Wednesday, July 13, 2005

SoKno Riverfront Development

The next target for development in Knoxville is the South Knoxville riverfront. Mind you, this is not pristine land by any stretch of the imagination -- Holston Gases is there, and has been for quite some time, Marathon Ashland houses asphalt storage tanks on the riverfront, there's an abandoned glove factory, as well as some residential areas (most of which are populated by persons of modest income), Baptist Hospital, a small park or two, and an amazing blanket of kudzu holding erosion at bay. On the other side, of course, are Neyland Drive and UT, the small Maplehurst community, the Greenway, a few restaurants, and the inpouring of tasty effluent from biohazardous First, Second, and Third Creeks. There is little to no high-income housing on this urban portion of the river, but there soon will be -- high-class condos are already going up on the South side in the Scottish Pike community, and there are proposals for more to come, as well as a hotel and restaurant complex.

Personally, I've thought for a while that wealthy Knoxville folks sailing down the river on their yachts and boats for Vol Gamedays must be quite ticked off by the fact that there are working-class people quietly living on the river across from downtown Knoxville. Of course, this is now considered an "opportunity for development," and where there's opportunity, there will soon be fewer working-class folks and more persons of means with the prime river views. The working-class folks can spend time near the waterfront working, but not living. Modest means = inland living. But I digress.

I'm interested in hearing more about the environmental impact of increased Knoxville riverfront development and river traffic. The river is already quite harried as it makes its pass through downtown. It has to be, when all the streams that dump into it post signs warning folks that the water's too filthy for safe human contact. According to a recent Metro Pulse article, I'll learn more this Friday, when
proposals to work on specific plans for land use, environmental analysis, economic development, design, and engineering will be open and read aloud in the City County Building.
South Knox Bubba posted on the SoKno development yesterday. He points out that a set of plans was drawn up back in 2002. It's always of interest when our city "planners" attempt to reinvent the wheel -- apparently there weren't enough condos (read: high-income housing on the river) in the first plan.

1 comment:

Alpine Ozone said...
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