KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cumberland Avenue in Knoxville has been the site of constant changes over the years. Recently, another building has been purchased by Core Spaces to make way for new apartment buildings.
The building — housing Panera Bread, a cell phone repair store and Yesterdays Bar and Grill — was sold with a $3.3 million price tag.
Cumberland Avenue, known as the strip by the University of Tennessee students is always changing. With developers building up, staple businesses are either going away or moving locations.
The current building, bought by Core Spaces, has been around while others have been demolished with new buildings taking their place.
“When the rubber meets the road and we had to move, we knew we wanted to stay on the strip and it’s slim Pickens to remain on the strip right now,” Owner of University Liquors Helen Morton said.
Morton has been on Cumberland Avenue for 30 years and has been through the “ebbs and flows” of changes. She knew good things would come even in the event of moving locations.
“It was a place for often grandiose mansions were on Cumberland Avenue, it was a residential street until the early 20th century,” Executive Director of Knoxville History Project Jack Neely said.
The once residential street turned commercial as UT grew. The stretch is starting to revert back to its origins, but instead of your typical homes, apartments are going up. As part of the plan, developers plan to keep space for restaurants and other businesses on the strip in the form of first-floor retail.
“Campus was getting much bigger, more and more and more students. Cumberland Avenue by the late 50’s late 60’s, especially, began to serve students in lots of ways with restaurants and also night clubs and interesting shops,” Neely said.
With development well underway on several new high-rises along Cumberland Avenue, some students are eager to see the changes in store.
“We have created so many memories here and around this area. When I think of the strip, I have met a lot of my friends and peers here, and we have made a lot of memories,” UT Seniors Michael Coe and Max Martin said.
It will be a while before this street’s transformation is complete.
One apartment building will be open by the fall of 2024 and there is currently no timetable for completion for the two buildings being built between 19th Street and 20th Street.