Conversion into apartments begins on historic downtown Knoxville

Conversion into apartments begins on historic downtown Knoxville building

Posted:
The Medical Arts Building was built in the 1930s. The Medical Arts Building was built in the 1930s.
Construction is currently in the demolition phase. Construction is currently in the demolition phase.
The building will be converted into mostly one and two-bedroom units. The building will be converted into mostly one and two-bedroom units.
"The design and the architecture of this property, it's like no other building in downtown Knoxville," said developer Tom Grace. "We're making it a real trophy for Knoxville for many years to come." "The design and the architecture of this property, it's like no other building in downtown Knoxville," said developer Tom Grace. "We're making it a real trophy for Knoxville for many years to come."

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A massive renovation project is getting underway in Knoxville, bringing more living options for people interested in moving downtown.

The Medical Arts Building, located at the corner of Main and Locust Streets, is being converted into apartments.

The 1930s-era building has always been office space, home to a variety of medical practices over the years.

But now, the decades-old building is getting new life, and eventually, a whole lot of new tenants once it's turned into high-end residential spaces.

Construction crews have just begun the demolition phase of the project.

The company behind the rebuild, Grace Capital Group, bought the building in 2006, but when the recession tanked, so did interest from commercial tenants.

"It was going to be a commercial office building until the commercial market just fell by the wayside," said Tom Grace of Grace Capital Group, Inc.

Grace says they decided then the best use of the building would be residential units.

They're turning it into 49 apartments, mostly one and two-bedroom units, with one three-bedroom unit.

Once the renovations are complete, the apartments will be modern, but still keep some of the historic touches of the classic building.

"The design and the architecture of this property, it's like no other building in downtown Knoxville," said Grace. "We're making it a real trophy for Knoxville for many years to come."

The project will provide more downtown living options, which are already in high demand, especially to a side of downtown that doesn't offer a lot of residential rental space.

"There's a great demand out there still for a lot of people who want to live downtown but can't find an opportunity," said Grace. "Without an attached parking garage, we feel like we have a unique asset that no other property in the downtown market has."

The new units are slated to be ready for renters as soon as December.

The Medical Arts Building will also house three commercial units on the ground floor.

Apartments will rent anywhere from $950 to $1500 per month.

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