urban (2008-08)

Village People

Urban Renewal

A pioneering condo project opens north of downtown

by Matt Edens

The minute you move north, east, or south of the main city, thereâ’s a discernible drop-off in price,â” says developer Jeffery Nash. He ought to know. His company, the Courtland Group, is currently redeveloping North Central Village, a pioneering condo project just beyond the confines of whatâ’s traditionally thought of as â“downtown.â” Itâ’s an area that, as costs downtown have climbed, Iâ’ve nudged folks toward, noting that Emory Place and the commercial corridors along Central and Broadway are a natural extension of what some still call the â“Central Business Districtâ” despite the recent growth of residential.

The demarcation is largely an artificial one, anyway. Prior to I-40 plowing through downtownâ’s north end, the urban fabric flowed fairly seamlessly into Fourth and Gill, and the corner of Gay and Depot was surrounded by buildings bigger than most on Market Square: The Hotel Atkin, The French and Roberts Building, and the old Watauga Hotel, before its top three floors were hacked off. Further out, along Central, things were and are a bit more mixed. Thereâ’s still the odd Victorian house here and there, several slightly later commercial buildings, even an odd intrusion or two from the automobile era (the famous Freez-O and, if you look closely, what was once a Blue Circle drive-in).

This building, originally the Graystone Apartments, sort of straddles the divide between Central the streetcar route and Central the automobile-oriented commercial strip. Built circa 1930, it sits up on the sidewalk, the way an urban building should. But it also has an attached parking lot that, as part of Nashâ’s development, is now fenced and gated, its spaces deeded to North Central Villageâ’s 17 units.

Inside the buildingâ’s historic shell, North Central Village offers a variety of one- and two-bedroom units (with most of the two-bedrooms also two-bath). After a complete gut rehab, everything is up to new construction specifications while still providing expected loft touches like hardwood floors and amenities such as laundry hook-ups, a secure entry system, and Juliet balconies. All the units have plenty of natural light.

Situated adjacent to Old North Knoxville, itâ’s a short walk from both the Old City and Happy Holler as well as smack dab in the middle of the cityâ’s new â“Downtown Northâ” redevelopment district. And, with prices appreciably lower than downtown, itâ’s an excellent, affordable opportunity to get in on the ground floor in an area thatâ’s bound to grow. Check it out yourself at the premiere open house this Saturday, Feb. 23 from 1-5 p.m. m

North Central Village 912 N. Central Street Two-Bedroom Units: 758 to 964 square feet $130,000 to $165,000 One-Bedroom Units: 424 to 856 square feet $85,000 to $140,000 Contact: Jennifer Montgomery Coldwell Banker 693-1111


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