Original Date: 04/22/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Reuse of Structures
Chattanooga City government has innovatively provided recreational facilities for its citizens by revamping existing structures that had fallen out of use. This has presented opportunities to retain older historic structures as well as using newer ones that only require minor touch-ups.
One example of the reuse of older structures is the City maintenance building which was converted into a recreation center and is now used by almost 10,000 people every month. The facility has the added benefit of promoting better relations between various populations and income groups. Because of the location adjacent to downtown, its use helps brings together a cross-section of the City's population.
Likewise, an example of a newer structure is a shopping mall with a large unused area. Due to competition from larger malls and lack of easy interstate access, this structure was abandoned by several merchants. The City worked with the owner to secure some unused space and convert it to a recreation center for senior citizens. This effort was very successful. Subsequently, the City worked with new mall owners as well as nearby residents and property owners to create a “town center” revitalization plan that has led to new office and retail tenants and to the creation of a new town square park in unused former parking. Mall occupancy has risen from less than 30 percent to near 90 percent, the surrounding neighborhood has been improved, and the tax base has been strengthened
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