New Development Comes to the Corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Street

Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

The building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Street sat vacant for years. Built over 100 years ago, it had seen better days and stood by itself across from the opulent and refurbished Knoxville High School built in about the same era. Originally constructed as commercial space on the main floor and residential on the second, it had long since lost its purpose.

Jeffrey Nash purchased the building and developed a plan for the site that includes not only the current building, but an additional building and a site plan. The entire plan would place three-to-four businesses on the site, as well as 24 new apartments. Exterior spaces will be developed, giving the south side of Fifth a finished look its not seen at that spot since the Interstate was built.

Site for Fifth Avenue Plaza, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

Site for Fifth Avenue Plaza, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

Plans for the existing building include two commercial spaces on the front of the building and four small apartments above. The choice was made to divide the top into four homes in order to keep rents low and provide more affordable homes near downtown. The building is a three block walk to the Old City and within three blocks of breweries and restaurants on and near Broadway.

Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

The additional building will be constructed to the east of the current building and will face Fifth Avenue along side the existing building. The two will be separated by a courtyard and patio which may be used for future commercial tenants and which would be available for residents. The planned building will include space for one or two commercial tenants on the main floor, facing Fifth Avenue. The building will be three floors facing the street.

Interior Second Floor Residences, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

Interior Second Floor Residences, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

The second and third floors, as seen from Fifth Avenue will each have eight apartments. The rear of the building will be four stories, with the additional floor due to the downward slope of the site from front to rear. Four town homes will be built across the back, each two stories tall, bringing the total homes in the new building.

Interior First Floor Commercial Space, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

Interior First Floor Commercial Space, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020

The three-to-four businesses and twenty-four new residential units will also have access to about thirty additional parking spaces to be built on the extreme eastern end of the property and behind the existing building. Parking spaces also line the street in front of the current building and the site for the second.

Additionally, plans are in place for an outdoor living space on the corner of the two streets. Mr. Nash said he wanted the corner to be appealing and to add, rather than detract from the appearance of the property.

Front View Rendering for Fifth Avenue Plaza, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020 (R2R Studio)

Rear View Rendering for Fifth Avenue Plaza, Corner of Central and Fifth Avenue, Knoxville, August 2020 (R2R Studio)

Construction is well underway on the existing building which had to have extensive work in order to “help it stand for another hundred years.” The timeline for that portion of the project calls for it to be completed and occupied by January. One of the two commercial spaces is already spoken for and multiple potential occupants have expressed interest in the second commercial space.

The planned building is also under construction. Footers and foundation work are being completed and ground up construction will start soon. Nash said that “masons begin work next month,” and from that point the work should take about ten months to completion. He hopes to have it ready for occupancy around July 2021.

For information about leasing, contact Cohl Morgan of SVN Wood Properties at 865-637-7777.

Comments

  1. Excellent……..I would love to know if one of the spaces had been a dime store during the 50’s ……anyone know ??

  2. Another wonderful project by Jeffrey Nash! Well done sir!

  3. I knew something big was going to go there. Great news! Everything he does ends up looking great, being a great addition to the community, and usually done on time. Which is a rarity around here.

  4. I really love the special attention Mr. Nash puts towards developing smaller lots and filling the gaps in this part of the city. The Mews 1 & 2 and this project help connect the urban fabric of the two sides of the interstate in this area and it creates a better pedestrian environment and a safer community. I also applaud Mr. Nash for his creativity in developing sites that would otherwise be considered unattractive because of proximity to the interstate or, I dunno, a giant billboard standing in the middle of the site. The end results are unique spaces that feel intimate and I think these have a nice presence in the neighborhood. Thank You!

    • You wrote exactly what I was thinking. Nash goes where others don’t.

      He does so much for the City. We’re lucky to have him.

  5. What a beauty it really is, this is not the first time I have seen how they deal with similar buildings and begin to re-equip them into all sorts of necessary and not very supposedly modernized buildings. The worst part is destroying the architecture of entire districts, spoiling it with only one new building with an outstanding style. So it is very important to keep the overall look and feel of the architect. I love your rendering.

  6. Rick Dover says

    Another great project by Jeffrey Nash!
    Beautiful concept and detail!

  7. Bill Myers says

    So glad the city took the turn lanes out of this busy intersection so they could put in the scalloped curbs and back traffic up for blocks when a timid person tries to turn left. Add the tall plants that block the view when trying to enter traffic from the side roads and you have the perfect storm. Events in the Old City or heaven forbid, the proposed ball park will make driving down here terrible. The city puts in traffic calming devices at the worst points now that our area is undergoing mass re-population. Planning has never been Knoxville’s strong point. The traffic engineer must be last in class from Trump U!

    • Just stay home, Bill.

    • I’m sorry, but I’ve been down Central St. (if that’s what you are referring to) at all different points on different days and have never seen traffic “backed up for blocks.” Cumberland Avenue though, that’s another story… what an absolute mess.

    • Bill must have TDS…🙄

      • Donald Harris says

        Could this possibly be the location of the A&P store in the 30’s? My father worked there and I had a good friend, Maurice Rosenblat, who lived in the upstair apartments.

      • Probably Comcast actually if he’s that close to Central St. I think TDS only serves in the suburbs.

    • Abba Zabba says

      They actually removed those plants that blocked the view! I hated those too.

    • Christopher Scott says

      Bill’s general point seems to be that we should focus the design of our infrastructure on increasing the amount of vehicular traffic that can be accommodated through downtown in order to meet the needs of an increasing population. Having lived in LA, Boston, and Washington, DC I can tell you that there is no possible way to build enough infrastructure to avoid unbearable traffic congestion if cars remain the primary method of transport in a small, growing urban area like Old City. Therefore our urban infrastructure must be designed around forms of transportation that will not contribute to gridlock, such as public transport, bikes, and pedestrians. Our climate is mild and our downtown is physically small, which is ideal for creating a walkable city. Cars will still be how many of us get to and around downtown, but the idea that downtown should be designed primarily to accommodate vehicular traffic is misguided. West Knoxville seems like an excellent place to live, shop and dine for people that don’t wish to use any form of transport other than their own car.

    • You could always ride a bike. Sounds like it may do you well 🙂

  8. How much are the apartments and/or the townhouses going to rent for?

  9. Love this! I would highly suggest some type of covered parking area though. Too few apartments/condos downtown have any covered parking and people like their vehicles protected from the weather. A plus when looking to buy or rent condos!!

  10. This is going to be LIT(like the kids say) we are property manager of a airbnb on Central so each day I marvel at the transformation of the beauty

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