New Skyscraper Planned For Old News Sentinel Site

Knoxville (WVLT/AP) -- Plans were announced Wednesday for the first high-rise office and residential building in Downtown Knoxville since the Butcher Banks collapsed from bankruptcy in the 1980s.

The $56 million glass, brick and stone Sentinel Tower will be built on a grassy one-acre lot occupied for decades by the Knoxville News Sentinel newspaper before it moved to new quarters in 2002.

The Devon Group will purchase and redevelop the site.

The 21-story tower will offer five townhomes, 58 residential condos, three stories of retail and office space and a 207-space parking garage.

"I think this is going to be another signature building for our downtown. It’s a great way of taking an underutilized piece of property and turning it into truly something special. and also, I’m glad to see that instead of the government paying to mow this piece of property, it will actually be getting tax revenues off of it,” says Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.

It would be 12 stories smaller than Nashville's 33-floor Bellsouth building, the tallest in Tennessee.

The tower's developers say the design and preconstruction work can be done by next May, and expect the tower can be completed 28 months later.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.)