|November 14, 2013 - On Wednesday, Nov. 13th, the City of Knoxville formally assumed control of six properties on West Jackson Avenue, including the historic McClung Warehouses. Under an agreement signed by the bankruptcy trustee for the properties, the City paid $1.45 million to settle an outstanding lawsuit and acquire the land and buildings.
The properties, on West Jackson between Gay Street and Broadway, were formerly owned by Mark Saroff and have been in receivership since 2010. The total area of the six lots is about 1.7 acres. City Council approved the terms of the agreement in July, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Marcia Phillips Parsons approved it on Oct. 25. The titles are now legally held by Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC), the City's redevelopment authority.
"This day has been a long time coming," said Mayor Madeline Rogero. "I am very happy that the City can now move toward stabilizing these historic buildings, and seek proposals from private developers to return these prime downtown properties to productive use. The Jackson Avenue corridor is one of the gateways to our downtown, and this gives us the opportunity to revitalize it."
The City will soon issue a bid for short-term stabilization of the buildings, to protect them from further water damage and trespassers. City officials will also begin the process of developing a Request for Proposals from private developers, with the goal of returning the properties to private ownership sometime in 2014.