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City: Cumberland Ave. streetscape project to start 2014

Plans to redevelop the Cumberland Avenue strip have been delayed.
The city now hopes to start work on the Cumberland Streetscape project by early 2014.

Plans to redevelop the Cumberland Avenue strip have been delayed.

The City of Knoxville wants to build a grassy median, widen sidewalks and add more turn lanes in that area.

Construction crews previously planned to start work after the Vols' final home game. Now, they hope to start the project by next year.

The city told 10News they want to break ground there no later than February 1st.

According to Cumberland Avenue Project Manager Anne Wallace, it took longer than expected to acquire some much needed easements from nearby properties.

"Just had a little bit of a delay with some of those items get everything squared away," she said.

On Tuesday night, the Knoxville city council will vote on whether to finalize some of the remaining work agreements in the Cumberland Avenue area. Wallace said the the city hopes to have the entire project finished by fall 2016. She said the bid process should start in the coming weeks.

More Information: The Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project

The streetscape project will cost roughly $17 million in local and federal funds.

The city says it is also hopeful another strategy will help it change the future of the Cumberland Avenue area.

At its last meeting, city council approved a measure to embrace a form-based zoning code on the strip. That means any buildings built along Cumberland Avenue after November 15 will now have to be at least two stories tall.

Wallace says the first floor of a building would be for retail use. While other floors would be used for office and residential.

"And, one of the keys behind that is finding year-round residents to help support the district," she said.

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