Pikeville Downtown Master Plan Streetscape and Façade Improvements

Pikeville, Tennessee

The city of Pikeville is located in Bledsoe County in Southwest Tennessee’s Sequatchie Valley. The city lies between South Pittsburg and Crossville and is only one hour away from Chattanooga and two hours from Nashville and Knoxville. Pikeville’s location in the valley provides sweeping vistas of the ridges to the northeast and southwest and allows for inter-city commerce through the railroad that follows the valley. Over the ridge to the west lies the Tennessee River, and Fall Creek Falls and Cumberland Mountain State Parks are also located nearby and serve as regional tourism assets.

In 2004, a bypass was constructed around the city. Prior to this, travelers passed through downtown Pikeville. Although rerouting US 127 decreased vehicle hazards and improved the aesthetics downtown, it resulted in a major decrease in customer traffic for Pikeville's downtown businesses. Since that time, city leaders have worked to revitalize their downtown district and create an attractive destination for Bledsoe County residents as well as tourists traveling through the region.

Supported by the staff of the Southeast Tennessee Development District, city leaders have utilized several phases of state and federal funding and technical assistance to implement their downtown development ideas. They have successfully leveraged internal and external funding to complete impressive infrastructure and property improvements. Additionally, Pikeville leaders have engaged local and outside experts to assist their efforts. A local design firm based in downtown Pikeville provided important expertise in infrastructure and community design to the revitalization efforts. City leaders have also involved a group of diverse local stakeholders in these efforts. Central to the city’s success has been the participation of these stakeholders in creating and adopting a downtown master plan.

Pikeville Downtown Master Plan Development

In 2006 the city took the first step in downtown redevelopment by developing and adopting a master plan to serve as a guide for future development. Project components included in the master plan were identified through a public visioning session and design workshop. These steps to engage and educate stakeholders created a shared community vision and support for the plan’s adoption from downtown business and property owners, city officials, and citizens engaged in the plan’s creation. The City of Pikeville Redevelopment Master Plan was prepared by Farmer Morgan, LLC that has an office in Pikeville. This local expertise and the relationships that were in place were an important asset to the community. Funding for the study was provided by the city.

In 2012, the plan was updated. Both versions contained chapters including Introduction, Site Analysis & Context, Illustrative Concept Plan, Neighborhood Vision, Goals and Objectives, Transportation Plan & Street Standards, Regulating Plan, Open Space & Landscape Standards, Architectural Standards and Signage Standards. Since its adoption of the plans, the community has followed recommendations contained in each section and utilized design and infrastructure elements to successfully apply for a series of state and federal grants that have supported implementation.

Streetscape Improvements

In 2007, the city allocated local funds and began to request financial assistance from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and USDA Rural Development to install streetscape improvements including sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, and stamped crosswalks identified in the first master plan. This multi-modal transportation infrastructure investment in Pikeville's initial revitalization efforts totaled $886,669, including $61,451 in local funds that set the stage for future downtown reinvestments.

Tennessee Downtowns Designation

In 2012, Pikeville was selected to participate in the TNECD Tennessee Downtowns program. This coincided with adoption of the updated master plan and built upon the city’s success in streetscape completion. As part of the selection process to become a Tennessee Downtowns community, the city formed a steering committee that continues to guide the community’s redevelopment efforts today. During the eighteen-month program, Pikeville leaders participated in training and technical assistance sessions and received a $15,000 grant to construct an outdoor stage on Main Street. The inaugural event, a free concert by country-western musician Michael Martin Murphey, attracted more than 600 people to downtown.

Façade Improvement Programs 

In 2013, the city utilized the master plan goals to apply for a TNECD Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) and was awarded $25,000 to begin building improvements. The plan outlined specific exterior upgrades to enhance aesthetics in the downtown business district as one of its top priorities. The city of provided the required 25% match for participating property owners, which allowed 13 buildings to receive improvements at little cost to the owners. Since most of the downtown traffic was rerouted after the construction of the bypass, many businesses had closed and those that remained had limited resources. The project allowed business owners to focus their resources on other business growth priorities while making significant exterior improvements.

