Design Innovations Architects Inc. moved into the building a few
days ago, relocating from its previous home on Clinch Avenue in
The move is something of a realization of a dream for Eid, a longtime
downtown advocate who has played an active role in redevelopment
efforts not only at DIA but also as part of Gay Street Development
Partners with Wayne Blasius and John Craig.
The partnership developed the 402 S. Gay Street building.
"I am very excited about the firm's move downtown, especially into
this historic building," Eid said. "Two years ago, DIA was part
of the original renovations which generated the new façade
and storefront as well as the gutting of the structure; then last
year, DIA was commissioned by Mast General Store to design their
new retail store."
During the process the opportunity came up for the firm to be part
of the building as well.
"Once we started negotiating with Mast regarding the concept of
buying the second floor for our office, the entire staff was delighted
with the decision," Eid said, "and we couldn't wait to move into
our new space. Being downtown reinforces our work here and reflects
our support of its revitalization.
"It's a perfect fit for us," he said.
Other downtown projects of Design Innovations Architects include
The Phoenix, 29 Market Square, the Knoxville Chamber Partnership,
Pete's Coffee Shop and The Art Market Gallery.
Eid was also instrumental with Knox Heritage and the City of Knoxville
in the development of the final joint use plan of the 500 block
of Gay Street, where the Regal Theatre will coexist with the historic
structures including the S&W Cafeteria building.
Baker said the Knoxville Voice would be moving into its space the
week of Nov. 20th.
"Downtown is really the political and cultural center of Knoxville,
and relocating allows our paper to better reflect the concerns and
experiences of the city," Baker said. "We're excited to support
this neighborhood of people who are active, aware, and connected
to the community."
The Gallery Lofts are currently for sale and will be ready for their
new owners in January 2007.
Mast General Store opened on the first floor and basement of the
building earlier this year.
"This building is a blueprint for what downtown was historically,
and is becoming again," said Wayne Blasius, "a multi-use place where
people can live, work and play all within easy walking distance
- and sometimes all under the same roof."