Former Charlie's Pie Shop could become Dollar General

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- "I have a lot of recollection of it being here throughout the years," Mark Knight, a local resident, said. "Even when I was a small child, I recollect when it was there."

What was once Charlie's Pie Shop, now has no owner. The historic building was built in 1945, and at one point was home to a Habitat for Humanity thrift store and Salvation Army.

Recently, Dollar General announced interest in the spot, which has caused concern for some historic preservationists. Knox Heritage said Dollar General would knock down history.

"We would like to save the building and reuse it," Kim Trent, the executive director of Knox Heritage, said. "And I think that would make the folks who live along Old North Knoxville and people who visit that area happy."

The group started a petition which gathered thousands of signatures. They said the Central Street area has seen renewed growth with many old buildings re-purposed.

"We've really seen a shift as people are moving back to the city and really embracing historic preservation," Trent said.

One local business owner said the spot has become a home to many homeless people, and she'd be okay with a new Dollar General. Others said there's enough already in North Knoxville.

"My opinion is, we already have several Dollar Generals within the immediate vicinity and other dollar stores, so do we really need another one?" Knight asked.

Dollar General said they have interest in the building with no definite plans, but hope to have an answer early next year.

Knox Heritage said they are also in negotiations with a developer who would preserve the history of the building.