The Oak Ridge City Council will consider the revised plan for Main Street Oak Ridge on second and final reading at noon today (Friday, May 24).
The meeting will be in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom at 200 South Tulane Avenue.
Council approved the revised plan in a 6-1 vote on Monday, May 13. That approval occurred four months after Council rejected an earlier version of the plan in a 3-4 vote in January. Since then, a new revised plan has been submitted to the city, and there have been additional discussions between city officials and RealtyLink, the South Carolina developer. 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.
Main Street Oak Ridge is the 58-acre project to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall.
The revised plan is being considered as RealtyLink 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.)
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.
You can see today’s City Council agenda here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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