(WATE) - With the redevelopment of downtown Knoxville we've seen a number of old
commercial buildings become higher-end residential spaces.
But an effort
along those lines has upset one business owner who rents space in the Medical
Arts Building at the corner of Main and Locust Streets.
1930s-era building has long been home to a variety of medical practices and
other offices but apartments are taking the place of those
tenant of the office building is a dentist and owns her own dental
practice. She says being forced to leave the Medical Arts Building is costing
her time and money and possibly her business.
Gangaware has been coming to the Medical Arts Building to get his teeth cleaned
for 40 years.
extremely convenient. My office is in the old Millers Building just a block
away, so I can walk right over five minutes and I'm here and back to the office
again," said Gangaware.
Several generations of dentist offices have been located in the Medical Arts
of Downtown Dental Knoxville, dentist Dr. Marsha Hickey, began renting the
space after another dentist left.
been growing very well every month, seen new patients, word's getting out that we
are here," said Dr. Hickey.
Hickey opened her practice in downtown Knoxville to draw in area workers, but in
November Dr. Hickey received a notice from her landlord.
owner of the Medical Arts Building explained in a letter that the building is
struggling because demand for office space is depressed.
Hickey says she was given 90 days to move out.
a very frightening thing because we were doing so well and we have patients to
notify, we have equipment to move," said Dr. Hickey.
Hickey found a new location two miles away on the fringe of downtown Knoxville
in Cherokee Mills, but she says relocating won't be cheap.
going to cost $10,000 to $15,000 to move. He's given us a little to cover
all of that, then we'll have to close for a week. We won't be able to see patients
for a week so we'll have that loss of income so there's definitely a loss," said
Hickey says the owner of the building is compensating her a small amount for her
loss and she says the possible termination of her lease was included in the
written agreement, but she just hopes her practice survives the move and patients
go with her.
Medical Arts Building leasing agent says only 44 percent of the building was
leased as office space and that apartments in downtown Knoxville are in high
renovating to provide apartments is necessary to take advantage of the
leasing agent also said that many tenants found a new location for their
business and seemed pleased.
All current tenants will be out of the building by the end of the month and the
apartment units will be ready by the fall.