FIG projects were required to adhere to the master plan and incorporated unique attributes of each respective building or storefront's architecture. Proposals for new signs reflected the trade or business being advertised, while awnings varied in style and color. This attention to individual detail created an aesthetically diverse but cohesive downtown. The phase one FIG project had a tremendous impact on the character of Main Street. City leaders and the Pikeville Downtown Committee immediately decided to build on this success with a future phase two project.

In 2017, the city was awarded $37,500 for phase two work that enabled its downtown committee to continue critical exterior property improvements. The city once again provided $12,500 in matching funding to leverage the TNECD investment. It is estimated that at least 13 properties will be improved through this grant; the city’s contribution enabled the committee to award several additional grants that would not have been covered by the initial grant of $37,500. The local match reinforced the commitment to implementing recommendations from the master plans and acted as a catalyst for new private investment in the community. City leaders and the steering committee led the process to take applications and select FIG recipients. Project selections followed past FIG grantee application and approval processes.

Economic and Community Impact

The overarching goal of all of Pikeville’s downtown investments is to make Pikeville a destination that attracts residents, visitors and tourists who will spend money at local businesses, restaurants, and hotels. This increased customer traffic would provide the greatest benefit to the small and local businesses who have sacrificed to remain open and be of service to the community.

The FIG-funded property improvements completed in the first project worked to transform existing downtown properties into community assets and signaled important progress toward revitalizing the community. As the streetscape pedestrian facilities and the stage were completed, one of the downtown’s most important components, the remaining degraded storefronts continued to mar the community's image, but the improvements from the phase two FIG completed the city’s facelift and helped to finalize Pikeville's rebranding efforts. As residents and visitors came to Pikeville for concerts, outdoor movies, and the Fall Harvest Festival, they noticed the change in character from the awnings and signage and saw the rural city on the road to economic recovery. Façade improvement project results include

2013 Facade Improvement Grant Building Rehabilitations   13
2017 Façade Improvement Grant Building Rehabilitations   13
Publicly-Owned Improvement Projects (city hall, police department, city office, community center, chamber of commerce)  1
Downtown Businesses Created (restaurants, taxidermist, antique stores, barber shop, salon, markets, game room, performance venue, B&B, furniture store)   25
Downtown Businesses Expanded 4
New Downtown Jobs Created 125

Project Funding

Pikeville Downtown Master Plan and Update (2006 initial plan $15,000 and 2012 update $15,000) $30,000
Total Façade Improvement Grants  $81,250
2013 TNECD Façade Improvement Grant  $25,000
2013 City of Pikeville Match  $6,250
2017 TNECD Façade Improvement Grant  $37,500
2017 City of Pikeville Match  $12,500
Streetscape Infrastructure Project  $886,669
City of Pikeville investment (underground utilities, lighting, landscaping, benches, crosswalks) $671,519
Appalachian Regional Commission grant (ornamental street lights, brick crosswalks) $99,500
USDA Rural Development grant (sidewalk improvements, pedestrian access, bicycle lanes)  $50,000
Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry Urban Forestry grant (trees)  $4,200
City of Pikeville match  $61,450

Project Leaders and Partners

City of Pikeville – Administrative Assistant  – Project Contact
Southeast Tennessee Development District – Regional Planner for Pikeville – Project Contact
Applachian Regional Commission
USDA Rural Development – Tennessee Office
Tennessee Department of Transportation|
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

For project information contact the City of Pikeville and SETDD.


TNECD Tennessee Downtowns and Façade Improvement Grant Programs

Downtown revitalization is a critical component of rural economic and community development. TNECD encourages revitalization through programs that provide technical assistance and funding for improvements. Tennessee Main Street and Tennessee Downtowns program resources along with the CDBG Façade Improvement Program funding work together to help communities revitalize their downtown districts and create new businesses through the Governor’s Rural Task Force and Tennessee Rural Economic Opportunity Acts.

For more information visit TNECD Community and Rural Development.