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08. The McClung Warehouses - 501-525 W. Jackson Avenue

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These highly visible buildings on Jackson Avenue were originally built as wholesale warehouses and are a reminder of the era when Knoxville was one of the leading wholesale centers in the Southeast. The buildings at 517-521 were built in 1911, and 525 was added in 1927. The buildings were wholesale warehouses for C.M. McClung & Company, a regional wholesale and hardware company.

Over six years after an inferno destroyed half of the McClung Warehouse complex on Jackson Avenue, there has been little progress made to rescue Knoxville’s most visible endangered buildings. The fire illustrated the worst-case scenario for vacant and blighted historic buildings. Three historic buildings were lost, at least hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage was caused and one thriving business owner lost everything and was displaced. The opportunity still exists to redevelop the remaining buildings and land into loft and retail space, thus improving the tax base for all Knox County residents.

The current owner, Mark Saroff, has been forced into bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy trustee has delayed a resolution for the buildings. Knox Heritage calls upon the trustee to act quickly to sell the buildings to a developer capable of restoring and revitalizing these important downtown structures. If he refuses, the City of Knoxville should use all the tools at its disposal through the Jackson Avenue Redevelopment Area to acquire and resell the properties. This will encourage further investment in the surrounding Jackson Avenue Corridor.

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Knox Heritage, Inc.
P.O. Box 1242
Knoxville, TN 37901

Tele: (865)523-8008
Fax: (865)523-0938
info@knoxheritage.org