July 21, 2005 - An appraisal of the Candy
Factory has determined its value at $1.4 million - $200,000 less than
offered by the firm that the City of Knoxville has selected to develop
that property and other buildings at World's Fair Park.
"This report confirms to us that our selection of the Kinsey
Probasco proposal is in the best interest of city taxpayers,"
said Mayor Bill Haslam. "The proposal offered not only the
best price for the Candy Factory, but a comprehensive plan for renovations
of all the buildings and the only plan that reopened the Sunsphere."
The appraisal by Property Service Group Southeast Inc. estimated
the Candy Factory's value at $1.375 million when simply comparing
sales prices of similar properties and $1.42 million when estimating
the income that could be generated by its lease for office or retail
Giving greater emphasis to the income approach because that is
most commonly used by investors, the report estimates the property's
market value at $1.4 million.
The City of Knoxville began an extensive public process in April
2004 aimed at redeveloping city-owned buildings at World's Fair
Park. The buildings are sparsely used and have deteriorated from
lack of maintenance.
A request for proposals was issued earlier this year, and the
City selected Kinsey Probasco to negotiate a final contract to develop
the properties, which include the Candy Factory, Victorian Houses
and the Sunsphere.
"We chose to issue proposals rather than simply auction the
properties in order to ensure that how they were used would complement
the Fort Sanders neighborhood and downtown," Mayor Haslam said.
"In addition, we want to ensure the necessary renovations occur
to preserve these buildings for years to come."
In addition to purchasing the Candy Factory for $1.6 million,
Kinsey Probasco expects to spend more than $8 million renovating
the seven-story property for residential, retail and restaurant
The firm initially called for arts and crafts stores, and studio
space in the Victorian Houses, but in response to concerns from
current Candy Factory users the City has proposed creating a unified
arts district at the Emporium Building. Kinsey Probasco will contribute
$200,000 to renovating 5,000 square feet at the Emporium to replicate
the studio and meeting space currently on the Candy Factory's seventh
The city administration expects to have a final contract to City
Council in August.