15, 2006 - Mayor Bill Haslam welcomed Gameday Center President
Gary Spillers to town Friday as the Atlanta-based developer officially
announced its plans to build a 212-suite luxury sports condominium
Volunteer Center will be built on what was a city-owned parking
lot between downtown and the University of Tennessee, just below
Church Street United Methodist Church.
"We know this is a great day for us here in Knoxville,"
Haslam told the crowd on the site of the new development. "Its
what we call a win, win, win.
The new condominium and hotel complex, a short walk from Neyland
Stadium, will be a second home to Volunteer football fans as well
as a source of rooms for groups and individuals interested in events
at the Knoxville Convention Center across the street.
Haslam said that the new development, which will open in 2008,
would be a benefit to everyone involved ranging from UT fans and
alumni to the university to the city and the developers.
He noted that Volunteer Center will add to the citys tax
base and Knoxville will also keep the use of 200 parking spaces
at the site, except on game days.
Center, which is developing the new complex along with Trammell
Crow Residential, has built similar condominium developments near
the Universities of Alabama, Georgia and Auburn and is close to
completing one near Florida State University.
Haslam joked that it was about time they arrived in Knoxville.
"We wondered why it took you so long to get here," he
told Spillers. "Maybe you were just warming up (and wanted)
to save the best for last."
Spillers, who pointed out that he wore his orange on the day before
the Tennessee-Florida game, said the company was excited to be in
Knoxville and was particularly pleased at the site between downtown
"We look at this as, gosh, one of our best locations ever,"
He and Haslam and other guests at the announcement, including UT
Athletics Director Mike Hamilton and UT Womens Athletics Director
Joan Cronan, unveiled an artists rendering of the new center
at the close of Fridays event.