Sevierville looks to redevelop downtown

An East Tennessee community, in one of the state's most popular tourist areas, is looking to give its downtown a face lift.

The City of Sevierville is hopeful a state program will give them the tools needed to make that happen. It wants the state to pick Sevierville to be a part of its "Tennessee Downtowns" program.

The program looks to help communities understand what it takes to revitalize their downtowns.

For two years, they're coached by the state in the dos and don'ts.

They attend workshops, webinars and receive a $15,000 grant to research what works.

Facebook Group: Sevierville Commons Association

"We can tell where we're missing certain types of things as far as retails or others types of businesses," said Alex Johnson, who is the president of the local steering community trying to win a place in the program.

Other East Tennessee cities have already benefited from the program too. They include Jefferson City, Sweetwater, Rockwood and Athens.

Alderman and Sevierville Chamber of Commerce member Jim McGill said, ultimately, Sevierville would like to entice more retail, lofts and eateries to downtown.

In order to do that, he says the city needs to draw more of the 15 million drivers cruising the Parkway every year to take a detour into downtown.

More Information: Tennessee Downtowns Program

"We have some great shops, but we need more so our visitors will want to come out and stay and hang out with us," McGill said.

Sevierville has to get its application into the state by April 30th. They'll know if they're approved for the program by June 17.

Only six Tennessee communities will be selected.In the meantime, the city is trying to attract more foot traffic downtown by holding more outdoor events.

On April 12, at 11 a.m., the city will hold an Easter egg hunt for families. The event will be at the Bruce Street gazebo in the middle of downtown.


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