City Seeks Proposals for Redevelopment of Former State Supreme Court Site

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

City Seeks Proposals for Redevelopment of Former State Supreme Court Site

Posted: 06/09/2016
The City has issued a Request for Proposals for a major mixed-use redevelopment of a key block of downtown Knoxville, the 1.7-acre former site of the State Supreme Court, bounded by Henley Street, Cumberland Avenue, Locust Street and Church Avenue.

The State Supreme Court relocated to the Post Office Building on Main Street in 2003, and the City purchased the mostly vacant surplus property fronting Henley Street from the State of Tennessee last year for $2.47 million. The City’s intent has been to direct the scope and intensity of the redevelopment of this strategically important block, then to return the property to private ownership as quickly as possible.

“This is a prime piece of the downtown landscape, directly across Henley Street from the Convention Center,” said Dawn Michelle Foster, the City’s Director of Redevelopment. “This presents a tremendous opportunity. It’s crucial that this block be brought back into reuse the right way, with a mixed-use redevelopment that contributes significantly to the vibrancy and energy across our downtown.”

For details about the site and guidelines for its redevelopment, read the Request for Proposals at www.knoxvilletn.gov/bids.

Foster noted that while City leaders are prioritizing certain criteria – an appropriate degree of urban density, for example, and “street-level vitality” with commercial and storefront retail spaces – the RFP offers redevelopers great flexibility.

“There’s a lot of room for creativity,” Foster said. “We’d value proposals that include architecturally significant buildings. Internal structured parking would be appropriate. All designs and functions that contribute to the culture and environment of downtown will be welcomed, as well as components that promote energy efficiency and walkability.”

At a minimum, proposed projects must achieve basic LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification through LEED v4 Building Design and Construction. 

For now, the City will continue to operate the surface parking lot adjacent to the State Supreme Court building. The Public Building Authority will oversee the lot, which will be open for paid parking during weekdays and free parking after 6 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.

The schedule for submitting proposals for the Supreme Court site’s redevelopment:

Wednesday, Aug. 31 – A pre-proposal conference with prospective proposers will be held at 10 a.m. at the site, 719 Locust St.
Monday, Sept. 26 – Deadline for submitting written questions to the Purchasing Department.
Monday, Oct. 10 – Due date for proposals.