West Plant Redevelopment

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Background
As the 363-acre site of the former Alcoa, Inc. West Plant, this once industrially used property is well positioned as one of the state’s premier locations with redevelopment potential for commerce at a regional scale.  The City in fact has long envisioned this property as a unique opportunity to establish a new commercial and civic hub, with residential opportunities, as part of an area designated for more compact mixed-use development activities (i.e., primary city center or down-town concept).  Historically, the former plant opened in 1920 for aluminum fabrication.  It operated for decades before being decommissioned in 1989 and later demolished in the early ‘90s.  Classified as a brownfield, the site has certain environmental constraints affecting devel-opment placement.  
 
Site Location
The site is adjacent to two major north/south corridors, Alcoa Highway (State Route 115/US 129) and North Hall Road (State Route 35), and (as part of TDOT’s plans for the new Alcoa Parkway/Alcoa Highway Relocated) is to have direct future access to nearby McGhee Tyson Airport.  The site is edged by both the Springbrook and East Hall neighborhoods, which are neighborhoods of significance to the city’s company town roots, as well as quality commer-cial/office within Springbrook Corporate Center.  

A portion of the site has already been developed for the new Alcoa High School.  This state of the art school, which has an architectural theme borrowing from the City’s past school buildings, opened in the fall of 2015 and is promi-nently positioned for future roadway improvements.  All K-12 City schools are in close proximity to this site, within a campus-like setting. 

Open space, parks and recreational trails are also fea-tures nearby, with additional trails planned to and around the schools.  These existing trails are connected to the widely renowned joint Alcoa-Maryville network, which follows Pistol Creek. Pistol Creek, a tributary of the Little River, is also an adjacent feature of this site.  Over approx-imately 265 acres make up the general site area for development and open space opportunities. 
Smart Growth America Study 
In September of 2014, the site was the focus for an in-depth workshop held by national experts with Smart Growth America (SGA).  Key issues discussed during the workshop were: 
 
  1. Parking and the benefit of reduced parking and parking districts, including location- location-location, with big box parking also providing opportunities;
  2. Flexible design, including maximum building square footages, limited use categories and appropriate landscaping within town cores, which enable mixed-use town centers to evolve;
  3. Creating synergies—an example would be the Alcoa West Plant site and McGhee-Tyson airport—and having strong management charged with programing activities;
  4.  Effective neighborhood transitions and connections between low and higher intensi-ty uses, for both proposed and existing development;
  5.  Private ownership complexities and environmental constraints, specific to the former Alcoa West Plant site, and how public funding may be utilized to leverage quality devel-opment;
  6.  Lighting and the need for controls to reduce negative impacts to adjacent, low intensity land uses; and,
  7.  Benefits of detailed master planning and the need for an updated plan of the former Alcoa West Plant site;
See Smart Growth America Study menu link for more information and final report.