The Knoxville City Council voted to approve a "Memorandum of
Understanding" between the city and TVA that could result in the
construction of a new parking garage in downtown Knoxville.
The City of Knoxville and TVA have agreed to combine efforts to build a parking garage west of the Market Square parking garage. The possible parking location would hold more than 800 vehicles.
The City of Knoxville will buy property located between Summer Place and Locust and Walnut streets for $2.5 million. After that purchase, the city will transfer the property to TVA, which will build the parking garage at a price the Knoxville Public Works claims will be "significant." The department estimates the garage could cost TVA anywhere between $10 million to $15 million to complete.
More Information: Knoxville Public Works on possible Downtown Parking Garage
The completion of that process is all dependent on whether the property is suitable for a parking garage to be built on. Christi Branscom, Director of Knoxville's Public Works Department, said the city will do core drilling and geotechnical analysis at the site for several months before it decides whether to officially buy the land.
"We've had quite a bit of demand for additional parking," Branscom said.
The garage would be available to the public weekday evenings, weekends, and holidays. All other time periods, it would be accessible by TVA employees.
Knoxville resident William Farrell said he has no problem with the garage's set up as long as it alleviates the city's parking problems downtown.
"Two million dollars? I hate to say it, but it is a drop in the bucket," he said. "It could be a lot more."
Crowne Plaza Hotel General Manager Ken Knight said he also supports the construction of a new parking garage downtown. He said it could entice more tourists to visit downtown and possibly stay in his hotel.
"It will benefit not only TVA or Kimberly Clark," said Knight. "But, all of us here on this side of downtown."