Knoxville to look at proposals for former Supreme Court building

Local News
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Four Tennessee companies are proposing plans for the former site of the State Supreme Court Building.

The site is located at 719 Locust Avenue and occupies a block in downtown Knoxville. The City of Knoxville says the site has been vacant for almost a decade. State employees use the site’s parking lot.

The building was constructed in 1951 and features mid-century modern architecture with glass walls and marble. Also, there is an adjoining brick building. The city hopes the marble and other elements will be reused in the proposed design.

Three Knoxville companies have made proposals for the site: Marble Alley, Commercial & Investment Properties and Dover Development.

Marble Alley recently built 248 loft units between State and Central streets.

The city says, “Marble Alley is the first major new-construction residential development since the resurgence of downtown began more than a decade ago. It marks the beginning of a new stage in the revitalization of downtown.”

Commercial & Investment Properties is led by Nick Cazana. Cazana is currently working on the Tennessean, a new luxury hotel and condominiums. The hotel will be located at 531 Henley Street near the Holiday Inn.

“Knoxville has a lot of chain, franchise hotels,” Cazana said. “I thought that Knoxville needed what we call a luxury hotel.”

Dover Development was recently honored for historic preservation on its work on the Alexander Inn in Oak Ridge. It is the first time a Tennessee developer has won the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The company is currently renovating the historic Farragut Hotel for a new location of Hyatt Place in downtown. For the proposal, the company would work with Nashville’s Bristol Development Group.

The proposal includes an Aloft Hotel location, multi-family housing, parking, a restaurant by Randy Burleson, a bike shop, a PetSafe kennel/day care and meeting space. The company would work with Knox Heritage, Green Earth Solar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and White Lodging of Chicago.

Another Tennessee company that submitted a proposal was BNA Associates, based in Nashville. The company hopes to create a mixed use development called The Henley. The site would have 233 apartments, a 375-car garage and retail space.

The city says there is no timeline set for making the decision. The mayor’s office hopes a contract proposal for the city council will be made by 2017.

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