Baker Creek Development expected to improve South Knoxville

Oct. 18, 2016: Plans could soon move ahead on transforming a former church into a mixed-use development next to Baker Creek Preserve.

Local business developers Thomas Krajewski and Tom Weiss held a public meeting Tuesday at the Old Sevier Heights Baptist Church to receive input from neighbors about their plans to turn the former church into a mixed-use development.. 

The proposed Baker Creek Bottoms will see a brewery, hotel with apartments and theater.

"I'm 100% for it," Senior Pastor at Open Door Church Wayne Marler said. "I think this will bring new life here to the community in South Knoxville."

Fifty or more jobs will come from this development. 

The brewery will be used mainly as a production facility and will have a tasting room.

The hotel will have its two top floors reserved as apartments for residents to rent and live in while the rest of the hotel will be for travelers. A restaurant will be inside the hotel. 

"Everything that's happening around here with the urban development, the Baker Creek Preserve, the biking, the hiking and the new park being developed here ... They've just absolutely transformed this neighborhood and given it a whole new face-lift," Marler said.

The theater will help contribute to the arts in South Knoxville. The capacity of the theater will be less than 500 seats. 

"I'm so glad to see that one of the things would be for the children, the theater for the young children," South Knoxville resident Claudia Hobby Kennedy said.

Many neighbors were concerned about sounds, lights and smells, however Krajewski and Weiss plan to work with architects to ensure minimal noise and directional lighting to not disturb the residential area.

"I think there are some negatives, but I think they are far outweighed by the positives," Kennedy said. 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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