It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years since I first mentioned a small parking lot purchased by Kevin and Melinda Grimac. Not really looking to make the purchase, the opportunity presented itself at 107 Commerce Street and the couple couldn’t resist. The proximity to the (then under construction) Marble Alley Lofts made the possibility of additional residences and/or commercial space more appealing. The couple has been investing in downtown properties since 1993 and currently own properties around the city, including the Arcade Building (home to Knoxville Office Suites) while Melinda, as a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty also lists properties for sale in the city. The couple also leases an apartment above Sugar Mama’s (135 South Gay), which will come available in July.
In the two years which have passed, Marble Alley (phase 1) has been completed and is largely full and downtown continues to expand at a rapid pace. During that time the Daniel has opened in the Old City, Regas Square has pre-sold many of their units and broken ground. In short, this isn’t the same downtown it was even a couple of years ago. And the demand for housing doesn’t seem to be diminished.
When approaching the building, Melinda said she wanted it to check off all the items her clients generally desire, but have difficulty finding in one spot. These include large windows, a private outdoor space, high ceilings, dedicated, nearby parking and storage. The building will have all these amenities, plus gas appliances and energy star units.
Originally conceived as a three story building, the most recent design calls for four floors. The first floor will have two commercial spaces of 1,380 square feet each, with 14 foot ceilings. The second and third floors consist of two units on each level with 150 square ft. private decks for each unit. The top, fourth floor, will consist of one penthouse unit with 2200 square feet indoors and four balconies, facing in different directions and including a total of 700 square feet. This unit also has fourteen foot ceilings and interesting views in every direction. The balconies, as you’ll notice, do not extend from the building.