Developers Build New Knox Skyline

The face of the Knox Street neighborhood continues to evolve as developers map out an ever-expanding slate of construction plans. By next summer, nearly 50 stories of apartments will grace the neighborhood’s skyline. These buildings are expected to attract over 600 families eager to enjoy the bustling scene and the approximately 300,000 square feet of new retail outlets that will be ready to serve them.

Need help navigating? Here are three project updates worth knowing.

Armstrong at Knox
Residents recently began moving in to the six-story retail and residential community between Cole Avenue and Travis Street, where the long-awaited Trader Joe’s opened for business on March 25. Stationery and gift retailer Paper Source opened its doors and kitchen supply store Sur La Table relocated to the area in March.

According to Sarofim Realty Senior Acquisitions Associate Richard Yeh, the rest of the retail outlets should open by the beginning of June. These include Black Optical, Little Katana, and Stag.

As a side note, Sarofim Realty also acquired a nearby property at the corner of Knox and Travis that housed the 22-year-old Chili’s restaurant, which closed in January. Many have speculated that the property will be redeveloped into another mixed-use retail and residential building. According to Yeh, Sarofim is not ready to elaborate on their plans at this time.

The McKenzie
Streetlights Residential began construction last month on a 20-story high-rise at the corner of Harvard Avenue and Tracy Street. The McKenzie building will house 183 apartments, with a heavy mix of two- and three-bedroom units. The average size of each apartment will be around 1,600 square feet.

Streetlights president of development Tom Bakewell says that the apartments will cater to residents who may have come from a large house, but want to downsize or enjoy the benefits of urban living. “These people are used to nice things,” Bakewell said. “They don’t want all the hassles, so we will take care of many things for them.”

The McKenzie will boast a full concierge service, on-demand valet, and an extensive bar and lounge area in the lobby. The building is intended to evoke the feel of an old-world hotel. “The architecture will fit in with the surrounding area like the buildings at SMU and the old Parkland Hospital,” Bakewell said.

Bakewell believes the area around Knox Street is underserved, he said. He thinks that the McKenzie will appeal those who want to live in a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood, but with a slightly quieter setting than other nearby streets.

Knox Residences
Nashville-based Southern Land Company expects to begin construction this summer on an 18-story luxury apartment complex at the corner of North Central Expressway and Oliver Avenue. The residential community will feature 285 apartments and no retail. The building will include a deck pool on the fifth floor, and a large lounge area.

“We feel really good about the mix of unit sizes and types,” said Jeremy Cyr, Southern Land’s vice president of multifamily development. According to Cyr, Southern Land chose the location due to its proximity to businesses, restaurants, and urban amenities. He said the building should by ready for tenants sometime in 2017.

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