Park leaders say the $25 million phase 1A developments at Lakeshore Park are 50 percent complete and the new amenities should be complete by this time next year.
Phase 1A includes the construction of a dock and canoe launch point on Fourth Creek, a river walk and pier on the Tennessee River, doubling the length of the green way from two to four miles, and additional parking and restroom facilities.
The City of Knoxville took over the site in 2012 after the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute closed and later began demolishing many buildings. In October, the City of Knoxville placed Lakeshore Park on a conservation easement ensuring the property will function as a park forever.
"The demolition of all derelict buildings from the hospital era has transformed the park to begin with," Lakeshore Park development director Cardin Bradley said.
Construction has required some parking lots and areas of the park to temporarily close, but city parks director Joe Walsh said the park has been able to keep the popular two-mile greenway loop open.
"This is a citywide park. It's a huge park. It brings people from all over the place and adding more and more amenities, one of the biggest things we heard when we from our public meetings about this park is people wanted to preserve the green space," Walsh said. "We are building some parking lots and some amenities like picnic shelters and restrooms, but by and large we're preserving that passive park nature."
After the first phase of the plan is complete, other improvements in the master plan include a dog park and a large "play space."
"We call it the Central Park of the South, and we really think that's what it is," Bradley said.
Lakeshore Park is nonprofit organization. You can support the renovations to the park HERE.