Baseball Stadium Under Construction, Knoxville, October 2023
As we head into the weekend, let’s take a look at four current projects underway in and near downtown. These are all projects we’ve covered in the past, but they are projects that will take a while and which could fall off the radar. They are all progressing nicely and the smallest should be finished in the next few months while the three largest are all slated for early 2025 completion.
Since not everyone walks or rides by the projects on a regular basis, I’ll try to replicate this photographic update as we go, so we can all track them together and build a record of their progress. The smallest is the installation, Pier 865, and the base structure has come a long way, with the sculpture installation planned for late this year. The other projects all have a completion date of spring 2025 and include the baseball stadium in the bottoms near the Old City, Lone Tree Pass on the western side of the 200 block of South Gay Street, and the Axle office building on Central.
Each of the sites is filled with workers, daily, and while there is variation in how much obvious progress has been made, progress can be seen in each case. Often construction goes very slowly initially, then explodes when the ground is ready and the supports are in place. While Lone Tree Pass appears to be moving slowly, workers fill the site each day. Expect to see changes take place rapidly in coming weeks.
Axle Logistics has demolished the former Brown Appliance buildings and is in process of building a four-story office building on the Central Street site, with plans to house about 900 employees there. The site preparation well underway, activity stretched in every direction when I visited.
Stadium construction lays claim to both the biggest current project and the one commanding the most interest. It has also made the most obvious above-ground progress, with sections of the stadium beginning to rise. Cranes and other machinery crawl all over the space, with workers like ants from the distance scrambling about on the nascent construction.
I’ve honestly been torn about various parts of the project, though I lean more toward the idea it will be a good thing for the city. Even with a touch of ambivalence, I must admit seeing it rise from the ground is exciting. A concept for so long, clearly we now have more than a concept, and an increasing reality.
So, will they all finish on time? All at the same time? Who knows? Still, it is an exciting time in Knoxville and we all have a front-row seat.