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Developer purchases entire block of Cumberland Avenue businesses

"You would think that that's probably going to be a new development in the near future," said Knox County Register of Deeds Nick McBride.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Nick McBride, the Knox County register of deeds, said he wouldn't be surprised if a new development springs up between 19th and 20th Street on Cumberland Avenue soon.

"Cumberland Avenue seems to be making a transformation," McBride said. "We've seen lots of developments where developers and companies have come in and bought multiple pieces of property and put those together for a development."

Property records show Core Knoxville Cumberland LLC, a Chicago-based acquisition group, purchased what amounts to an entire block of businesses.

That includes the buildings currently home to Stefano's Pizza, University Liquors, Zen Ramen House and Jimmy John's. 

No formal plans have been filed yet with the city of Knoxville to develop that area. However, McBride said he expects to see something given the group's $14.5 million investment.

RELATED: Developers plan new student housing project on Cumberland Ave. to replace strip mall

"You would think that that's probably going to be a new development in the near future," McBride said. "This piece of property being bought up like this is how we have seen properties bought up and down Cumberland Avenue."

One example is Aspen Heights Student Living, just down the street at the corner of 22nd Street and Cumberland Avenue. Another development is under construction across the street.

"There were eight deeds, eight different lots that were combined together to complete this development," McBride said. "We look forward to seeing what the developers have to improve the Cumberland Avenue corridor."

Core Knoxville Lake LLC purchased two additional properties across the street, including the former location of Uptown Bar and Grill. Sources tell 10News that more acquisitions along the Strip are in the works.

The Strip in recent decades has seen a shift from small businesses to bigger, multimillion-dollar commercial projects as developers have sensed opportunities to make a lot of money.

Passersby would never know it today but as recently as the 1990s there were still some houses along the heart of the Strip.

The city of Knoxville some seven years ago embarked on a major overhaul of the Strip over a couple of phases that included coordinated utility work, landscaping and street redesign.

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