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Facade Improvement Program Gives Facelift to North Central Business 
Smoky Mtn Vintage Lumber

City of Knoxville Community Development staff helped Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber celebrate its new look on Thursday, May 10. The face lift was made possible in part by support from the City's Facade Improvement Program. 

Andrew Edens

Business owner Andrew Edens welcomed guests to the combination workshop, lumber yard and showroom located in the former location of Ledbetter Auto Body. Former owner Harold Ledbetter attended the ceremony, and Edens thanked him for his ongoing support of the new business.

Edens told the group how he first became interested in reclaimed wood and its potential. When he first moved to Knoxville from Wisconsin in the early 2000s, he worked at WATE TV Channel 6 and happened into the original Knox Heritage Salvage Shop, which was, at the time, located in the gatehouse behind the studios on North Broadway. In the process of making a gift for his sister, he realized how much satisfaction he got from making something with his own hands and began making toys from vintage wood. 

vintage lumber  vintage lumber

In 2008, a friend asked him to help tear down an old barn, and that led to opening Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber in its original location at 937 N Central Street, now Hops and Hollers, in 2011. After dismantling eight barns, Edens says he now leaves that work to other folks and purchases the reclaimed barn wood from them.

Before and After

SMVL Dec. 2017

Through the Facade Improvement Program, Edens received about $50,000 in funding, and matched that amount with his own investment. When compared to the Google Street Views photo from Dec. 2017 (above), the photo below demonstrates the significant improvements made by Edens, designer Studio Four and contractor Christopoulos & Kennedy Construction, Inc. 

Smoky Mtn Vintage Lumber

During the approximately 15-month process, Edens was granted two zoning variances: one that allowed his existing commercial zone to allow light manufacturing, and the second to allow outdoor storage of his stock. A permanent canopy over the lumber yard will allow him to store kiln-dried planks in the near future.

Edens thanked City staff members Gwen Winfrey and Ken McMahon, plus Tim Bingham of Christopoulos & Kennedy for walking him through the many processes involved in the facade program and the construction process and invited them to assist him in a reinvention of the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. 
Smoky Mtn Vintage Lumber

Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber joins other nearby businesses that have received funding from the Facade Improvement Program, including Central Collective, Elkmont Exchange, and businesses at the intersection of Broadway and North Central Street, including Emory Place. 

In the program's 12-year history, more than 140 buildings housing 100-plus businesses have participated in the facade improvement program. The City’s $5 million contribution leveraged $10 million in investments by the buildings’ owners. 

Posted by ptravis On 11 May, 2018 at 11:40 AM