Last business set to move from Medical Arts Building

9:26 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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Downtown Dental Knoxville will move out of the Medical Arts Building in the end of January.

It is the end of an era for the Medical Arts Building in downtown Knoxville.

Last year the owner, Tom Grace, decided to redevelop it into 50 apartments. Now, all businesses have cleared out except for one.

Downtown Dental Knoxville will move out of the Medical Arts Building at the end of January.

"It was quite a shock because we had just revamped this whole office and got it all up and running," said Marsha Hickey, a dentist who owns Downtown Dental Knoxville.

Hickey has been in the building for two years but the office has been a dental practice for more than 50 years.

"It was supposed to be medical arts but through the years we've lost most of the doctors but we still had a lot of dentists all the way up until the last five to 10 years," explained Mary Beth Boring, a dental hygienist with Downtown Dental Knoxville.

Grace plans to renovate the space into apartments, which meant all 16 businesses had to leave.

"Unfortunately, the commercial market in downtown Knoxville isn't any better so I've decided that the highest and best use for the property was a conversion from office to residential," Grace said.

Demolition and renovation projects have started on the building.

"We had 90 days to move. We were a little disappointed in that," Hickey said.

Downtown Dental Knoxville will move two miles away to Cherokee Mills in February.

She estimated the move will cost her business more than $15,000.

"I completely sympathize with all the tenants in the building-- I was kind of forced to move quicker than I wanted to," Grace explained.

Grace said the project is not definite yet as they work to overcome issues with converting a historic building into residential use.

He hopes the apartments will be available for rent by Fall 2013.

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