There are a number of smaller news items that have surfaced downtown in the last couple of weeks or so that haven’t made it onto the blog and seem important to mention. I’ll hit several for today’s post.
|Marble Slab has closed on Market Square, March 2012|
- Marble Slab has closed on Market Square. It also closed several other locations around the city, so I’m doubting that downtown business had much to do with the closing. Competition from Rita’s and Coolato Gelato could have something to do with it. I’m not sure how many ice cream/shaved ice places we can support at this point.
- Or maybe not . . . A yogurt shop is reportedly opening at 36 Market Square. It is Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt with a store currently open in Cleveland, Tennessee, but soon to open franchises in each of the five largest cities in Tennessee. They are based in Oklahoma. What happened to the Vet?
- In a development that may be related to the departure of Marble Slab, Tomato Head implied last week that they may expand into that building – which Tomato Head owners Mahasti Vafaie and Scott Partin recently purchased. The only portion mentioned was the back side for an expansion of the kitchen, but you have to wonder if they wouldn’t be interested in the increased frontage. Anyone who has waited on a table at Tomato Head could easily imagine them filling the space.
|U.S. Bank, Market Street, Knoxville, March 2012|
- Bank East was shut down by regulators and U.S. Bank opened in its place. They were granted permission by the Downtown Design Review Board to change the signs.
- Channel 10 moved across the square from the Chamber Building where they were hosted by Knox Ivi into 4 Market Square.
- Knox Ivi in the meantime appears to have hit a rough stretch and amid allegations of mismanagement they have abandoned their space on Market Square for a Cumberland Avenue location. Am I the only one who ever wondered how they make money?
|New Dental offices on Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2012|
- The exterior of the dental offices of Buzz Nabors has been finished, while work continues on the interior.
|710 and 712 Walnut, slated for demolition, Knoxville, 2012|
- 710 and 712 Walnut Street continue to be endangered. The demolition was, once again, on the agenda of the Downtown Design Review Board and St. Johns, once again, asked for a one month postponement. One board member questioned whether this could go on indefinitely while another felt a need to make it clear that he would vote for demolition if ever given the chance. My worry here is that it will continue to be postponed until they are confident interest has flagged and then they will slip it through with little or no resistance. Remember, the staff recommendation is for approval of the demolition request.
|CBID community meeting, March 2012|
- At the most recent community meeting of CBID, the police department reported increased patrols downtown and decreased crime. The two weeks leading up to that meeting had seen zero crimes downtown with the exception of some surplus materials reported stolen from the World’s Fair Park. The officer present encouraged people to never leave valuable objects (including coins between the seats) in plain view inside a vehicle and to call 215-4010 to report any suspicious activity.
- More pet dispensers are being added downtown by the Issac Walton League, due to increased pet traffic.
- A work session will be held March 31 beginning at 9:00 for the CBID board in which they will discuss allocation guidelines. There is some sentiment that the grants are not being distributed fairly on a case-by-case basis.
- Approval was granted for the placement of thirty-six solar panels atop the Market Square garage. These panels will power the electric re-charging stations.