KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Hotel Knoxville may soon be the home to more permanent residents after Melrose Knoxville, which is based in California, proposed turning the building into apartments.

In 2021, the Knoxville hotel was proposed to become a residential care facility. Previously, WATE reported that in 2020, the building was bought at a foreclosure auction and then sold to Melrose Knoxville for nearly $17 million.

On November 17, the Development Committee of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance said that the committee met to review an Economic Impact Program request for $50,000 to help cover improvements to the hotel. In their request, it is mentioned that they received two bids, one for $152,216 and another for $170,000, to make repairs to the caulking around the 110 large bay windows that are facing the Tennessee River, repair leaks through the concrete, pressure wash the buildings, install vents, and more.

The plan proposed is an adaptive reuse project, which, according to the proposal, would “change the building from a hotel into a 375-unit multi-family project with retail” and would have 15-20 positions for staff and maintenance.

In discussing the goal of the project, the request stated that this would help young professionals and students have affordable housing and that a majority of the units would be studio apartments. It seems that there may already be some traction for these apartments to house students, as the request also mentioned that the owners said that UT has talked to them about leasing the units and possibly the entire building to help with the student housing shortage.

The request was approved by the board by a 3-1 vote according to the Board Meeting Packet.

According to the application, the total projected cost for the project would be $152,160, and the anticipated start and end dates would be November 7, 2022, and December 12, 2022, respectively.