Proposed Downtown Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge was born during the Manhattan Project without a centralized, mixed-use downtown. Over the decades, multiple plans have called for creating such a place - where Oak Ridgers can live, work and play! The Wilson Street corridor, bordering Main Street shopping near the new American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE) location and easily accessible from the Turnpike and A.K. Bissell Park, provides a great opportunity to finally have a distinctive, uniquely Oak Ridge place for us to gather. The existence of a more urban environment, featuring apartments, condos, restaurants, local shops, offices and beautiful green space, will attract new and different businesses to Oak Ridge —helping to fortify our tax base.In the Fall of 2019, the City prepared a vision for this new city-center. To access the full brochure, click here.
- New Downtown zoning district: the Community Development Department drafted standards for a new district, to be titled “D-1 downtown zoning district” and it was adopted by Planning Commission and City Council in late 2020/early 2021. Property in the corridor has been rezoned and is ready to go. For more information on the D-1 zone, click here.
- Property Acquisition: having sufficient, properly zoned, reasonably priced property is a key to encouraging projects to material. Over the last year, owners of vacant parcels have been contacted and deals have been struck. A significant share of vacant property is now in hand and ready for resale to developers, while progress continues on the balance of vacant land.
- Soliciting Development: over a dozen real estate developers have met or talked with City staff about the prospect for new development in accordance with the plan. The announcement of new 'downtown' projects are anticipated in 2021 or soon after. If you would like to learn more about developing in Downtown Oak Ridge, contact: Wayne Blasius, firstname.lastname@example.org; 865-425-3585.