Knox Co. seeking proposals for the AJ Building

April 18, 2017: Knox County is starting the process to sell the Andrew Johnson building downtown.

After years of discussion, Knox County is officially looking to sell the Andrew Johnson Building in downtown. 

Currently, it serves as the headquarters for Knox County Schools (KCS). 

On Tuesday, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett joined school system leaders to announce the decision to seek bids to redevelop the AJ building. 

Burchett said downtown Knoxville is booming and the real estate market is hot right now.

"I just think we could capitalize on it, and now is the time," he said. 

In July 2015, the county put out a Request for Information (RFI) to see what companies at the time might've been interested in buying the building. Seven groups expressed interest and proposed a variety of uses. 

PREVIOUS: Knox County's AJ building attracts 7 potential buyers

The county is now putting out a Request for Proposal (RFP) and formally taking the first steps to determine the future of the building. 

Burchett is calling on developers and investors to put in their best proposals, whether it's for residential condos or apartments, other business ventures, or redeveloping the property as a hotel. 

"I would love to see a locally-owned type supermarket in the bottom down there where folks have easy access to it, and I'd love to see some residential," he added. 

The county is working with KCS to identify potential options for relocating its administrative offices. RFP respondents can include a recommendation for relocation in their RFP response. 

"I would like to see it stay centrally located, not necessarily downtown, but I think it needs to be accessible for everyone," said Patti Bounds, chair for the Knox County Board of Education. 

Proposals must be received by 2 p.m. June 13. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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