Randy Burleson Buys Building Beside New Stadium

Building at 701 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, September 2023
Building at 701 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, September 2023

As stadium construction continues, the projected start date for spring of 2025 begins to seem closer. Some of the property around the stadium are owned by Randy Boyd and associated LLCs, but a few properties remain in the same hands they’ve been in for years. It will come as no surprise that changes are afoot all around. In this particular case, rather than an outside investor, a very local one has purchased one of those properties.

Randy Burleson who, with business partner David Belcher, operates a wide range of local and regional restaurants, has purchased the building at 701 East Jackson Avenue under the name of Aubrey’s Real Estate, LLC. The group, which operates not only Aurbrey’s but Sunspot, Fieldhouse Social, Stephano’s, Blue Tick Tavern, and Bistro by the Tracks (including the one in Happy Holler), also has a real estate arm and often buys and sells properties.

In this case, Gary Smith sold the property at 701 East Jackson Avenue to the group for $2.75 million. Actually five combined parcels, the property includes over .86 of an acre and the building comes in at 17 thousand square feet. The sale was brokered by Tim Duff of Realty Executives. Beyond its size and any other attraction, it is the location that increases the value, as it sits across an intersection from the stadium just a bit from home plate and the third base line.

Building at 701 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, September 2023
View of Stadium Site from 701 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, September 2023

I spoke to Chad Youngblood, who does media relations for the company, who quoted Mr. Burleson as saying there are “no immediate plans for the building.” He noted that the current location of the Bistro in Happy Holler sat first empty, and then built out, for a long time (I said “two years” in the article) before the decision to open it late last year. Mr. Youngblood pointed out that is a common practice and that next for development could be another spot in Happy Holler, as opposed to any movement on east Jackson.

While it’s interesting to speculate about what might happen around the stadium, we’ll likely have to wait to see much of it come to fruition. Building nearby is a challenge due to the massive construction site for the stadium, which has roads closed all around. To get to 701 East Jackson from the Old City I had to walk the railroad tracks to avoid going all the way out Magnolia and coming in from the other side.

Also, we don’t really know how active the new area will be when there are not scheduled events at the stadium. Should the group decide to open a restaurant there, for example, would it sit empty on non-event nights? We can’t really know until we see it happen. For that reason, we may see other buildings and properties in the area remain undeveloped until more is known and more of them may changes hands. Developers are ready, but not in a hurry.