Chattanooga Officials Unveil Historic ‘One Westside Plan’

A historic agreement, announced on Friday, will revitalize 300 acres of downtown riverfront in Chattanooga.

The One Westside plan includes expanding downtown education opportunities, creating more affordable housing for over 2,000 residents, and improving public infrastructure along the Tennessee River.

“For nearly a year, we’ve worked alongside Mayor Wamp and Urban Story Ventures to get the best possible deal for the residents of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, while ensuring that this transformative development will be something that will make us all proud. This plan is the culmination of that robust, collaborative and candid process,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly.

“This trajectory-altering approach will provide a long-term lift to every resident’s quality of life and will go the distance toward addressing our residents’ housing, education and employment needs for decades to come. This project essentially adds a whole new neighborhood to Chattanooga, and transforms another, so it’s not a stretch to call this a generational opportunity.”

The One Westside plan also envisions the development of commercial space, new homes, and green spaces, including a riverfront park on what is now known as the Bend.

Beyond the economic development benefits of this project, a minimum of 10% of rental units in the Bend area will be reserved for lower-income residents.

The new One Westside partnership, which includes the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Hamilton County Schools, Chattanooga Housing Authority, and Urban Story Ventures, will leverage tax increment financing (TIF) to generate revenue for public services, infrastructure, education, and affordable housing.

As part of this TIF structure, additional funding from the new revenues will be set aside to create new downtown education opportunities, through a partnership between Hamilton County, the City of Chattanooga, and Hamilton County Department of Education.

“This agreement represents a new approach to economic development in which the priorities of the citizens of Hamilton County and the City of Chattanooga are aligned closely with the developers,” said Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp.

“Jimmy White and his team at Urban Story Ventures are visionaries who care deeply about our community, and I’m grateful they understand the importance of public education to the future of our local economy.”

The TIF district and Westside Evolves project are expected to unlock at least $800 million in new development over the next decade.

The agreement aligns the priorities of the citizens with the developers, and private funding will support public infrastructure. The Westside Evolves plan aims to replace obsolete housing units, introduce new housing types, and enhance economic opportunities. The Chattanooga Housing Authority plans to apply for HUD’s Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant to further support the Westside.

The Bend, a 120-acre redevelopment project, will redefine downtown Chattanooga and include public parks, commercial, entertainment, and residential spaces. The proposed agreement will undergo review and public hearings before final approval.

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