Apartment complex brings change to Island Home Park area

Change in the form of a new park, utility work and apartment buildings are coming to the Island Home area of South Knoxville. April 6, 2015

(WBIR- South Knoxville) Development continues along Knoxville's South Waterfront with construction on a new apartment complex.

The River's Edge apartment complex is in the early stages of construction along Island Home Avenue.

The city of Knoxville held a public meeting Monday to discuss the closure of Island Home Avenue and detours during the utility work phases that are coming up.

"This is part of the South Waterfront Redevelopment Plan," Dawn Michelle Foster, deputy director in the office of redevelopment for the city of Knoxville, said. "This project actually hinges on the eastern end, so it's the last part. It's adjacent to the Island Home Avenue, but it brings an additional residential area to the Island Home neighborhood."

Starting as early as April 13, Island Home Avenue will be closed to through traffic traveling eastbound at the intersection with Sevier Avenue. The eastbound detour route during construction follows Sevier Avenue to McClung Avenue. It turns left at South Haven Road and continues to Island Home Avenue.

Island Home Avenue will be closed west of the intersection with Maplewood Drive, but there will be access to Maplewood from Island Home Avenue.

The westbound detour will use the same streets in reverse.

There also will be a bicycle detour route posted to substitute for the existing signed bicycle route, and Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) has relocated a few of its bus stops.

"The city has an assigned detour route," Foster said. "We want to make sure the public is aware of the route. We want them to be comfortable with the route."

For residents in the area, the detours may add time to their commute and cause them to take different routes to get to their homes.

"Some of the routes are maybe not the most pleasing to everybody, but it's probably the best you can do with the road situation the way it is," said Jim Staub, president of the Island Home Park Neighborhood Association.

The first phase, which will take about eight weeks to complete, will focus on adding storm drains and sanitary sewer work.

The second phase will focus on realigning the road for the river walk portion of the project and add underground utilities.

The 134-unit apartment complex, river walk, and overall development to the Island Home Park neighborhood is all part of the city of Knoxville's overall 20-year vision for the South Knoxville waterfront.

"Things are happening," Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis said. "There's going to have to be some give and take from the community and the business community, but we'll survive. South Knoxvillians are fighters, and they're people that can adjust."


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