City People Downtown Tour of Homes: Ryan’s Row and Sterchi Lofts

Ryan’s Row, W. Vine Avenue, Knoxville

Ryan’s Row sits atop the bluff on the north end of the center city. Construction started in anticipation of the potential windfall of the World’s Fair in 1982. The developer was unable to finish the project and the site languished until 1987 when Kristopher Kendrick purchased the property and finished the units.

Ryan’s Row, Downtown Knoxville


Ryan’s Row, Downtown Knoxville


View from the back of Ryan’s Row, W. Vine, Knoxville

Two car garages on the backside of Ryan’s Row, Knoxville

They are unique for downtown in several respects. Because of the drop-off behind the units, they are much bigger than is obvious from the front. The front does, however, offer direct entry into each unit, something that isn’t common in the center city. They also have a rarity for downtown: two car garages hidden on the backside of the building. The bluff also offers a long-view toward Sharp’s Ridge and a shorter-range view of the rail yards.

Kitchen in Ryan’s Row, W. Vine Avenue, Knoxville


View from the kitchen, Ryan’s Row, Knoxville


Living Room, Ryan’s Row, W. Vine, Knoxville

The finish on the inside doesn’t seem that different from a building of their age (about twenty-five years) in any other part of town. After so many years, the units are likely significantly different from each other in updating and quality of finishes. The unit made available to the City People Tour was updated throughout. What they give up in personality to the older buildings downtown, they counter with a crisper, newer appearance. Another bonus is the large size. This unit had to be at least 2000 square foot, which is very large for downtown

Dining Room/Living Space, Sterchi Lofts, 100 Block, Knoxville

View to the north from Sterchi Lofts, 100 Block, Knoxville

Another stop on the tour was the Sterchi Lofts. I don’t believe I’d ever toured them, though I had seen one unit thanks to a friendly guy who was moving in while I dined at the old location of Nama several years ago. They are much more industrial in appearance, with exposed pipes and wiring and sliding metal doors. The view from the unit I toured was mostly of the rail yard and a sliver of the 100 block.

Utilitarian bathroom, Sterchi Lofts, 100 Block, Knoxville


Bedroom, Sterchi Lofts, 100 Block of Gay Street, Knoxville

The units are available for lease and are not sold, if I understand correctly. Prices are not that far above rent in other parts of the city, with a studio apartment going for $750 per month on up to a four bedroom unit available for $1600 to $2000. I’m told it is heavily occupied by students, but surely not completely. For someone looking to rent downtown and comfortable with industrial type finishes, it is probably the best option.

Hallway with sliding metal doors, Sterchi Building, Knoxville