Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Sets Opening Date – Apartments in 36 Market Square Soon to Follow

36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

It seems like years since the clever sign, “Coming Spoon,” went up in the window at 36 Market Square.  Very close to a year ago the news broke that Orange Leaf Yogurt would occupy the retail portion of the address. An opening date of August 2012 was set. I wondered at the time of the wisdom and reasoning of waiting until the end of summer to open a frozen treats business. What followed was what went before: a seemingly unending series of delays.

Floor Plans for Second Floor Units, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Floor Plans for Second Floor Units, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Amenities, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Amenities, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

While each step has been difficult, owner Ken Mills insists many people have been helpful. He mentions Mayor Rogero’s help getting sidewalk issues sorted out and the help provided by Bill Lyons and others. While some might say Ken has occasionally been rendered a bit cranky over the whole thing, he’s never lost faith in the project and it is a fine gift to the city that he will leave behind.

Sample Apartment rentals, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Sample Apartment rentals, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Lobby Light Fixture, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Lobby Light Fixture, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

The upstairs apartment units are slowly coming along, but should move into high gear, soon, when final approvals are expected. Ken does not mince words when he says they will be available for moving in on July 1. Interest has been high, though it has been dented by the delays. Nearly forty people have at one time or another asked to be placed on a waiting list for the nine units. While I waited outside to meet Ken for a tour, a small group gathered and began asking questions. Two couples asked to join us on the walk-through and one seemed likely to select this for their new home as they leave Raleigh, North Carolina and relocate to Knoxville.

36 Market Square, Fourth Floor Construction, Knoxville, March 2013

36 Market Square, Fourth Floor Construction, Knoxville, March 2013

Third Floor Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Third Floor Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

And a sweet address it will be. While downtown continues to stretch in various directions, there is no doubt as to where the heart of downtown is found. Market Square defines the central point for dining and the starting point for festivals and entertainment. A home overlooking the square is about as good as it gets in the city at this time. I’m among those who like to be a bit off the most traveled route, but the spot is ground zero for everything that makes life exciting in our city.

Second Floor Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Second Floor Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Elevator, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Elevator, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

And Orange Leaf Yogurt? The opening date is even more ambitious: April 1. No fooling. Just about three weeks from now you might find yourself inside a new yogurt shop on Market Square – or in outdoor seating doing the same. Seating on the Square seems likely, with seating around the corner on the spacious sidewalk along Wall Avenue a distinct possibility if the demand is there. It certainly beats the fencing running along that side now and for much of the last three years.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

The interior construction of the shop is well underway with bright green walls, attractive tile and a counter-top running half the length of the store. Equipment including refrigerators and other appliances I didn’t recognize are installed or sitting in packaging waiting their turn. The flooring is set across nearly half the space and three weeks seems like a real possibility.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Construction, 36 Market Square, Knoxville, March 2013

I feel this will be a milestone, of sorts. This will be the first time in many, many years the four corners of Market Square have each been occupied. I have only a vague memory of the last time this corner had a tenant. Maybe it was the late eighties when a small convenience type store was open there. Now we simply have to fill in the remaining gaps. I think we’ll do it and maybe it will be this year.

If you are interested and would like more information or would like to reserve one of these units (I predict they will all be gone long before July 1), send an e-mail to marketsquare36@aol.com or tnrainmaker@aol.com.

Comments

  1. Hello Knoxville Urban Guy,

    Ken has a beautiful building, which required enormous time and expense to take from its former dilapidation to its current state. We congratulate his determination!

    As for the most recent inhabitants at 36 Market Square, well, in 2001, when we acquired 36 Market Square for a time, there were two small businesses in operation, a beauty shop (occupied two very sweet little ladies in their 70s) and a small greasy spoon diner.

    In our defense, we weren’t able to get to developing our favorite building on Market Square (into the International Youth Hostel we envisioned) before our Adventure Sabbaticals in 2006 because we were busy developing a bunch of other Market Square and Old City buildings, running a half dozen businesses, and building the Big Stage that defines the rechristened Dogwood Courtyard (now Old City Courtyard)…

    Whew, now THOSE six years were a nervous breakdown that should have happened if we weren’t too busy to realize it…

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      I don’t remember the beauty shop. The diner may ring a bell. A youth hostel? That would’ve been interesting. Glad you avoided the nervous breakdown and came back from the Adventure Sabbatical with the same drive to make downtown better.

      • tthurman says:

        If it’s the diner that was along Wall Ave. side then I remember it. Had the burger and fries lunch there more than a few times.

  2. Last week I went to Orange Leaf in Farragut. It was delicious! A great add for Market Square and Downtown. Is it the first frozen yogurt shop downtown?

  3. Every time another chain opens on Market Square, it loses a little more of what makes it special. It’s becoming more and more like what you’d find in any city.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      I love local – but I think we can handle a mix. Local businesses bring something to the table that chains cannot. Chains bring other things to the table that local businesses will have a hard time replicating. We need a balance, but it’s hard for me to see this as an either/or proposition. Some of my favorite businesses downtown have more than one location, like Tomato Head and Tree and Vine. Nama and Cru Bistro are part of chains as is Regal Cinemas and I think they work. It seems to me we would have to wait decades for the development we’ve seen already if it wasn’t for some of these chains. When I think of getting an Apple store downtown, for example, I can’t make that be a bad thing in my mind. I do get your perspective, though, and I know many people agree with you.

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