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STEPS TO OPPORTUNITIES:   Key Development Priorities  >  Process Roadmap  >  Getting Started

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. 

Applicants for economic development assistance should thoughtfully design their projects with these development priorities in mind. Full application review will be required for all projects.  

Project Type

Favorable Projects 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

Project location should promote strategic public benefits in focus 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

Incorporate forward-thinking and creative design characteristics that could include but are not limited to:

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

Project should include an emphasis on continued development of public amenities and transportation resources is critical to holistic growth.

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 opportunities

Those interested in pursuing a public private partnership will need to match their project with the City of Knoxville's Key Development Priorities 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.

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 facilitate the determination of appropriate levels of assistance. These documents should be submitted once the applicant has performed substantial predevelopment diligence and significantly advanced the project's concept design. 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. 

If the project is deemed appropriate for assistance, the applicant will be invited to Step 3 in the process.             
Time Frame: 45 Days
Step 3Step 3 - Third-Party Review

Applicant will submit the Full Development Assistance Application (Exhibit C) and an independent third-party reviewer will be engaged. 

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. 

Upon completion of the third-party evaluation, the City will organize a meeting with the applicant to review the details.
Time Frame: 45-60 Days
Step 4Step 4 - Public Approvals

The details of the Applicant’s public private partnership request will be brought before the relevant parties for approval. The parties may include one or more of the following and are scheduled as follows:

City Council - biweekly
County Commission - monthly
Knoxville Community Development Corporation / Industrial Development Board - quarterly             
Time Frame: 30 to 60 Days
Step 5Step 5 - Finalize Legal Documents

Necessary legal documents are prepared and coordinated with applicant for closing.
Time Frame: Variable

Getting Started

In addition to reviewing the City’s Development Priorities and Process Roadmap 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] 

Economic Development Map from KGIS

Click on the image below to view the Economic Development Map from KGIS. This map shows locations of Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) properties, redevelopment areas, city infrastructure projects, transit information and more.

Economic Development PILOTs & TIFs Map
MAP TIPS: Once you are on the map website, click on the Map Layers button near the top left to filter layers for properties, projects, etc. This map is best utilized through a desktop computer.