January 18, 2005 - The City of Knoxville, in
partnership with Knox Heritage, will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m.,
Thursday Jan. 20 at the Knoxville Convention Center to review its
analysis of the cost of renovating buildings in the 500 block of Gay
The analysis estimates that rehabilitating the vacant buildings
will cost at least $3 million more than new construction.
Mayor Bill Haslam earlier presented the conclusions to Knox Heritage,
and agreed to a 45-day public process to allow alternatives to be
explored to make the cost of renovation affordable to taxpayers.
"Our priority is to develop with Regal Entertainment Group
a movie theater that fits well with the unique character of downtown
and at the same time is designed for operating efficiencies that
protect the investment of the City and its taxpayers," Mayor
The City also matched private funding with a $10,000 contribution
to Knox Heritage to retain consultants to explore methods to eliminate
the funding gap.
The cost analysis was conducted by the City in conjunction with
design and construction experts from Regal Entertainment, government
agencies and private industry.