• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Google+
  • Share via Email
Coming in June: RFP for McCalla Avenue Property 

A big crowd came out for a May 17 Open House at a City-owned building at 1200 McCalla Avenue.

It's now a vacant, battleship-gray hulk of a building.

But that could change in the near future. City and Knoxville Entrepreneur Center staff see its potential as a new Maker space, right smack dab in the middle of the Magnolia Avenue Warehouse District.

Dozens of Makers and neighborhood advocates at a May 17 Open House toured the City-owned building at 1200 McCalla Avenue, wondering what it could become.

City and KEC officials wanted to hear from the community on how this vacant City property might best be brought back into private reuse as Maker space.

"The public response was encouraging," says Dawn Michelle Foster, the City's Redevelopment Director. "There's a lot of interest, and people at the Open House shared some great ideas. This block has immense redevelopment potential. In fact, we're already seeing significant private investment."

In June, the City is expected to take the next step and issue a Request for Proposals. The City wants to sell the unused property and bring it back to life as a privately-owned entrepreneurial hotspot.

Last year, Smart Growth America visited the City of Knoxville for a three-day community assessment on small-scale manufacturing in the Magnolia Avenue Warehouse District. One of the SGA staff recommendations was to transform vacant City-owned properties into Maker space by giving priority to proposals that highlight incorporating small-scale manufacturing tenant space.

That could entail a lot of things: A woodworking or glass-blowing shop, for example, or a 3D printing operation.

Ideas gathered during the Open House are being incorporated into the Request for Proposals for the sale of the property, which boasts a total of 6,033 square feet.

This block of McCalla Avenue already has an entrepreneurial, vibrant feel to it. 1200 McCalla is nestled between Bird on the Wire Studios, Overcoming Believers Church, Gray Hodges, and Smart & Becker and the residences in the next-door Electric Co. Lofts building.

From left: City Business Liaison Patricia Robledo, Community Development Director Becky Wade, Redevelopment Director Dawn Michelle Foster, and Economic Development Project Manager Ken McMahon.
From left: City Business Liaison Patricia Robledo, Community Development Director Becky Wade, Redevelopment Director Dawn Michelle Foster, and Economic Development Project Manager Ken McMahon.

Open House attendees toured the two-story City-owned building at 1200 McCalla Ave.

Upstairs window at 1200 McCalla Ave.

Redevelopment Director Dawn Michelle Foster, Project Manager Bryan Berry and otrhers answer questions about the potential reuse of 1200 McCalla Ave. during a May 17 Open House.
Redevelopment Director Dawn Michelle Foster, Project Manager Bryan Berry and others answer questions about the potential reuse of 1200 McCalla Ave. during a May 17 Open House.
 

Posted by evreeland On 31 May, 2018 at 11:55 AM