The Uptown Community Plan incorporates 8-distinct neighborhoods (2,582 acres) immediately north of Downtown. While much of the area is economically distressed, it is also home to significant City assets including the Mississippi River, Wolf River Lagoon, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, several historic industrial buildings, the new Harbortown neighborhood, and even the apartments where Elvis lived as a teenager. TG+P was selected to lead a team of planners, engineers, architects, landscape architects, implementation experts, and public relations firm to create a comprehensive and cohesive vision that will guide land use, public and private investment (including $95M in TIFF funds), create more geographically focused catalyst projects, and create an implementation plan. The plan was developed through an extensive public outreach process that included going out into the neighborhoods with pop-up events, as well as more traditional public meetings.
The plan establishes a Vision and Goals, defines a community framework with 10-Community Anchors, develops strategies and concept plans for each of the 10-anchors, and analyses and develops recommendations for Transportation, Housing, Design and Zoning, Land Use, Environment, and Equity & Upward Mobility. Some of the Anchor Concepts include:
• The Pinch and Gayoso Bayou – A mixed-use district immediately adjacent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a new Bayou water focused park, new residential, and adaptive re-use of the historic Greyhound building
• Burkle Park District – Adaptive re-use of warehouses into residential, brew pub, food incubators, a new city park that give prominence to the Slave Haven Museum, as well as preservation and infill of single-family homes and introduction of townhomes and small multi-family.
• Manassas Market – A concept plan and strategies to bring back a grocery to the north side, retain restaurants that are city institutions, add residential, create a better integration with the hospital, and improve the roadway into a multi-modal facility in a manner that reflective as its role as a gateway into Uptown.
An implementation strategy focuses on leveraging neighborhood strengths, facilitating neighborhood native entrepreneurship, geographically focusing available funding in catalyst nodes, and leveraging public funding with private investment.