The Armature Building, located at 310 West Jackson Avenue, has elicited intense interest since its development was announced over a year ago. Soon afterward, the Knox Heritage members were allowed to tour the building. My report of that tour has remained one of my most consistently sought-out posts in the eleven months since. I’ve gotten e-mails asking for information about the project and nearly everyday someone comes to the site after a search for “Armature Building.”
As you can see from the couple of photographs I’ve imported here, little more than an empty concrete shell could be seen. One could look at the views from the windows and the beautiful windows themselves and begin to imagine what might be done with the space. Still, nothing in the interior suggested living spaces. Only a small opening allowed a view into the wooden side of the structure which was likely unsafe for touring.
The building is attached to the Three Feathers building, which by the end of February should host Nouveau Classics and which already has residents. That building, the Armature and one sandwiched in between, will include seventy-one new residences by later this spring and probably three additional office or retail spaces. The first residents will probably move into the Armature Building the later part of next month. Two floors are nearly completed while the bottom floor on each portion of the buildings is slated to be finished last.
So how intense has interest been? Mary Beth Tugwell, who works in the Dewhirst Properties office and is the person charged with fielding calls about the project says that around fifty percent of the units are leased in advance. More are being leased every week. Not impressed? Consider this: It is virtually impossible to find out about these units. They are hardly mentioned on the website under “projects.” No prices are given or even any indication the project is near completion.
The Dewhirst Properties site much more prominently mentions the Daylight Building, JFG Flats and the Emporium. Mary Beth says these are fully occupied and people are poised for any possible openings. Virtually all rentals in the entire downtown area are taken as soon as they are available. With 100 % occupancy for rentals and much lower rates for office space, it’s no wonder that owners of buildings such as the Medical Arts Building are converting from office space to rental units.
This past weekend I toured four units in the Armature Building, including two on the (eastern) concrete side and two on the western (wooden side). I suspect some people would prefer one side, some the other. The eastern side overlooks what is promised to be a landscaped courtyard. It features cement floors with a finish that was drying as we walked about in our sock feet. This side retains more of an industrial feel, with exposed concrete and duct work.
The western side borders the parking lot which will offer parking for all residents, but which will be more convenient, perhaps for those on this side. The ground level floors on this side have a direct outside entrance from the parking area, which is pretty nice when groceries or other items are being carried. Small patios also line this side of the building. The western side of the building also features a warmer interior, with hardwood floors and exposed wooden beams.
The units range from studios to three bedrooms and from the basement (in 3 Feathers) to third floors with views of the rail yards and beyond, of a hillside on the back and a courtyard as well as the back side of the 100 block. Prices also range rather widely, with the lowest price offerings in the neighborhood of $700 and most of the units topping out around $1100, though a few are more because of extra space. All units include personal washer/dryer units.
The bottom line is that if you are interested in renting a space in downtown, this is one of the few places with vacancy – and it’s because they aren’t quite yet available. If you think this might be a good spot for you, I’d encourage you to call Mary Beth today at 865-971-3137. Tell her you read about the units on Stuck Inside of Knoxville and you appreciate the access they offered which allowed you to learn about the property. I certainly appreciate them allowing me an inside view.