South Knoxville hospital demolition draws mixed opinions

South Knoxville hospital demolition draws mixed opinions

Posted:
Some people in the South Knoxville area believe it's time for something new. Some people in the South Knoxville area believe it's time for something new.
Other plans for the former hospital include student housing, a hotel, and retail stores. Other plans for the former hospital include student housing, a hotel, and retail stores.
Demolition on the Baptist Hospital continuing to be underway to make room for new upscale apartments, student housing, and retail shops. Demolition on the Baptist Hospital continuing to be underway to make room for new upscale apartments, student housing, and retail shops.
By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Demolition on the Baptist Hospital continuing to be underway to make room for new upscale apartments, student housing, and retail shops. 

The developers from Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Corporation were in town Wednesday talking with Mayor Madeline Rogero and her staff about their progress on Baptist Hospital. People in the area 6 News talked with had mixed opinions about the hospital transforming into something else. 

"If it wasn't for that hospital, I wouldn't be here," said Marvin Lynn Jones II of South Knoxville.

Jones is a South Knoxville native and is upset a landmark in his area, Baptist Hospital, will soon be nothing more than a memory. He was born there and several years later in 1982 the hospital staff saved his life after a bad car wreck. 

 Jones says the demolition of the hospital is personal for him. 


"It really hurts me. It really does to see it gone, just demolished," said Jones.  

The developer of the land from Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Corporation in Augusta, Georgia tells 6 News they plan to build about 300 upscale apartments that will take up around 300,000 square feet.

One building is already gone and others are expected to be demolished in the next few months. Some people in the South Knoxville area believe it's time for something new. 


"It sat vacant for the last few years. It needed to come down. It just brings a lot of people that are breaking in, trying to steal stuff," said Joel Francis of South Knoxville.  

Other plans for the former hospital include student housing, a hotel, and retail stores. They're opportunities that some say could help the South Knoxville economy. 

"At least they're doing something that's going to create jobs. There's a lot of people out there that need a job right now," said Francis. 

Jones agrees the new construction could be a good thing for the neighborhood, but he remains skeptical. 

"It scares me because i have no idea what it's going to bring," said Jones. 

The developer says they hope to begin construction either late this year or early next year on the apartments. It could be about two years before people are moved in. 

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