Breaking News
More () »

Documents: Deal reached to re-open South Knoxville riverfront walkway

A legal dispute between the City of Knoxville and One Riverwalk Apartments led to a fence blocking the popular pathway.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The City of Knoxville and a private apartment developer have signed a $2.5 million deal to resolve a dispute that closed down part of a pathway along the South Knoxville riverfront near the Henley Bridge, documents obtained by 10News show.

The deal still requires final approval from the Knoxville Community Development Corporation, a city spokesperson said. If approved, it will require the developers to remove the fence blocking the pathway by the end of 2021.

The fencing was first put up on either end of the pathway outside the One Riverwalk apartments in July—disrupting neighbors like Toni Hass. 

"I feel very frustrated because if the two parties would come to some agreement, we wouldn’t have this gate and we could walk right through," she said. 

RELATED: 10Listens: South Knoxville Riverwalk section gated off awaiting transfer to city ownership

Fencing under the Henley Bridge has since been removed, but no trespassing signs remain on the Gay Street and Blount Ave. sides of the public space. 

In a statement, the city said it could not comment on the signed mediation agreement. A spokesperson said: "The City believes the remaining work on the riverwalk will be completed quickly, and at that time, the property will be transferred to the City and will again be accessible to the public."

Riverwalk Investors, LLC did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. 

In July, Riverwalk Investors said it has been unable to transfer ownership of the Riverwalk to the city two years after completing the space, saying it has implored the city to accept ownership and that it had "completed all improvements" -- including additional improvements and maintenance requested by the city.

However, the city said some amenities had not been completed, records show. These include an elevator and stairs complex near the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge over the Tennessee River. 

In lieu of completing those improvements, the developer agreed to pay the city $2.5 million and remove all fencing no later than the end of the year.