City: Interest in empty Knoxville mall as e-commerce center

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A request to rezone the property of the currently empty Knoxville Center Mall, which closed earlier this year, shows a renewed interest in the site.

Documents filed by Benjamin Mullins and Frantz, McConnell and Seymour in Knoxville and obtained by WATE 6 On Your Side show a request to rezone the property along Knoxville Center Drive.

The move would take the property from heavy industrial use to light industrial use. The property requested for rezoning is about 78 acres.

The mall had first opened back in 1984 as East Towne Mall. The mall closed at the end of January with anchor stores JC Penney and Belk having moved out following years of decline.

Stephanie Welch, the deputy for Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon says the city is aware of interest in what is now several properties – combining it under a single owner. Welch says the rezoning request aims to turn the property into an e-commerce fulfillment center.

“That’s something that we’re aware of and we’re looking forward to learning more and certainly engaging with the neighborhoods around that property,” Welch said Wednesday. “We know how important that East Towne Knoxville Center property is for East Knoxville and
for Knoxville and our region overall.”

We will continue to follow this story.

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