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AUGUST 6, 2021

OCTOBER 8, 2021


The Oak Ridge Land Bank (ORLB), representing the community interest with respect to the development of a downtown district, is accepting proposals for the purchase and development of property in accordance with the adopted ‘vision’ for this district.

Oak Ridge was born during the Manhattan Project without a centralized, urban-density, mixed-use downtown. Over the decades, multiple plans (most recently, the 2019 City BluePrint) have called for creating such a place - where Oak Ridgers can live, work, and play! The Wilson Street corridor, bordering Main Street shopping near the new American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE) and planned conference center, and easily accessible from the Turnpike and A.K. Bissell Park, provides a great opportunity to finally have a distinctive, ‘uniquely Oak Ridge’ place for us to gather. The existence of a more urban, densely-developed environment, featuring apartments, condos, restaurants, local shops, offices, and beautiful green space, will attract new and different businesses to Oak Ridge and in turn, help fortify our tax base.  

The vision developed for this corridor is intended to guide developers and investors on the types of development desired on the limited property available. It is not specifically prescriptive but represents the type of development envisioned. The intention is to transform a suburban-style street into a distinct district with the critical mass needed to create a sense of place.  

However, the district must include the following characteristics:

MIXED-USE:  include a mixture of retail, restaurant, residential, and/or offices, with residential element being a critical ingredient;
MULTI-STORY:  define the street and create density with multi-story buildings located at the back of sidewalk (i.e. no parking lots between buildings and street);
STREETSCAPE:  include attractive landscaping, sidewalks, street furniture, etc. to provide a beautiful setting for pedestrians, bicyclists, shoppers, and residents; 
PEDESTRIAN CONNECTIVITY:  emphasize connectivity from Wilson Street to the core of the Main Street development, nearby A.K. Bissell Park, and surrounding neighborhoods and retail.

Regional Context

Oak Ridge is highly accessible to regional attractions and resources while maintaining a unique identity including being the home of the Oak Ridge National Lab, a renowned public school system, plus nationally acclaimed rowing, mountain biking and hiking venues. The City anchors the north end of the Oak Ridge Corridor, approximately 22 miles northwest of Downtown Knoxville. Oak Ridge occupies portions of Anderson and Roane counties, and two major interstates (I-40 and I-75) intersect just minutes away. Oak Ridge is part of the Knoxville Metropolitan Area with a resident population of approximately 30,000, a daytime population in excess of 50,000 people in light of major regional employers, and over 115,000 regional residents within a 20-minute drive.

Oak Ridge was established in 1942 as a production site for the Manhattan Project – the history-changing project that developed the atomic bomb, helping end WWII. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Y-12 National Security Complex scientific and technological developments are still crucial to the city's economy and culture. As the largest multipurpose lab in the Department of Energy's National Laboratory system, ORNL is home to the Spallation Neutron Source facility and, often, the world's fastest scientific supercomputers.

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the American Museum of Science and Energy, and museums such as Children’s Museum, Oak Ridge History Museum, the K-25 History Museum, and the Y-12 History Center, tell the story of how Oak Ridge was built and about the science and technology changing the world today. The City operates a preschool, four elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Oak Ridge boasts the first of only two fully-certified K-12 STEM systems in the world. The largest campus of Roane State Community College, plus non-instructional higher education organizations including the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the University of Tennessee Forestry Stations and Arboretum, are located in the City.

Property Available

Further public property information is available at TN Property Viewer.

All existing property lines are amendable, so developers may propose resubdivision as required to fit desired plans. Proposals may include all or part(s) of available parcels.

Proposal Characteristics

The ORLB is interested in selling attractively priced, developable parcels in order to foster construction of the most desirable projects and serve as catalysts to continued development.  The most intense, active, diverse, and unique projects will be most highly favored for selection. Proposals must comply with requirements of the D-1 zoning district and will be evaluated for public benefit based on considerations outlined below.  Considerations are in general order of importance to Land Bank evaluation.  

