Leasing, financing, and pre-construction work on the Main Street Oak Ridge project is progressing as planned, a developer said in late February, and a change to the city’s zoning ordinance approved on Monday will help the redevelopment.
James Downs, Crosland Southeast partner, said his company hopes to start construction late in the second quarter of 2015. It’s part of a plan to have a grand opening in the fall of 2016.
Survey crews from Cannon and Cannon have completed a boundary survey of the 60-acre site, the former Oak Ridge Mall, and field work is under way, said Ray Evans, the city’s retail consultant.
The amendment of the city’s zoning ordinance had been recommended by the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission in February. It allows multifamily units in what is known as a UB-2 zone, a unified general business district. The City Council approved the ordinance change in the first of two monthly readings on Monday.
Evans said Cannon and Cannon submitted a request on Monday to rezone the property to UB-2 with a planned unit development, or PUD, overlay. The Planning Commission is expected to consider the request on March 26, and Council could consider it in April.
Evans said the UB-2 zoning with the PUD overlay gives Crosland Southeast, the company that has proposed the complex redevelopment, flexibility for lot lines, configurations, setbacks, and uses. It allows multifamily and retail in the same zone, among other uses.
Evans said ORNL Federal Credit Union, one of the local lenders that had hoped to help with the tax increment financing, or TIF, loan of the project is not able to participate. But a local lending group led by David Bradshaw is pulling together that lending portion without ORNL FCU, Evans said.