KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The building that houses the Copper Cellar on Cumberland Avenue has been sold.
The new owners, Core Knoxville, are working to add more housing, parking, and retail space to the area. Construction of a $500 million development has already begun. The company has been buying up a large portion of the strip, including the building where University Liquors sat for decades.
“We opened in August of ’94. So almost 30 years,” said owner Helen Morton.
In January, the business moved to the corner of Cumberland and Melrose. Morton said she’s excited to see the new developments in the area.
“We hope that we can make the best of the changes that are coming and continue to try to be a positive presence and continue to be the fun traditional, with new traditions, place that it’s been for so many decades,” she said.
Univeristy of Tennessee students say it’s hard to imagine the finished product of this makeover.
“You can just walk down here and see all of the construction. It’s kind of a shock when you first see it,” said sophomore Vincent Strappelli.
His friend Kunaal Mathur said the 800 new apartment development, called The Hub on Campus, and new parking areas are needed for the area.
“Everything is close. So like, you can just get to wherever you need to really quickly. It’s like a really nice college town around here,” said Mathur.
Morton said Core Knoxville has been great working with local businesses so far and she’s optimistic that will continue.
“I’m hopeful that we can really promote local business in the first floor retail, which is required by the Cumberland avenue form base code and hopefully that space can be reasonably priced so folks can come in and put a boutique or a gift shop.” Morton added, “the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association really playing a significant role in connecting the businesses that continue to be here.”
According to the City of Knoxville, The Hub on Campus will house over 2,100 residents.
WATE reached out to Core Knoxville and Copper Cellar on Thursday. Core Knoxville has declined to comment and we have not heard back from the Copper Cellar.