• VISION COMPLIANCE:  must be in accordance with the spirit and intentions of the adopted Vision for the corridor;
• INTENSITY AND DIVERSITY OF USES: assure that too much land isn’t used for too-little development, therefore limiting what else can be developed in an already-confined district; high-density, mixed use projects will receive highest consideration; under-building parking, to conserve land, will be considered for financial offset;
• DESIGN/PLAN: architectural quality and creativity; Innovation; indigenous or ‘uniquely Oak Ridge’ aspects of development plan, including design cues, tenants, etc. favored; (see link below for Blueprint guidance on Oak Ridge ‘values’ and being ‘uniquely Oak Ridge’); Sustainable and/or environmentally beneficial projects desirable; Generation of local employment or uniqueness for Oak Ridge a plus;
2. FINANCIAL AND DEVELOPMENT IMPACT OF PROPOSAL:  value of development (and therefore tax generation potential); catalytic impact and schedule – impact on making things happen - sooner and more catalytic favored;
3. TEAM: Qualifications, completion of comparable projects and financial capacity of team;
4. OFFER: Price, as well as incentives or assistance requested. The highest price offer may not be the most beneficial.  The ORLB has an opportunity to influence excellence and the long-term value and success of the district by selecting the highest quality proposals.  ORLB may be able to offer assistance to a development to help leverage the highest quality, most catalytic projects.
5. OTHER: Considerations unique to proposal, not addressed by those above.

Initial Development Targets

Although a great deal of additional development is anticipated over time, in order to create a critical mass, significant sense of place, and generation of projected $1 million of new City tax revenues per year, early on, initial targets for land uses include:
  • Rental residential (apartments): 300 units
  • Owner-occupied residential (condominiums): 90 units
  • Eating/drinking/commercial space: 30,000 SF
ORLB may accept one or more proposal(s), negotiate proposed terms, reject all, delay and re-request at a future date, or take any action deemed in its sole and absolute discretion, beneficial to the successful long-term development of the district and the best interests of the community.

Important Supporting Information:

For the City Blueprint, click
For the Downtown/Wilson Street Vision, click Vision
For the Downtown (D-1) Zoning Ordinance, click D-1 Zoning
For property map with City utilities* and easements, click Utilities
For recent Phase I Environmental Analysis of parcel 009L A 007.00, click Environmental

*Existing utilities may be relocated to accommodate site development, assuming cost of relocation can be reasonably accommodated in context of the deal.



August 6, 2021, 5 p.m. eastern time

PRE-PROPOSAL MEETING  (Non-mandatory, but highly  recommended)

The ORLB will conduct a non-mandatory preproposal information meeting on  August 23, 2021, 4-6pm with a brief presentation at 5pm, at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce (1400 Oak Ridge Tpke, 37830)  At this meeting, ORLB representatives will discuss vision, property information and proposal expectations, as well as answer questions.  Questions, answers and meeting materials will be posted on https://bit.ly/OakRidgeLandBank. Meeting attendance RSVP requested  via email to landbank@oakridgetn.govQuestions may be submitted, on line, any time between Aug 6 – Oct 5, 2021.


Questions emailed to landbank@oakridgetn.gov, by 5pm on October 5, 2021, will be answered via posting at :

Amendments to RFP Information Page


Submittals must be received by ORLB NO LATER THAN 3 p.m. on October 8, 2021.  Proposer names will be read aloud, but proposal content will not be shared publicly.


TBA as needed during October 11-22, 2021 period


Within 30 days of short list interviews


Click Here To View Full RFP

As you review this Request for Proposals, consider it a starting point for working together. ORLB acknowledges that a large part of a developer’s success is based on ingenuity, imagination, flexibility and relationships. We look forward to seeing your ideas, concepts and creativity manifested in community-benefiting, tax base-building projects that are economically viable and profitable for you as the developer.