Note: This story was updated at 11:20 a.m. May 14.
After rejecting an earlier version, the Oak Ridge City Council voted 6-1 on Monday to approve the latest version of the revised plan for Main Street Oak Ridge, the 58-acre project to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall.
The vote during a regular meeting in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom on Monday was the first of two readings, or votes. The second vote could take place during a special meeting on Tuesday, May 21.
The approval on Monday 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.
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.[Read more…]