KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — What’s being called The Hub on campus will bring new high-rise apartments and a parking garage along Cumberland Avenue, also known as the Strip. The new developments will be between 22nd and 19th Streets.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet thing to see it finally come through,” Owner of LiterBoard James Tourville said.
LiterBoard will get to stay put as the developments take place. Something he and the other co-owner are excited about.
“With opening another bar in the area, we’re excited to have more residents even closer,” Tourville said.
For the owners of a shoe and clothing store known as Plugged In, they are also opening a new location, but it’s happening a little sooner than they planned due to the developments.
“For us, at first, it was a little concerning to hear about the buyout and everything like that, but we’ve been looking to expand here recently, so it worked out pretty well to where we were able to find a new location,” Co-owner of Plugged In David Deacon said.
Having to relocate is what many businesses will have to do with what is taking place. The documents with the overall plan mention having two of the four buildings with 10 levels, while the others will have eight. There are an estimated 864 units in all.
This is what brought a slight adjustment to Plugged In, but they’re excited for what’s to come in their new store.
“It’s a lot closer to where the students are, where more traffic is so I think it will draw in a bunch more students,” Co-owner of Plugged In Dallas Ogletree said.
As many businesses are looking ahead, others, like the owner of Oscar’s, Louie Albaba, reminisce on what the Strip used to be.
“Turning all of these small businesses down to have apartments, that’s making it [the Strip] really completely different,” he said.
Regardless of how business owners feel, they all are hoping for the best.
“Hopefully the businesses aren’t going to be affected as much by all the new changes that are going to happen,” Albaba said.
Along with the four buildings, there’s a new parking garage planned along White Avenue. Some of the parking spots will be dedicated to workers at the Fort Sanders and Children’s Hospitals. In the pitch to the zoning board, developers argue that having a central garage will ease traffic congestion on Cumberland Avenue.