From the Sewanee Mountain Messenger 12/21/2018
It has been nearly 2 years since I was appointed by John McCardell as a Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor to head up the Sewanee Village Development project. Although planning for the development of Downtown Sewanee has been happening for decades, current planning began in 2011 culminating in the Village Implementation plan in 2016. I’ll be the first to admit that it has been a slow go. Comments that I commonly hear are ” nothing has happened…..…it’s all talk…. how long do we have to wait?” Well, the reality is that if it was easy, it would have been done long ago.
I am more optimistic than ever that progress will be visible in the near future. We are on track to achieve substantial completion of the 5 priority projects with the narrowing of 41-A, a new bookstore, a food market, more housing and a Village green before our current Freshman class graduates in 2022…..and that is right around the corner!
As we close the book on 2018 the Village project continues to focus on creating a vibrant place for people to live, work and shop in our special small town. Here is the year in review and specific progress that has occurred.
- The Road Project Right-of Way was completed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Finalization of the design and construction schedule is expected in 2019.
- Local and regional builders and developers were solicited to submit their qualifications to build homes in the Village. Several did and they have been invited to provide proposals for adding housing for the Village. By spring 2019 we will have a better idea of the possibilities for more housing in Sewanee that fit the needs and budget of those who work here.
- Arrangements with a developer to build a mixed use building to contain a specialty food market and apartments are coming close to an agreement.
- Construction on the new University Bookstore located on University Avenue is expected to start in early 2019 and will take about 7 months to complete. We are hopeful that it will open for business by this time next year.
- A market study was completed by an economist that identified both retail and housing demand. In addition, the study suggested that we pursue an arts and cultural heritage venue to draw visitors to Sewanee and increase market demand.
- A stormwater study has been in progress this fall. A final report with recommendations is expected in January. This study was aided by several key stakeholders including those with subject matter expertise from the faculty, Domain management staff, community members and our town planner. The results of this study will assist us in identifying ways to mitigate storm runoff as we proceed with specific development projects in the Village.
- The design of a new building on University Avenue for a Pilates studio has been completed and its construction could begin in the first half of 2019.
- A conceptual parking plan has been completed and will be utilized as we move forward with Development.
- Monthly Reports have been published in the Sewanee Mountain Messenger
- Community update meetings have been held monthly to provide opportunities for questions and comments. These meetings have also been reported in the Messenger
Thanks to all those who have offered comments and questions over the past year. I especially want to thank the participants on the advisory committee and all those who have attended the monthly update meetings. It is much appreciated!
The first Community update meeting for 2019 will be held on Tuesday January 8th at 10:00 AM at the Blue Chair. I hope that you will be able to attend.
Happy New Year to you.
2019 promises to be an active one for the Village project.
Frank X. Gladu
Sewanee Village Project Manager
Frank X. Gladu is a Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and project Manager for the Sewanee Village Development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-598-3397. More information can be obtained at www.sewanee.edu/village