Some stormwater work is ongoing on S. Central Street and also on Clinch Avenue. The new elevator and core is currently being installed. The old elevator core will be demolished and a nice area for plantings and public art will be created.
As some folks know, the lower two levels of the Garage have been used by the City of Knoxville as a warehouse for surplus and storage and also by KPD for some of their needs. Because of all of our demands for parking Downtown, I am happy to report that we are now planning to make these two levels available for parking as well. We have had many requests by residents over the years to have some secured parking in this garage and to also make available some areas for storage so this new plan should accommodate those needs. Approximately 90 new secured parking spaces will be made available with about 24 of those having a storage unit component. We are still working out the details as to pricing, etc. as City Council appropriated some extra funding last night for this addition. I will post here about the details for reserving these spaces in the near future.
Other benefits will include making the existing elevator on the east end of the structure available to the public so folks will be able to walk across the new overpass and take the two elevators all the way to S. Central Street. We plan to refurbish the existing bathroom there and make it available to the public as well. We hope to accomplish this work on the same schedule as the rest of the garage. The final completion date for all phases of the garage is currently scheduled for August 1, 2013.
After spending so much time in that area the last six months we have also realized how much potential we have along that part S. Central Street between James White Parkway and the sidewalk. The City already maintains that area and the thought is to remove the chain link fence there and replace it with a much nicer fence and move the fence back to capture as much green space along the sidewalk as possible. Plans are to also create some sort of pocket park in that area. This would provide another very nice connection to the Old City and would also showcase this area to drivers in a much better way. We plan to meet with TDOT very soon to hopefully gain their approval of these ideas. They have always been very good to work with so we are very optimistic about getting this plan approved.
We are also exploring ideas on ways to connect this new linear park area to the waterfront although this will obviously be very challenging given the road network there.
Thanks for your interest in this project and in Downtown Knoxville.