New businesses move to North Central Street

(WBIR-North Knoxville) Many new businesses are popping up in North Knoxville, especially on North Central Street.

The city has made a push for revitalization in the Happy Holler area for many years now.

Holly's Corner, a new sandwich shop, moved into the former Central Street Books location about a month ago.

"A lot of us kind of live in this neighborhood and wanted to be a part of the revitalization, and just to make it a cool place, a destination for people to come," said Kate Joy, a manager for Holly's Corner.

Holly Hambright is the owner; her sister's business, Magpies, is next door.

A couple blocks north of Holly's Corner is Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber or "Wood With A Story."

Co-owner Andrew Edens also runs his company, Hard Knox Marketing, from the site.

"It's just a more welcoming area since I've lived in Knoxville. Over the seven years I've really seen this area up-and-coming and I'm glad to be a part of it," Edens said.

Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber will start selling Tennessee Christmas trees from its lot (937 N. Central St.) on November 25. 10% of the proceeds will benefit local charities.

Next door, workers are renovating a building owned by Knoxville Preservation and Development Founder Daniel Schuh.

Schuh said he is not ready to announce the new lessees but said the business will open in the new year.

"It's a destination location. I think they'll draw people on foot, by bicycle, and also by car. So it will be some place people will want to visit," Schuh said.

There are still two abandoned buildings next to Schuh's new project. The city of Knoxville is requiring its renovation in the near future.

"We had our Downtown Summit last night and one of the comments was, 'We need more small places for retail.' And certainly North Central here provides those places where small retailers can get in at affordable prices," said Bob Whetsel, director of redevelopment for the City of Knoxville.

Shawn Poynter is also renovating a building he purchased in April on North Central Street, near Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber and Schuh's latest project. It will be a multi-use creative space, including Poynter's photography studio.


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