• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Google+
  • Share via Email
Cumberland Avenue Entrepreneur Welcomes UT Homecoming Parade on Nov. 3 
The theme for this year’s UT Homecoming festivities is “HC 101: Intro to Rocky Top.” The parade will roll along Cumberland Avenue for the first time in 30 years.

The theme for this year’s UT Homecoming festivities is “HC 101: Intro to Rocky Top.” The parade will roll along Cumberland Avenue for the first time in 30 years.



Entrepreneur Joe Smith knows a thing or two about the Cumberland Avenue Strip.

He started his first business, a coffee shop, on Cumberland 22 years ago. He met his wife nearby. He opened the Half Barrel in September 2005, and - before the City's transformational reconstruction project was even finished and the orange barrels were up - he and his team in June opened Tapp'd, a craft brew spot.

Smith believes in the future of Cumberland Avenue as an entertainment and residential corridor. He's put his money where his mouth is.

And at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Nov. 3, he'll be welcoming fellow University of Tennessee alumni, as the UT Homecoming Parade rolls down Cumberland for the first time in 30 years.

"The parade marks a new chapter for us," Smith says. "Being back on Cumberland, there's new excitement, and probably more people will be participating."

Members of the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association will be offering specials and promotions during UT's Homecoming.

Business slowed during the construction, but it's gradually picking up, Smith says. He's pleased that investors are adding mixed-use retail and apartments along the The Strip.

"That will help in a big way, having all the housing here," he says. "I have faith The Strip will come back and be newly revitalized - it's only a matter of time."

The City's two-year top-to-bottom reconstruction of Cumberland Avenue was finished in August – on time and within budget. Trees will be planted later this fall.

Cumberland between 17th and 22nd streets has been recreated into a safer, more pedestrian-friendly corridor with new utility infrastructure, wider sidewalks, improved traffic flow, a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections. The public investment of $25 million has helped leverage more than $190 million in private investment.

Two new apartment buildings, The Standard and Evolve, have opened since 2014, and a third - the 1830 redevelopment project - is scheduled to open next year.

Combined, the three properties will be home to about 1,450 students.


Last summer, crews greened up Cumberland Avenue with landscaping. With cooler weather this fall, look for nearly 100 trees - ranging from round-lobed sweetgums to lacebark elms - to be planted along Cumberland Avenue.

Last summer, crews greened up Cumberland Avenue with landscaping. With cooler weather this fall, look for nearly 100 trees - ranging from round-lobed sweetgums to lacebark elms - to be planted along Cumberland. Here's what the 1800 block looked like a few months ago.


Posted by evreeland On 26 October, 2017 at 4:47 PM