KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – After six decades at the corner of Magnolia and Central, the Greyhound bus station is for sale. In a matter of days, the property has already garnered interest across the country.
Justin Cazana, a commercial real estate broker with Avison Young, explained Greyhound Bus Lines no longer requires the 16,000 square feet they currently occupy. Actually, he said, they require fewer than one quarter of their current footprint. He said this was the best time to put the space on the market, especially considering recent development and potential in the surrounding area. “Downtown Knoxville has needs for apartment space. They have needs for office space. With the potential of a downtown ballpark coming and being just a couple hundred yards away, this is the time to take advantage of it,” he said.
Mitchell Connell, manager of Dream Bikes Knoxville, describes recent changes in the Old City as a transformation. He feels the new development has removed old stigmas about that side of town. “Having these beautiful stores open up, it’s just helping create a more, not only a better place to shop, but also…an environment that feels more comfortable to bring your family,” he said.
Cazana has already received several offers, coming from investors in New York, Boston, Nashville, and Atlanta. He noted the property has become their most active in four years or longer. Offers, along with proposals for the site, are due October 15.
So far most developers have proposed concepts that include some multi-family component, many include some type of office space, and many include retail space. “There’s going to be any number of uses that are going to be used together,” he said.
The bus company will continue service in Knoxville, but at a different location. Cazana said they’re considering spots along Chapman, Magnolia, and Asheville Highways, as well as Broadway. “As long as it’s close to a local bus line and has some good access, then Greyhound is considering it,” he said.
Connell is looking forward to welcoming new neighbors to the space, which Greyhound has occupied for 60 years. “We have a lot of trouble being across the street from the Greyhound bus station. We just have a lot of complicated people that spend a lot of time down here. So, I hate to say not in my backyard, but I admit, I’m looking forward to the Greyhound bus station not being across the street.”
Whoever moves in, he hopes they add to the charm of the Old City and maintain the “local feel” of the area.