Note: This story was updated at 8:35 a.m. Friday.
Gov. Bill Haslam will make a special state grant announcement for a major redevelopment project in Jackson Square on Friday, a state press release said.
Haslam will join local and state officials at the announcement, which begins at 11:45 a.m.
Tennessee Department of Transportation officials would not provide additional details about the grant announcement.
In October, the Oak Ridge City Council authorized an application for a $1 million TDOT grant for Jackson Square revitalization. That grant would include a 20 percent local match.
The city wants to reconfigure the parking lot in the center of Jackson Square to add parking and designated handicapped spaces and ramps, create a community gathering space in the center of the square, improve sidewalks and landscaping, and make the square more pedestrian-friendly.
Park benches and trash bins could be placed throughout the parking lot and a water fountain installed.
Handicapped-accessible ramps would be added to the parking lot on the north side of Broadway Avenue, which is used for the Farmers Market and other city events, such as high school football games.
Two recent studies have focused on the Jackson Square area and have identified it as a good place for small businesses, surrounded by residential housing that is also close to adjacent work centers, Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin said in a September memo.
Jackson Square was Oak Ridge’s original commercial center when the city was built during World War II, and a renaissance seems to be under way there, with a new bank, new restaurants, and a recently renovated playhouse.
Mare Martell says
I wonder if this has anything to do with the Federal Building or if this is going to give Jackson Square the finishing touches. Any ideas?
John Huotari says
I’m confident that this is a separate project, but I don’t have many details. I think here has been quite a bit of interest in redeveloping the square for at least several years, and it seems that there is some revitalization work already under way (new restaurants, new bank, new businesses, renovated Playhouse, etc.).
John Westcott says
I hate to be a spoiler but…………State Historical Grant for Jackson Square Renovation.
kay williamson says
well I wonder Mr. Westcott since it’s for JACKSON SQUARE DOESN’T THAT INCLUDED BLANKENSHIP FIELD???