UT acquires buildings on the Strip; use still undetermined

UT acquires buildings on the Strip; use still undetermined

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"I'd like to see more parking. The whole time I've been here, you pay so much for parking passes and you have to drive around for 35 minutes to an hour to find a space," said student Robert Crossley. "I'd like to see more parking. The whole time I've been here, you pay so much for parking passes and you have to drive around for 35 minutes to an hour to find a space," said student Robert Crossley.
The school has several ideas for what this building could be in the future. The school has several ideas for what this building could be in the future.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A part of Cumberland Avenue near the University of Tennessee's campus is changing. UT has purchased a couple of well-known buildings on the Strip.

Now as the students are returning to class after the Christmas break, some wonder what the university could be working on.

The building in question is at the intersection of Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street, where Rocky Top Books and Dynasty Express were located.

The school has several ideas for what this building could be in the future.

Robert Crossley, a third-year grad student who also went to UT for his undergraduate studies, knows exactly what he wants the building space to be used for.

"I'd like to see more parking. The whole time I've been here, you pay so much for parking passes and you have to drive around for 35 minutes to an hour to find a space," said Crossley.

Dynasty Express is already closed and Rocky Top Books will be closed by the end of the month.

The bookstore is moving and consolidating to their other location a half mile down the road on Cumberland Avenue.

Last spring, UT bought the building next door, which used to be home to McMillan's.

The entire space is just over 16,000 square feet.

According to the university the use of the space is still being determined, but school officials are considering using the building for commercial or retail space, like a restaurant where students can use their meal plan or a souvenir or apparel shop.

It's a use student Cameron Achilles can support.

"Aside from another restaurant or another place I can eat with meal equivalency, I don't really care either way," Achilles said. "Maybe a cafeteria, since they shut down Sophie's right down there across from Clement."

UT officials say the long-term plan, possibly 10-year plan, is to use the space for another academic building. Students have mixed opinions about the possible future use of the space.

"Turning it into an academic building sounds fine, but as far as retail stores or dining halls go there's enough places on the Strip already. There's places to eat already," said Crossley.

"If it turns into a retail store or restaurant it raises the question of where are you going to park to go there," Achilles said.

Currently, there is only basic maintenance work being done to these buildings.

Renovations will not start until UT officials make a definite plan for the use for these buildings.

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