Pellissippi Place grand opening Aug. 30

A grand opening for Pellissippi Place, a mixed use technology-oriented economic development project in Alcoa, will be held Monday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

The opening will showcase the park’s green infrastructure, said Bryan Daniels, Blount Partnership Interim President and CEO.

pellissippi7_asb_13110.jpg“I have spoken to several site selectors and they say the LEED infrastructure will be very attractive to those companies that are green oriented,” Daniels said.

Pellissippi Place — located at the intersection of Pellissippi Parkway and Highway 33 — represents one of the more remarkable economic development projects in the region. There a number of reasons why I like this project, not the least of which is the far-sighted development plan that includes technology R&D, retail, office and residential components.

Beyond that, the park is an unprecedented cooperation by four different governments — the cities of Alcoa and Maryville and Knox and Blount counties. We don’t see enough multi-jurisdictional collaboration these days, much less a financial commitment.

It will take years to fully develop Pellissippi Place as envisioned by planners, but if it comes together as proposed it should be a catalyst for development throughout the Innovation Valley.

Nothing is guaranteed, though. The credit crunch has been a problem and the economy remains weak. Perhaps, the biggest risk to the park’s future is that regional politics could still get in the way.

Here’s hoping the politicians keep their egos in check and don’t renege on previous commitments.

Photo: Knoxville News Sentinel/ Amy Smotherman Burgess

Entrance to Pellissippi Place (May 2010).