The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday will consider the revised plan for Main Street Oak Ridge, the 58-acre project to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall.
An earlier version of the revised plan was rejected by Council in a 3-4 vote in January. But since then, a new revised plan has been submitted to the city. In April, the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission recommended 7-1 that the new plan, which is similar to the earlier plan, be approved with some conditions.
The revised plan is being considered as RealtyLink, the South Carolina developer, prepares to welcome a second wave of tenants to the site, which is in central Oak Ridge. It would be the second phase of the project, and it could include 90,000 square feet of new retail buildings, an open space near the Belk store, and new sidewalks and crosswalks. It could also include a bus drop-off area near the relocated American Museum of Science and Energy.
There are key proposed changes that remain unchanged from the earlier version of the plan. The access road from Rutgers Avenue to the roundabout at Main Street Oak Ridge would still be closed to allow four stores to be built along a sidewalk between PetSmart and JCPenney. The multi-family residential units that had once been proposed in the area between JCPenney and Walmart would be removed. An estimated 3.5 acres along Rutgers Avenue would be reserved for retail uses, and a similar-sized mixed-use area would still be proposed in the area along Wilson Street. (Mixed-use developments can include retailers, restaurants, residential units, and offices, among other possibilities.)
But the Planning Commission recommended certain conditions related to the mixed-use areas, future green space adjacent to AMSE, and landscaping, trees, and benches in sidewalk areas. There are also items of agreement or recommended items of agreement related to removing on-site storage of building materials; the completion of sidewalk construction; installing a fence or vegetative screening along the backs of west-facing retail buildings (Electronic Express, PetSmart, and other Phase II buildings); participating in mixed-use development planning and implementation for Wilson Street; and cooperating to allow parking areas and open spaces to be used for community gatherings such as organized events.
The City Council meeting will start at 7 p.m. Monday, May 13, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom. See the agenda here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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