The Tennessee Valley Authority and the City of Knoxville are jointly pursuing a public-private partnership to build and operate a parking garage in downtown Knoxville that would benefit TVA employees, TVA visitors, future tenants of TVA’s East Tower and the public.
The garage would be located on the northern portion of the block bounded by Summer Place, Union Avenue, Walnut Street and Locust Street, as shown below in the figure. The Liberty Building currently occupies part of this site.
TVA issued an environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed site and a finding of no significant impact. TVA is now conducting an archaeological excavation and architectural examination as mitigation under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to the discovery of dwelling foundations on the site from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and TVA, the City would purchase the site, remove the existing Liberty Building and prepare the site to a “shovel ready” state for transfer to the garage’s owner/operator. The owner/operator would fund, design and construct the garage. The garage would have about 800-1,000 parking spaces.
TVA originally was to serve as the garage owner/operator, but is now proposing to lease a portion of the garage. The City has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a private developer to build and operate the garage. The City is expected to approve the selection of a developer in fall 2013.
Construction and ownership of the garage by a third-party developer offers advantages to both TVA and the City. A privately developed garage would satisfy TVA’s weekday parking needs and still provide the City with free public parking on nights, weekends and holidays. Under private ownership, the site could return to the City’s tax rolls.
An experienced private developer also is expected to be able to complete the project more quickly to the benefit of all parties. The garage is scheduled to open sometime in 2015.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: