KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The City of Knoxville hosted an open house on Thursday to allow residents to pitch ideas on development for the old McClung Warehouse site.
The warehouses along W. Jackson Ave was once a thriving entity in downtown Knoxville before fires in 2007 and 2014 torched the historic buildings. It has since sat empty, but ideas for redevelopment are now on the table.
“With all the energy and excitement and growth of Knoxville, it’s a great time to really put these opportunities into place here and see how this site can be developed,” Chief of Urban Design and Development R.J. Justice said.
Justice said that the project has been in the works for nearly a decade, but that the city wanted to take a patient approach.
“When we took ownership of this site it wasn’t a let’s hurry up and get started,” Justice said. “It was a let’s secure the site and make sure it reaches its highest and best use when the time is right. So we feel like the time is right.”
She is also hopeful that the project will ease concerns around the city.
“This project could help with parking concerns and also help increase our housing supply in Knoxville,” Justice said.
Justice emphasized that it is rare to have such a space for redevelopment, so the city hopes to take advantage.
“It’s very rare also to have a three-acre tract in a downtown that has redevelopment possibilities,” Justice said. “So, we’re really excited to see what people have in mind to see in this space.”
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.