I have to confess I’m one exhausted blogger. Not much sleep came my way this week and now it’s late as I write this, so tonight’s blog will be brief and I’ll through in a baker’s dozen of un-related photos that have been waiting for a spot. I will share a few happy thoughts and good news to encourage us all.
Several major buildings have been purchased, advanced toward renovation or preserved for the moment and it’s worth taking a pause as we head into the weekend to celebrate the good news. Just last month John H. Daniel was placed under contract along with several additional buildings on Jackson Avenue. I have mixed feelings about losing John H. Daniel. It was a very long-term business which maintained a small manufacturing presence in the city, but it also didn’t really fit the current development trends in the area.
One theme in that announcement was secrecy. The new owner declined to be identified for now. That theme continues with the news, just yesterday, that the Regas Restaurant site is under contract. Again, the new owner declined to be identified. No one seems to know the intended use of each building, but it certainly continues the northward momentum of the center city redevelopment. That momentum has also included property purchases on the northern end of the Old City by both Jeffry Nash and David Dewhirst, as well as the pending redevelopment of the Knoxville High School property.
Far to the south, Metro Pulse reported yesterday that the Pryor Brown demolition request was denied due, apparently, to the intention to replace it with a paved parking lot. Has the MPC finally established that there will be no more surface parking in the city? Will City Council overrule them? Stay tuned. Kim Trent told the MPC that at least two buyers are willing to purchase the property.
Even further south, Baptist Hospital appears to be moving toward an extremely large and expensive $165,000,000 makeover. Formal plans were presented yesterday by the developers in an effort to secure their TIF. According to the plans, included will be “luxury apartments, a student apartment complex, a hotel, restaurant and retail and office space.”
Next month the state is expecting a decision on the Old Supreme Court building on Henley Street, so there should likely be some movement on that front, soon. I hope to have an update on Marble Alley shortly. Just for good measure, the Henley Street Bridge opens to two lanes of traffic in the next few days.
Have a great weekend, everybody. And if you see them, don’t follow the signs pictured below. They are on James White Parkway and direct traffic up an off ramp and onto Church Street, far from the Old City and miles from Old North Knoxville, headed in the opposite direction from each. And we wonder why people say they get turned around in the city.