Strategic Plan for Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center

In 2019, CSL led a multi-disciplinary team, including Design Innovation Architects, Sizemore Group, and IBI Placemaking, to develop a Strategic Plan for the Future Use of the Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The intent of the Strategic Plan was to provide a guide for the future direction and growth of Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center and its leaseholders—The Muse, Tennessee Valley Fair, and Golden Gloves Charities—in conjunction with the existing development plans of Zoo Knoxville, Magnolia Avenue corridor, and Burlington redevelopment. 

Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center, which contains 81 acres of land just east of downtown Knoxville, has long-served the residents of Knoxville as a productive community asset and an important gathering place.  For more than 100 years, Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center has been home to a wide diversity of events and visitors.  A strength of the Park is its appeal to a broad diversity of event and activity types, visitors, user bases, tenants, and industry segments. 

The study and strategic planning process consisted of detailed research and analysis, including a comprehensive set of market-specific information derived from site visits, charettes, stakeholder and community outreach, telephone interviews with user groups, and comparable project benchmarking.  Key recommendations included relocation of the Tennessee Valley Fair to a new site, development of a state-of-the-industry 7,500-seat amphitheater, a 90,000-square foot Multipurpose Building, and a variety of other infrastructure and grounds improvements (including private sector mixed-use development opportunities).