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'Clear for demo': Permit issued to tear down giant Villa Collina mansion

Total Demolition Services has a permit to tear down the 40,000-square-foot property at an estimated cost of $147,652.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A city demolition permit has been issued to tear down the sprawling Villa Collina mansion, one of Tennessee's biggest privately held homes.

Total Demolition Services of Knoxville has the permit. The cost of tearing down the 40,000-square-foot property at 5628 Lyons View Pike is estimated to be about $147,652, records show.

WBIR reached out Wednesday to Total Demolition Services for comment but has not heard back.

It's not clear when the tear-down is supposed to start but principals involved with selling it as well as all its furnishings said the owners wanted to move quickly in 2022.

Names of the new owners have not been released.

The mansion on Lyons View Pike is only about 25 years old. It changed hands numerous times when it was occupied. It's been empty for many months now.

Three groups of people bought the house in October for $6.5 million. Their plans have always been to tear Villa Collina down and build three homes on the scenic site that overlooks Fort Loudoun Lake and the Appalachians.

Furrow Auction handled the autumn sale of all the furniture, artwork, fixtures, doorknobs, knick-knacks and other items left in the home.

Many items went for far more than expected.

For example, a bronze bank vault gate and wall table from the old Hamilton Bank Building in downtown Knoxville was estimated to go for $3,500. A bidder offered $20,000.

People had a chance to walk through the house, which features a grotto pool, three-story library, workout room, and huge wine cellar, for several days in early December before bidding online.

"Oh wow," a planning staff member wrote in an internal email last month when notified of the planned demolition. "Clear for demo."

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