KNOXVILLE (WATE) — It has been more than two and a half years since construction crews arrived at the old Baptist Hospital site in South Knoxville to begin demolition and there is some big progress on the riverfront.
The city of Knoxville said crews are continuing to make steady progress on three projects related to the South Knoxville Waterfront. Projects include Riverwalk at the Bridges apartment complex, 303 Flats student apartments and the makeover of an abandoned medical office building for the new Regal Entertainment headquarters.
“For months, people walking, bicycling or driving across the Henley and Gay Street bridges have been witnessing this transformation along the river’s bluff. So if you haven’t seen the former Baptist Hospital site in a while, come see for yourself,” said a spokesperson from the city of Knoxville.
Southeastern Development Associates is investing $60 million in the Riverwalk at the Bridges apartment complex, which will house up to 600 residents. Developers said they hope to have the apartments constructed by, at latest, the first quarter of 2018. Construction crews have already framed the eastern wing of the complex.
The $40 million 303 Flats will be ready for students by fall 2018. The city of Knoxville said work on the student housing complex and structured parking garage should begin shortly.
The city of Knoxville owns what used to be the Baptist Hospital garage. The city said the garage will serve residents, Regal employees and visitors to the waterfront. Like other garages, the city said it will offer free parking on weekends and nightly after 6 p.m.
The make-over of Regal Entertainment Group’s new headquarters is expected to cost $12 million. The nine-story, 178,000-square foot office building already has a new color scheme and is expected to be ready to be occupied by Regal Entertainment’s 400 employees by the end of 2017.
To accommodate the construction of these three projects, the city of Knoxville said traffic lanes on East Blount Avenue have been shifted; West Blount Avenue has been closed to allow for utility relocation and drainage work. Crews have recently completed the installation of new curb and gutter. Dawn Michelle Foster, the City’s Redevelopment Director, said crews are hopeful of reopening West Blount Avenue by the end of August once all the new curb and gutter, sidewalk and a binder course on the pavement are in place.
By the end of the year, work will shift from the north side to the south side along East Blount Avenue.