It wasn't just the aquarium

Tennesse Aquarium ChattanoogaWith all the talk about an aquarium for Albany, the Biz Review's Mike DeMasi went to Chattanooga to check out the Tennessee Aquarium, which has been used as case study in the aquarium conversation here. One of the things we took away from his article: The aquarium was just one part of an overall redevelopment picture. A clip:

Chattanooga and Albany are similar in other ways: Both are on a river, home to a major state university, and within a three-hour's drive of major cities.
There is another direct parallel: accessibility to the river.
One of the elements to Chattanooga's rebirth was removing what had been a physical and figurative barrier between downtown and the Tennessee River: a four-lane highway.
In the mid-2000s, then-Mayor Bob Corker, now a U.S. senator, drove the charge to raise $120 million in public and private money to expand tourist attractions downtown and upgrade the waterfront.
A key piece was reducing a portion of the highway next to the aquarium to two lanes and building new exits to alleviate traffic, making the area more welcoming.
"It's a huge asset if you can figure out how to integrate it," Arant said.

Also: "10 takeaways from Chattanooga, and why they matter to Albany."

Earlier on AOA:
+ Albany aquarium study: there's potential demand here
+ Thinking differently about what a destination museum in Albany could be
+ Push continues for Albany aquarium
+ "The Life and Death of Urban Highways"

photo: Tennessee Aquarium / Todd Stailey

Comments

And that is why it can't happen in Albany: 787 is the devil's highway, it cannot be moved.

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