As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, I walked to south Knoxville last week. The trip represented the first time I’ve walked across the new version of the Henley Street Bridge. I have to say the wide swath that remains closed doesn’t seem to be impeding traffic and sure would have made a great bike lane. But I guess that ship has sailed. For now it offers a wide, if slightly against the rules, pathway to walk across.
My intention was to focus on Baptist Hospital, but probably the best quality of walking as opposed to taking a faster moving mode of transportation is that you have time to see what you didn’t plan to see. Often the sight of the unexpected is more interesting than your destination turns out to be. In this case, my attention was diverted to CityView Condos. I’d read about them, mostly on Josh Flory’s Property Scope Blog.
The condos are reached by turning right onto Blount Avenue when traveling south and crossing the bridge. Just after that right turn a single lane overpass reminds one of another era. This one has traffic light control which makes a trip under in an automobile a bit less like the game of chicken it used to be. A nice pedestrian walkway goes underneath, as well, a homage, no doubt, to some forward thinking city planner. I appreciated it.
Initially intended as condos, they were built just before the crash that led to a massive cultural shift toward apartment rentals as opposed to ownership. They were auctioned and Jim Clayton and Raja Jubran bought them and offered them for rent. Five units had sold at that time and the plan was to offer half of them as rentals with the hope the economy would recover and shift once more in the direction of condos.
Something must have happened in the interim, because the condos are now offered for sale from just over 200K to just under 450K. I’m not sure how they are selling, but the website doesn’t mention rentals, so they seem committed to selling them. If they sell, that would seem like a pretty good signal that condos may return to favor in the city in general.
I walked around the portion of the riverwalk that is finished in front of the buildings. The views are good, though the city view is actually obscured if you are at the lower end of the building. You get a clear view of some sort of football stadium and Bowling Alley across the river. I’d say there are people around here who would pay to wake up to that view every day. The river frontage is taken with around 45 boat slips. Only one was occupied on Saturday. Maybe everyone was out boating.
A rat scurried out of my view and into the underbrush. Maybe that was the spirit of Suttree. Two adjacent hillsides are denuded in apparent preparation for more building. The machinery lay idle as I walked around, but clearly, work is underway, presumably on more structures of a similar type.
The river walk, of course, has no where to go at this point, with other development pending. The pedestrian bridge across the river that would have connected the condos to the campus hasn’t materialized. The condos aren’t unattractive, though they stop well short of spectacular. Would living there feel like living in an urban environment or just like living within site of one? Are they urban in design? No. Does it matter in that location? I’ll defer to you guys.