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Crews prepare for Cumberland Ave. demolition, new development

The developer wants to start demolishing buildings on Cumberland Avenue on Feb. 6, records show.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Along the Cumberland Avenue Strip, memories of the past are fenced off for the future. Core Knoxville LLC intends to demolish at least eight properties to make way for a new development.

"The strip has been a place where for years students were able to come congregate, go out have fun," sophomore Will Jamsa said. "Now, that's sort of threatened by all the apartment complexes being built."

As of Friday, crews were putting up fences around the properties that could become building one and two of the "Hub on Campus."

Developers have filed requests for demolition permits on many properties along Cumberland Avenue, including many properties from the location of Jimmy John's down to the Shell gas station.

"Students that are current students and maybe even prospective students for the next one to two years, won't be seeing any of the benefits that the Strip is going to be receiving," Jamsa said. "I think that's pretty unfortunate."

The requests show that buildings are expected to be demolished from the top, down using a tracked excavator. Developers said in those requests that they expect to start demolition on Feb. 6.

A list of addresses that developers asked to demolish is below.

  • 1901 Cumberland Avenue
  • 1907 Cumberland Avenue
  • 1911 Cumberland Avenue
  • 1915 Cumberland Avenue
  • 1919 Cumberland Avenue
  • 1931 Cumberland Avenue
  • 1937 Cumberland Avenue
  • 2001 Cumberland Avenue

They said that as demolition continues, debris will be separated into three kinds of waste: recyclable metals, landfill debris and inert masonry with concrete.

Recyclable metals will be loaded into containers or dump trucks, then hauled to a recycling facility. Landfill debris will be hauled to the Riverside Landfill in East Knoxville. Inert debris and concrete will either be taken to the landfill or to Walker Trucking to be crushed for fill material.

Once the buildings are demolished, developers said they will start demolishing the concrete building slabs and foundations. They said they will be removed and hauled away from the site. Before that happens, they said 811 Locate will mark underground utilities three days before any slab demolition or excavation.

Then, once the slabs are gone, they said erosion and sediment controls will be installed, following the Storm Water Protection Plan. Once demolition is done, the sites will then be rough graded to eliminate run-off, ponding or steep drop-offs into the foundation hole.

A developer recently bought many properties along that stretch of Cumberland Avenue, planning to build four apartment buildings in total. They said in city documents that the project would create around 800 housing units with new commercial space totaling over 30,000 square feet.

They said a "large national big box retail" chain would be able to fit in the space, along with small, local vendors. They said that they planned to house more than 2,500 new residents and said the project would cost around $530 million in total.

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