Study on West Elk Avenue development area to start next week

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks

A study will begin next week to find the best path for a possible West Elk Avenue development.
And if Tom Anderson has his way, that path could lead to “a really neat area,” that could transform the west end of Elizabethton’s main street into a regional destination.
During Monday’s Carter County Tomorrow board meeting, Anderson, the CCT president, revealed that the consulting firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff, is set to begin its analysis of the riverfront area.
An international company, Parsons Brinckerhoff has been involved in numerous worldwide projects ranging from a 14th Street corridor project in Denver to one in the heart of the Luan District in Hong Kong,
The firm will conduct a market-based study looking at local current and future developments involving offices, hotels, apartments and retail businesses, to assess the feasibility of the West Elk Avenue development.
During the meeting, Anderson outlined some of the possibilities.
“It is going to be a really neat area,” he said. “If it is done right –which is what we are hoping to do – we will have a complete mixed-use of residential and commercial. You will have retail. You will have restaurants. You will have entertainment. You will have sports things. You will have access to the river. It will actually be a destination for the Tri-Cities area.”
And on the topic of destinations, the county’s tourism coordinator, Carl Brickey, offered board members a look at what he hopes will be a tool to lure more visitors to Carter County.
Brickey demonstrated the new Carter County tourism website, which will provide a one-stop place for individuals interested in what there is to do in the county.
The website is still under development, but when completed, Brickey said, it will provide information on restaurants, stores, hiking trails, fishing spots and an array of other topics to turn potential visitors into tourists.
The board also discussed its upcoming strategic planning sessions, which begin Aug. 12 with a goal of providing board members the tools for clearer communication and the ability to narrow the goals for Carter County Tomorrow. Also mentioned was Carter County Tomorrow’s 2015 Job/Career Fair.
The next CCT full board meeting will be held Oct. 27 at 11:30 a.m., at the Chamber of Commerce boardroom.

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