KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Developers of a new residential property hope to bring new life to an historic part of town by building a new residential property scheduled to break ground in early 2018.
The Stockyard Lofts is on track to add more than 150 new condominiums and 5,000 square feet of retail space to Knoxville’s Old City. The project, expected to take 14 months to complete, will feature on-site parking and a rooftop swimming pool.
Co-developer Leigh Burch, president of Terminus Real Estate, said the multi-million project will meet an economic demand for a neighborhood on the rise.
“This project will be a catalyst type of development for the Old City,” Burch said. “If you look at the numbers at how well the existing product has done and then the new product like Marble Alley has done extremely well. This kind of the next evolution is to move down to this direction and that part of the city and we think we have the best location for the next development.”
Burch points out that more apartments mean more people, increasing foot traffic and cash flow for local businesses.
“It’s going to bring a lot of people down to the Old City,” he said. “It’s going to help a lot of the businesses down there.”
Vendors in the area agree. Merchants of Beer has enjoyed steady business on central street since it opened in May, and general manager David Suits said more residential properties in the area will only bring in more customers.
“With all the new residential spots that are popping up, the more people are moving into the downtown area and the more businesses that are coming in to bring more people into it,” Suits said. “It makes it exciting and it’s great to work with all the other businesses in this area as well.”
Those living in the area said they have watched downtown transform in recent years and more people seem to be gravitating to the neighborhood.
“I feel like there’s a lot more local restaurants popping up and there’s always new apartment complexes coming up,” Ione Martin said. “I think the population is going to grow a lot. Maybe people are going to settle here for longer.”
Burch said with more interest in the Old City, he sees vast opportunity for the future.
“I’ve always been a believer in downtown Knoxville but it still has developed far faster than even I thought it would,” Burch said. “If I knew it would have developed as fast as it has, I would have optioned to develop more buildings but I moved along cautiously but this project just seems like a very practical, logical progression.”