Luckie. “We feel like if downtown is successful, it just helps the rest of the city be successful.”