On Monday, a public unveiling took place for a plan that would include a new Chattanooga Lookouts (Class AA; Southern League) ballpark as part of a larger development.
In a recent report, the Chattanooga Design Studio found that a new ballpark and surrounding amenities has the potential to bring economic activity to the South Broad Street area. In addition, it noted that the site of AT&T Field–current home of the Lookouts–could be freed up for future redevelopment. This report comes as the Lookouts and local officials continue to explore the possibility of building a new ballpark and additional development on a 141-acre former Wheland/U.S. Pipe foundry property and surrounding area.
The Chattanooga Design Studio’s report had a public release on Monday, providing an opportunity for additional details to surface on the prospective ballpark and surrounding amenities. While the proposed ballpark would serve as an anchor, officials believe that a range of development that includes housing, retail, and more could be added to the surrounding area. More from The Times Free Press:
The Chattanooga Design Studio report foresees an array of new housing along with commercial and retail space, upgraded parks, streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure, including a new minor league ballpark and entertainment facility to serve as a catalyst for development.
Chattanooga businessman Bill Chapin said there are educational opportunities and enhanced economic mobility in the district. He called for new housing that’s not just market rate but available to rich and poor alike.
Eric Myers, who heads the Design Studio, said the district embodies economic diversity.
“We need a housing coalition to work in a district like this,” he said.
At this point, there are plenty of aspects–including funding-that need to take shape before the concept of a new Lookouts ballpark and surrounding development moves forward. However, Lookouts owner Hardball Capital has indicated that it is ready to discuss the concept with local officials. The group has undertaken public-private partnership ballpark projects in other cities, including Fort Wayne (Parkview Field) and Columbia (Spirit Communciations Park).
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