For anyone who lives, works, visits or has an interest in the future of the Western Heights housing site and surrounding Beaumont neighborhood, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) is seeking community input.
Community members can learn about KCDC’s Transforming Western planning initiative and offer input on possible design options for buildings; parks and greenspaces; and the overall site at an open house on Wednesday, June 16, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Western Heights Boys & Girls Club gym located at 1417 W. Oldham Ave.
Established in 1939, Western Heights is KCDC’s largest affordable housing development at 440 units. The site is located just off Keith and Western avenues in Northwest Knoxville.
Transforming Western is a 15-month planning process for the future of Western Heights housing, neighborhood and people. The process engages residents and stakeholders and will culminate in KCDC applying in November for a $30 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to fund the transformation of the neighborhood.
HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program is designed to leverage significant public and private funds to support implementation of locally driven strategies to improve public housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Additional philanthropic investment required by the grant and provided by individuals, companies and foundations would be used for site amenities such as parks, greenspaces, community spaces and social services.
The Transforming Western planning process began in February with Western Heights residents at virtual meetings, which were made safely possible by tablets provided by KCDC. In March, KCDC began meeting with 15 stakeholder groups to gather input from the broader community on a variety of topic areas, such as economic development, education, faith, health, neighborhoods, safety, supportive services and transportation.
Resident, stakeholder and community input will be combined and presented at another open house in late summer or early fall.
People who cannot attend the June 16 open house may learn about the planning process and complete an online survey at transformingwestern.com.
KCDC’s Transforming Western planning partners include the City of Knoxville, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC), BarberMcMurry Architects and Urban Design Associates.