108 - 120 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, June 2023
A small cluster of investors continue to add to their downtown holdings. In the latest move, Boghani Properties, LLC, in a deal brokered by Will Sims of Oliver Smith Realty and Development, purchased three buildings at 108 – 120 East Jackson Avenue from Leigh Burch for $6.2 million. The properties currently house Kefi, Terminus Real Estate (Leigh Burch’s Company), and Marc Carson English’s art studio along the ground level and apartments on the top floors of the three two-story buildings. The building housing Pilot Light (included in the photograph) is not part of the purchase.
With this purchase, Boghani Properties, LLC now owns these buildings, the Emporium Building and adjacent parking structure, 708 East Depot (formerly Saw Works Brewing), 9 Market Square (Soccer Taco and more), 408 – 414 South Gay Street (locations for Kilwins, Babalu, and Maple Hall), and 125 East Jackson (formerly NV and The Bowery).
I spoke to Leigh Burch who under the name Three Amigos, LLC purchased the buildings in 2014 for $930,000. He said the Three Amigos reference was to the three buildings that sit together. At the time, he received a $120,000 grant from the CBID (now Downtown Knoxville) for improvements to the façade. Renovations took over a year and far more was spent on the interior of the building which he said was in bad shape. The problems ran deeper than cosmetic, including structural issues that had to be addressed.
He recently moved his office from the Commerce Building, which he redeveloped a dozen years ago or so, and it will remain in the buildings he just sold. The new location puts him closer to Stockyard Lofts, another of his properties, and he intends to leave his office there. “I like being in the Old City,” he said. After being on Gay Street for about fifteen years (in several addresses), he said the time had come to move.
As to why he’s selling the properties on Jackson, he said, “I’m trying to slow down.” He’s been developing properties for decades and still has plenty going on with various properties and projects (including the one on Capitol Lofts on Vine) and wants to simplify. This will allow him the opportunity to give the focus to the other projects that they deserve.
I checked in with Mr. Boghani who said we should not anticipate any obvious changes in commercial tenants in the buildings along East Jackson.