It’s a day for announcements. First, Regas Square, which I first detailed here last October. Read the original article for much greater detail than I’ll give here. The news is that the project, announced nine months ago, is about to get underway. You’ll find their website here and you’ll see they are now offering pre-sales for the 101 residential units included in the project.
On Wednesday night an event at Mill and Mine – located just across the street from what will soon be the construction site for the project – served as a kick-off event of sorts with remarks by Bill Lyons on behalf of the city and Joe Petre detailing a bit of the project and thanking many of the people who have made it possible. A wide range of Knoxville’s political and development world was present for the celebration.
As I said in my previous article, I think this project checks off many of the boxes of the kinds of features I’d like to see in more projects going forward. Marble Alley became the first project in downtown Knoxville to develop a building on a former parking lot and now that process looks to be a much more common event in the city in coming months and years. Many of our older buildings suitable for redevelopment have been converted to new uses and this represents the next logical step.
The attraction I feel to this building, however, goes beyond the simple fact that a building will once again grace the location. As I detailed in the previous article, the fact that parking is underground and hidden, that retail rims the entire building, that the building is more than a box in design, that the building includes an outdoor space in the form of a second-floor terrace and it includes condos for sale at a range of price points. While it is true you can spend over a half-million dollars on some of the units, a significant number hit the $200 K price point and there isn’t much of that downtown.
The other announcement for today is that beginning this weekend, you can hear me on the radio. I’ll join forces with radio personality JJ Pershing to co-host “Knox-Centric: Powered by Inside of Knoxville on WUTK, 90.3 FM.” Airing from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM each Sunday morning, the plans call for a fast-paced hour focusing on – you guessed it – downtown Knoxville. If you enjoy what you read here, you’ll enjoy what you hear on the radio.
JJ, originally from northern Colorado, moved to Knoxville via Las Vegas in 2005. She’s been very involved in Knoxville in those ten plus years, working as HR coordinator for UT’s College of Enineering and she’s served as a representative for UT’s Academic Affairs Committee of the Employee Relations Advisory Organization. She graduated from UT’s School of Communications and digs the UT Gardens. She’s also a Volunteer Ambassador for Visit Knoxville, so she knows the city.
She’s been a part of the 90.3 The Rock family since 2008, working as a student deejay, student promotions manager/office manager; show host of “The Chart Attack” in which she focused on local to national music, interviewing numerous artists along the way. She’s also served as producer and Underwriting Director. Beyond that she loves the outdoors and live music, “from Bonnarro to Boston Pops, opera to drump corps). She’s into her community and I’m excited about our partnership.
While the concept will likely evolve as we go, you can expect conversations about what has been happening in the city, including stories you may have read here, though perhaps including more detail. You’ll also get a preview of the upcoming week, with live interviews of people who are making things happen and bands who’ll be making the music you can hear around town. It should be a fun way to get the message about downtown out to a different audience while, hopefully, bring a lot of you along.
So, check it out this Sunday morning at 10:00 AM and let’s have some fun talking about the city and taking the conversation we’ve had here for the last six years to a new format. I’m excited about it and I hope you will be, too. Special shout out to Benny Smith, general manager at Knoxville’s own WUTK for making it happen.