Gatlinburg landmark may leave historic location for proposed new condos

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Sevier County (WVLT) -- Since August of 1960, Christus Gardens has been a popular landmark in Gatlinburg for tourists to see wax exhibits depicting the life of Christ, beginning with his birth to his death.

But the longstanding tourist attraction may only have months left on their River Road location.

"We're in the procurement stage,” said Jane Sorey, a condo developer. “We have an option on the property and they will be there until that option is exercised."

Sorey is a local developer who has her eye on the property and a vision for condos along the riverfront.

"There are going to be three buildings with 192 units total and we'll have buildings along the front of the Pigeon," she said.

According to Sorey, they hope the design will be similar to their Summit Manor condos.

The prices would begin close to $300,000 for a 1,200 square foot unit and run to nearly $380,000.

Being in walking distance, Sorey believes the location may actually help with the busy traffic in downtown.

"You have lots of great restaurants right here,” she said, “you can enjoy Gatlinburg and not have to get in your car."

Best of all, Sorey thinks the view will be tremendous.

"They'll have the view over here of LeConte and the rest of the town,” she said. “Some can look out into the park."

Sorey also said they plan to put in a waterfall on the hillside while maintaining the integrity of the mountain.

"There's some pretty old trees over there and we're going to do everything we can to maintain the look that's there," she said.

The future of Christus Gardens is still up in the air.

We should expect an announcement in the next 24 to 48 hours.

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