KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Nearly a decade after the last McClung Warehouse buildings in Knoxville burned down, city officials want to hear from the public about what should be built on the vacant properties.
A redevelopment open house will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16 at The Standard at 416 W. Jackson Ave. City officials, Knoxville’s Community Development Corp, Knoxville-Knox County Planning, and Sanders Pace Architecture will be on hand to hear from residents about what they’d like to see built before the city begins to seek redevelopment proposals.
“We want input from residents to help shape the future of the site,” Rebekah Jane Justice, the City’s Chief of Urban Design and Development said. “What’s missing from downtown? Do people want to see a mix of uses, including mixed-income housing, retail, parking and/or public spaces? Increased connectivity and walkability?”
Community input will be used to create a concept plan that will guide potential developers before they submit their proposals to the city. The City and KCDC will begin seeking proposals in accordance with the concept plan beginning in spring 2024.
These five- to seven-story red brick warehouses along W. Jackson Ave, the oldest of which dated back to 1893, were an important part of the early economy of Knoxville due to their proximity to the railroad tracks. Three of the buildings burned down in 2007.
The City acquired the properties in 2013 with the intent of rehabilitating the existing buildings. However, the remaining two buildings were lost in a second blaze in 2014.
Part of the site was converted into a well-used public parking lot. Nearly $9 million was invested in 2019 and 2020 to replace and preserve parts of the historic Jackson Avenue Ramps at Gay Street.