Knoxville City Council approved close to $1 million for redesign of the Urban Wilderness Gateway Project.

The approval was made on on Aug. 28. On Sept. 6, city leaders met to focus on the progress of the project. Leaders say the project will help bring more business to South Knoxville.

The overall $10 million project is being planned in phases to turn the land where James White Parkway ends into a park. The project is now in the design phase after the city spent months taking input on what additions people would like to see with the Urban Wilderness project.

The new gateway space is intended to tie together trails and Urban Wilderness locations in South Knoxville, like Ijams Nature Center and Baker Creek Preserve.

"It's a really unique opportunity to transform an over-designed highway into a more neighborhood-scale street that's also a linear park," Urban Wilderness Coordinator Rebekah Jane Montgomery said. "And that creates a true gateway into the urban wilderness and into South Knoxville."

City leaders said they gathered a lot of input and are working on the specifics to the design and looking to create additional parking for the project.

The city plans on hosting another public meeting to share the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park's design on Sept. 19 and hope to cut the ribbon on it in late 2020.

The city council also approved $3.4 million for a project that will revitalize the Five Points area in East Knoxville in August.

That includes money for improvements to the Walter P. Taylor Homes site along McConnell Street, Kenner Avenue, and Martin Luther King Junior Avenue.