The Enterprise Center

INNOVATION DISTRICT PLAN

U3 Advisors was engaged in 2017 to create a strategic framework plan for the Chattanooga Innovation District. U3A was responsible for studying the existing physical and market conditions downtown, developing a strategy for how to accelerate innovation program within the district, and articulating implementation steps.

U3A began our assignment with an analysis of existing conditions including a review of existing plans and proposals, extensive interviews with varied stakeholders including city leadership, innovation stakeholders (researchers and scientists, entrepreneurs, local corporate executives, chambers of commerce, community activists, leaders in arts, entertainment, and public education), and real estate and development professionals

U3A then prepared base mapping using available data and existing digital drawing GIS and AutoCAD files.  With these maps we created a comprehensive index of "innovation-related" programmatic and economic conditions including demographic data and the presence/location of institutional innovation assets in the city and the region. We also used this mapping to communicate and incorporate previously executed planning efforts in order to develop a set of existing physical frameworks as a basis for examining new building scenarios (framework plan overlays will include: transportation, ownership, public facilities, zoning and land use, street amenities, open space, cultural and recreational assets, office space, innovation catalysts, and activity heat map).

Using these tools, we prepared an Innovation District Land Use and Development Framework Plan that incorporates real estate strategy for the district including private opportunities and City property, as well as an innovation district land use and urban design strategy. The Framework Plan includes the following district overlays: land use, prioritized real estate development, public realm improvements including parks, plazas and street facilities, mobility, way-finding, key innovation amenities and catalytic projects.

U3A presented our interim deliverables and Framework Plan at multiple public engagement forums with community stakeholders actively participating in charrette-style exercises to engage with the consulting team and share their feedback.

​Finally, U3A developed an implementation strategy that includes a set of early catalytic projects.  At least three "catalyst projects" were identified as early and impactful projects.  U3A identified potential development sites, key transaction stakeholders, and financing programs.