KNOXVILLE, Tenn — While new apartment buildings and corporate offices are starting to define the South Knoxville waterfront, city officials celebrated major upgrades to Suttree Landing Park.
The $2 million upgrade project includes a new pavilion, kayak launch, floating dock, sidewalks, picnic tables, restrooms and more. It also boasts the first City-owned ADA-accessible kayak launch system.
The 2,600-square-foot pavilion includes a covered attached picnic area with tables and restrooms. The new dock is intended for non-motorized watercraft only and will provide year-round enjoyment of the waterfront as a community-friendly amenity.
"It's actually pretty exciting," Kyle Mules said. He became paralyzed years ago, but enjoys staying active through sports like kayaking.
“This new ADA-accessible ramp allows individuals to transfer from a chair to a kayak without assistance and then return,” said Kristin Grove, Director of Property Development for the Public Building Authority. PBA managed the project.
Outside of Suttree Landing Park, South Knoxville is continuing to expand.
"It's just been amazing to see the way South Knoxville is growing," Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. "This is one more way that we are connecting the urban with the wild and trying to bring [not only] our neighborhoods and South Knoxville together, but also people from all over."
Multiple breweries, restaurants, apartment complexes and corporate offices have opened near the South Waterfront in the past few years, particularly along Sevier Avenue.
Chris Morton owns Alliance Brewery and South Coast Pizza in South Knoxville. He said he expansions like these are good for business in the area.
"It just ties everything in," he said. "It's been a long time coming because we've had these resources available forever."
This month, Hi-Wire Brewing opened a few blocks from Alliance. Other businesses and restaurants have announced plans for the area as well.
"We are definitely seeing an eruption and an explosion [of business]," Morton said. "It's all the stuff that we saw with the city of investing in Sevier Avenue, and it's just continuing to be invested in."