Knox Co. intends to award Andrew Johnson Building sale, redevelopment

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- On Tuesday, Knox County Procurement issued an "intent to award" to BNA Associates for the sale and redevelopment of the historic Andrew Johnson Building.

"Getting the Andrew Johnson Building back on the tax rolls has been a priority for me since I took office as Knox County Mayor," said Mayor Tim Burchett. "This proposal shows that there is real interest in seeing this property redeveloped and put to a higher and better use that creates jobs, boosts our local economy and generates revenue for our schools and infrastructure."

In its proposal, BNA Associates outlined a 94-room boutique hotel with 75 residences and a rooftop social space, as well as other retail and restaurant installations. The hotel would generate an estimated 100 permanent jobs and more than $1.5 million in local sales and hotel/motel tax revenue. The initial investment into the hotel would be $43 million. The building would be purchased at $6 million.

"The intent to award is only one piece of a complicated process," said Mayor Burchett. "If we are going to ever see the AJ Building back in the hands of the private sector, we have to find a location to house the administrative offices of the Knox County Schools. That is a significant challenge, and we will continue working on it."

The building was original home to the Andrew Johnson Hotel, which opened in 1929. Knox County purchased the building in 1991.