I’ve probably been asked as much about the Arnstein Building as I have about any other location downtown. With its on-again, off-again, back on-again flirtation with Urban Outfitters and its prominent location bordering both Market Square and Krutch Park, it’s easy to understand why it has garnered so much interest.
Thanks to the kindness of a person connected to the development, I was allowed to look through and photograph the upper floor residences. I did catch a glimpse of the Urban Outfitters floors (basement, first floor and mezzanine), but I was asked not to take photographs. Basically, if you imagine a cavernous construction zone with equipment and drawings in every direction, yelling, blaring music and welding, you’ll have the general idea. No clothing with snarky slogans were in evidence as was nothing else that would indicate the identity of the coming occupant. I’m told it will be open by early summer.
The next two floors will be occupied by the architectural firm of BarberMcMurry. I also caught a glimpse of these, but was asked not to take photographs, as similar to the Urban Outfitter’s space, it is now leased by the tenants and is under their control. I will say that the architectural space seemed farther along and seemed nearly ready for furniture. I’m no architect, but if I understand the importance of light for the job, this is a dream space. As is true for the residences above, very large windows line the walls yielding excellent light from the (mostly) original hardwood floors to the lofty ceilings.
Floors four through seven include twenty apartments. Of these, fifteen are currently being offered for lease, while the others may or may not follow. These units could be held back for possible use as short term rentals, though the issue apparently is not completely settled. Of the fifteen currently being offered, six are now leased, leaving only nine available units at this time.
A tour of the apartments immediately highlights several features. The first is the amazing location of this great building. A look out any of the great windows reveals the center of the center city, with great views. Some of the apartments even offer a view (and likely a listening point) of the Market Square Stage. Others offer better views of Krutch Park.
Another readily obvious highlight is that the finishes are very nice for rental apartments. The appliances seem to be slightly better than average grade. Extra tile touches in the kitchens and bathrooms add appeal as does the granite found in each of the units. Add the great light from the massive windows and the high (twelve foot, maybe) ceilings and even the smallest units seem spacious.
The apartments range from efficiency to two bedrooms. Basically each floor is the same, with, if I’m remembering correctly, a two bedroom, two single bedrooms and two efficiency apartments on each floor. The efficiency apartments along the back side of the building are long and narrow, and include a galley kitchen. The southern side has efficiency apartments, though more square than the others.
I like the arches included in some of the units and the columns, which are probably for support, but add a bit of elegance. I was also struck by the metal banisters in the stairwell. They are original to the building and I found them to be beautiful. It was only later when I was chastising myself for obsessing over them a bit that I realized they fit with my obsession with wrought iron that I’ve discussed and photographed. There is about as much antique iron in that banister as in all of the rest of downtown. Search for “iron” in the sidebar or look back through my posts from last June to read about ironwork in Mobile, Alabama and/or Knoxville. For the more sedentary among us, there is also an elevator.
I was told that the entire building from Urban Outfitters through the apartments on top should be ready within the next three months, give or take a bit. The prices range from around $800 per month to $2600 per month. It is likely the additional nine units will be taken before they are finished.
I’ve been asked by readers in recent days what is available for rent downtown and, as far as I can tell, very little beyond these nine units, the remaining apartments in the Armature Building and those I mentioned earlier this week at 36 Market Square. After that, it will likely be nearly a year before any additional apartments are offered and waiting lists for existing units are building. If you want an apartment downtown this year, you better act quickly.
To inquire about these units or those in the Armature Building, call 971-3137. You will likely talk to Mary Beth and I’m told she has to like you if you expect to lease from Dewhirst Properties. Maybe it’s a rumor. Tell her you read about it on Stuck Inside of Knoxville. And maybe take her some chocolates.