Knoxville sees more development, Chamber credits area's qualities

11:34 PM, Mar 27, 2012   |    comments
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More commercial and residential projects are popping up across Knoxville thanks to some of the city's unique qualities, says the Knoxville Chamber.

An Atlanta development company, Camden Management Partners, Inc. announced preliminary plans to develop a 220-unit apartment complex in the Island Home neighborhood of West Knoxville.  That company's managing partner, John Gumpert, said there is demand in the South Knoxville area for more apartments.

"We surveyed Knoxville with an analyst just to see how the current market was and it came back with a favorable rating," said Gumpert.

The plan to build those apartments are only in their preliminary stages, according to Gumpert.  His group still needs to meet with the City of Knoxville and neighborhood groups.

But, other projects are well underway in the Knoxville area.

The Hilton Garden Inn plans to expands its business by renovating the former Day's Inn hotel on the Cumberland Avenue strip.  Another hotel chain, Holiday Inn, is also building one of its hotels along Interstate 40 near Papermill.

A new Cheddars restaurant is also under construction on Gallaher View at Kingston Pike.

"It's an exciting time in the retail market in Knoxville" said Garrett Wagley of the Knoxville Chamber.

He said Knoxville has a number of characteristics that make it a desirable place for residential and commercial developers to locate.  Wagley credited the city's transportation routes, like the interstates and the river, its large institutions, like UT and ORNL, and stable economy as reasons for its success.

"We have lots of different kinds of business, different kinds of jobs," he said.  "So we're not dependent on one type of industry sector."

One business that hopes to have plenty of success soon is Central Flats & Taps in Old North Knoxville.  The restaurant and bar, located on Central Street in Happy Holler, had its grand opening on St. Patrick's Day.

Its owners, who also operate the bar Cool Beans on the Strip, said they wanted to do business in new parts of Knoxville.

"[They] just saw a great opportunity to expand in an area that really needs something," said General Manager Chantel Laughlin.

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