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Folks got a first hand look inside a historic building in downtown Knoxville on Monday.

The Sacramento-based Halo Hospitality Group wants to turn the historic Farragut Hotel into a 190-room hotel. The hotel was built in 1917, but now stands mostly empty except for The French Market on the ground floor.

Monday's public education meeting was a chance for the group to explain their plans and what they hope to accomplish with the renovations. The public was invited into the hotel to take a look at the first and second floors.

The city hopes that a renovated Farragut Hotel would help business in downtown Knoxville.

"Having a hotel like this would give us more rooms to support our convention center," said Bob Whetsel, City of Knoxville director of redevelopment. "One of our problems now is we have more convention space than we have rooms to put people up, so this could help that project as well. So there's a number of benefits that it would help; it just energizes the downtown with more people, more activity, more spending, just all sorts of good things."

The plan is not set in stone. The developers still have to get a financing package together before they begin renovations.

The project could take up to three years to complete.

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