Despite the pandemic, work cranes dot the downtown Knoxville landscape, lifting and toting.
More than $180 million is being privately invested in condominiums, apartments, restaurants, offices and hotel renovations.
Anticipate another 1,000 new residents to be living in or near downtown by next summer.
Tim Hill, co-owner of Hatcher-Hill Properties, which is managing two current construction projects, summed it up this way:
“We’re very bullish about downtown. We’re not looking at short-term development – we’re looking at 20 to 50 years. So if there’s a little blip in the economy, that’s OK, we’ll continue on about our business.”
Deputy to the Mayor Stephanie Welch, the City’s Chief Economic and Community Development Officer, noted that some of the projects have been assisted with City tax incentives, and one has received Commercial Façade Improvement Program funding. Other projects are entirely privately financed.
“Development projects face different sets of circumstances,” Welch says. “Some, like the mixed-use development under construction at the former state Supreme Court site, are so challenging, it’s almost impossible to envision them happening without some help from the City to close the financing gap and make these projects viable.
“It’s affirming to see people investing in downtown, even during a tough short-term economic period. In the end, their willingness to assume risk plus some strategic City supplemental assistance will lead to new jobs and an expanded tax base for the City.”
This City Blog post details the status of nine of the largest projects going vertical or getting a makeover in or near downtown: https://bit.ly/3lk0xM7