October 2, 2007

Downtown Knoxville Too Expensive to Inhabit

Jack Neely of the Metro Pulse wrote a great piece on the expensive price of living in downtown Knoxville. For the past year and a half I have founded and developed the Young Professionals of Knoxville and during that time myself along with my co-founder have met with many Knoxville leaders. One recurring theme in those discussions is developing downtown to become a hub for young professionals (YP's).

About 9 months ago my wife and I looked at purchasing one of the lofts (Gallery Lofts) mentioned in Jack's article. At nearly $200/sq ft the property was clearly out of our reach. We quickly turned our focus to West Knoxville.

If many of the leaders in this community want my age demographic to inhabit the downtown area, why are they not doing something about the pricing hike?

My recommendation would be for Mayor Haslam and Mayor Ragsdale to look into a subsidy program similar to that in Denver, Colorado. If there is a true desire for the up-and-comers in Knoxville to live and play in the downtown area then I say it is time for the government to get involved.


  1. would you consider living in the fort sanders neighborhood if there was a loft style condo development there, that was at an affordable price?

  2. Perhaps but I think your question opens up another bag of worms. Would young professionals want to live "on campus" or extremely close to the university? Personally, I'm not sure I would want to put up with the chaos that normally adorns a college campus.

  3. i'd be interested in knowing what most people think, holler at me if you hear anything. i totally agree with your question and ask myself the same thing. would yps rather live in the fort or out west, i lived out west right after graduation and i hated it, if there was something to my liking in the fort and i knew it wouldn't be bombarded with students, i would probably jump on it.