Public-Private Partnership Opportunities

Chief Economic Development Officer

W. Harold Cannon, Jr., P.E.
[email protected]
(865) 215-2029

400 Main St., Room 655
Knoxville, TN 37902

Last item for navigation
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
STEPS TO OPPORTUNITIES:   Key Development Priorities  >  Roadmap to Closing  >  Getting Started

Rebekah Jane Justice
Deputy Economic Development Officer & Urban Designer

[email protected]

The City of Knoxville values public-private partnerships that are aligned with our strategic development priorities and support public benefits and amenities. Public Private Partnerships can include PILOTs, TIFs, Development Agreements, and the like. Below, you will find the City’s development priorities for which projects seeking development assistance must align. The process for applying for this type of support follows the priorities. 

Key Development Priorities

Owners and developers seeking economic development assistance should strive to incorporate the Key Development Priorities within each of the following four areas of their projects. 

Project Type

The City of Knoxville seeks to encourage projects that include:

Expansion of the permanent housing supply, geared toward family, workforce, or senior demographics, with a preference for affordable and mixed-income properties
Mixed-use developments incorporating ground floor commercial and/or the activation of under-utilized street frontage
Development of commercial projects that support job growth and expand economic opportunity in alignment with the Knoxville Chamber’s Path to Prosperity

Project Location

The City of Knoxville promotes developments whose location provides strategic public benefits. Such locations include areas such as:

Existing redevelopment areas
Sites where development would include blight remediation
Knoxville’s primary transit corridors, particularly locations served by Knox Area Transit (KAT)

Project Characteristics

The City encourages developments that incorporate forward-thinking and creative design characteristics. Some examples include:

Preservation, restoration, and reuse of historic structures
Programmatically or architecturally distinctive, innovative or creative
Properties incorporating other environmentally friendly and sustainable engineering characteristics

Project Integration with Public Amenities and Transportation

Continued development of public amenities and transportation resources is critical to holistic community growth. As such, the City encourages projects that:

Incorporate new or improved public spaces within the project’s footprint and/or the expansion of, or significant upgrades to connectivity to existing public amenities (e.g. parks, plazas, greenways, water/river front access, etc.)
Leverage recent City investments in public infrastructure
Widen the supply of smart-parking, structured-parking, and shared-parking resources 
Further multimodal and alternative transportation

The City of Knoxville encourages all applications for economic development assistance to thoughtfully design their projects with the above development priorities in mind. Full application review will be required for all projects.

Roadmap to Closing

Those interested in pursuing a public private partnership will need to match their project with the priorities listed above and gain an understanding of the process. The below roadmap outlines the steps in the process, an estimated timeline, costs, and some of the required paperwork. 

Lead Times and Key Reviews

The time frames show below are approximate durations for each step/review within the overall process. Please note that additional time not shown below may be required. These time frames will ultimately be dependent on the applicants’ predevelopment schedule and ability to produce the relevant documents with sufficient detail as required at each step within the process.

Step 1Step 1 A - Initial Application

Submit the Preliminary Application for Public Private Partnerships (Exhibit A) to the City for review. Upon receipt of the application, City staff will contact the applicant to arrange a call to discuss the application. 

Step 1 B - Initial City Review

City staff and other stakeholders will review the Preliminary Application (Exhibit A) to determine if the proposed project meets the City’s Key Development Priorities. Following their review, the City will coordinate a follow-up meeting with the applicant. If the proposed project meets the City’s Development Priorities, the applicant will be invited to Step 2 in the process below. If the project does not meet the City’s Development Priorities, the applicant can withdraw their application or modify their application and resubmit.
Time Frame: 30 Days
Step 2Step 2 - Preliminary Financial Review

Submit further details to the City and KCDC in order to facilitate the determination of appropriate levels of assistance. This step will include items such as:
Introductory Meeting with City Development Services
Operating Proforma
Sources and Uses without full Capital Budget
Property Tax Analysis 
Elevations and Floor Plans

Please see Preliminary Financial Review Checklist (Exhibit B) for a full list of deliverables. 

These documents should be submitted once the applicant has performed substantial predevelopment diligence and significantly advanced the project’s concept design. 

The City will schedule a meeting with the Applicant to discuss this review.
Time Frame: 45 Days
Step 3Step 3 - Third-Party Review

An independent third-party reviewer will be engaged and the applicant will be invited to provide the Full Development Assistance Application (Exhibit C)

A third-party review fee of $10,000 will be charged to the applicant at this stage. 

No material changes to the project’s scope will be allowed after this point as key assumptions at this stage will be memorialized in final legal documents. 

When complete, the third-party review will be sent to applicant and a meeting will be organized with the City and KCDC to discuss.
Time Frame: 45-60 Days
Step 4Step 4 - Public Approvals

Applicant’s assistance request will be brought before City Council and County Commission (if required) for approval. 

Additional approval may be required by the Industrial Development Board/KCDC. 

If your application involves a TIF, KCDC will coordinate a public hearing and plan amendments prior to Council/Commission approval. 

Industrial Development Board (IDB) approval (if required) will follow Council/Commission approvals. (IDB approval may add up to three months lead time due to quarterly meetings.) 
Time Frame: 30 to 60 Days
Step 5Step 5 - Finalize Legal Documents

KCDC and relevant counsel will prepare necessary legal documents and coordinate with applicant to meet closing expectations.
Time Frame: Variable

Getting Started

In addition to reviewing the City’s Development Priorities and Roadmap to Closing above, individuals considering applying for assistance from the City should review the three key pieces of paperwork below. 

The Public Private Partnerships Review Team meets monthly to review applications. If you have additional questions, contact Rebekah Jane Justice at [email protected].

Preliminary Public Private Partnership Application – Exhibit A [PDF]

Preliminary Financial Review Checklist – Exhibit B [PDF]

Full Development Assistance Application – Exhibit C [PDF]