Ray Evans, retail consultant for the City of Oak Ridge, will give an update on the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall during a lunchtime meeting on Tuesday.
Main Street Oak Ridge could redevelop the mall, now officially known as the Oak Ridge City Center, as a 60-acre mixed-use project that would include retailers, restaurants, a hotel, and residential units. The vacant enclosed space between the two remaining anchors, JCPenney and Belk, would be demolished, although those two stores would remain.
The goal has been to complete the first phase of the redevelopment in time for the Christmas season in 2016.
Oak Ridge City Center LLC, the current property owners, announced in September that RealtyLink of South Carolina will replace Crosland Southeast of North Carolina as master developer. Crosland Southeast had had the property under contract since early 2013 and said it invested more than $1 million in the project.
“With several years in the process and seemingly endless changes, it has been difficult to keep up with ‘if and when’ the former Oak Ridge Mall will be reclaimed and turned into Main Street Oak Ridge,” said a press release from the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge. “To update interested citizens of the current status of this eagerly anticipated project, Ray Evans, economic development consultant for the city, has been invited to speak at the next Lunch with the League.”
Lunch with the League is at noon Tuesday, October 6, in the Social Hall of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
Sponsored by the LWVOR, Lunch with the League is open to the public. There is no cost to attend, and reservations are not needed. Box lunches will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis for $8, or you may bring your own. Coffee and tea are provided.
Evans attended Tennessee Tech and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in engineering administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of the Nashville-based engineering, architectural, and planning firm, Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon. His professional career has included the recruitment, planning, and design of a variety of retail, commercial, and industrial facilities across the Southeast, the press release said.
He is currently involved in economic development consulting and industrial recruiting for a variety of public and private clients across Tennessee including Overton County, the Plateau Partnership Park in Cumberland County, and the City of Oak Ridge. Evans is a former member of the Oak Ridge City Council and Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission. An Overton County native, he makes his home in Oak Ridge. He is married with two adult children, five grandchildren, and a great-grandson.
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government and works to increase understanding of public policy through unbiased studies of public issues. Membership is open to both men and women. For more information, visit lwvoakridge.org.
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