Mar 18 2009
06:28 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

WATE: "I think our original estimates of what it was going to cost were probably unrealistic," Weatherstone says.

Robert Finley's picture

In what sense is any of this an "update?"

With all due respect, it's old news as of last June 20.

Minvilla's cost hasn't moved since the beginning of last November, a little more than a month before we compared its costs favorably with other historic/affordable housing developments.

Robert Finley
Ten-Year Plan

bizgrrl's picture

Time to bring it up again

Time to bring it up again since they are supposed to "break ground this spring"?

Also, the "probably unrealistic" quote is great. Say, well duh!

Then, finally, we all get to see a picture of Doug McD.

rocketsquirrel's picture

they've been promising to

they've been promising to break ground every fall, every spring since they acquired the building in April 2006.

And Rob, you can spin your favorable cost calculations all you want, but we're not buying it.

It's an overpriced boondoggle, and as has been discussed on Knoxviews before, the city never should have tried to ramrod together a "historic rehab" (historic in quotes, because you're not maintaining the historic integrity when you wall up the staircases) with permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

katie allison granju's picture

Blogged about the WATE

Blogged about the WATE story: (link...)

Lobster's picture

123 grand per 450 sq. ft.

123 grand per 450 sq. ft. unit for this type of housing project is insane. If it compares favorably to other projects of a similar nature, then those communities were insane too.

citizenX's picture


Ms. Weatherstone implied in her response to WATE that NO DEVELOPER was interested in purchasing and developing the Minvilla. NOT TRUE.

Needless to say developers were not lining up in large numbers to purchase the Minvilla, but one or two did express an interest in the property. The real problem we had in selling the property to a private developer was due to the fact that it was surrounded (at that time) with the following:

South East Corner (across from Minvilla): Occupied by a halfway house for prisoners being paroled back into the community.

Next Door to Minvilla (South): Salvation Army building and thrift store.

Across the street (North); An Adult Book store (formerly a bank, until the depositors became frightened while conducting business at the bank due to panhandlers and daytime drunks.)

Adjacent to the porn store was VMC's building....another interesting deal made between the county and VMC.

Considering the fact Minvilla was situated right dead in the middle of this "ring of charities" who did Ms. Weatherstone think would be willing to purchase and develop the property?

Bill Pittman's picture

Even more of a boondoggle...

Of course with the housing crisis and the resulting deflation, alternatives for a housing first initiative are even cheaper.
Oh well.

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