The City of Knoxville said it's looking for a new site to build its new $40 million combined City Police and Fire Department headquarters.
On Thursday, the city said it had advised the Knoxville College Board of Trustees that it is pursuing other site options.
In a letter to the Knoxville College Board on Aug. 14, 2018, David Brace, Deputy to the Mayor and COO, stated that due to the Board not being able to fulfill requirements of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), “the City is now in the difficult position of terminating our current partnership agreement.”
To get started, the Knoxville College Board of Trustees had to successfully negotiate with Financial Capital Resources to alleviate the college’s debt in order to make the site redevelopment viable.
To date, the college has been unsuccessful in its efforts, according to the city.
“The redevelopment proposal created an opportunity for Knoxville College to focus on restoring the core of its historical campus and re-initiating its educational programs, while relieving the College and the Mechanicsville neighborhood of the impact of vacant and blighted buildings on the back side of campus," Brace said.
He said the city was disappointed that the agreement wasn't able to advance in a timely manner.
The change would have included a new police and fire headquarters, housing and mixed-use development, and recreational opportunities for the community.
The City said its pivot to identifying a new location will not delay the much-needed replacement of the outdated Safety Building.
Likewise, selecting a new police and fire headquarters site will not delay the Clayton Family Foundation as it funds and builds a new $150 million science and discovery center on the site of the Coliseum/Auditorium and Safety Building.