Thu
Jun 22 2006
08:37 am

The story linked here sort of got lost in the ether while everybody was thinking about the county charter difficulties. Tuesday night, City Council declined to let Kinsey Probasco Conley pay their way out of their obligation to fix up the Emporium for the use of the arts groups that were evicted from the Candy Factory. Meanwhile, over in Sequoyah Hills, City Council member Marilyn Roddy is ticked because the county has agreed to hand over the library to the city for the use of an arts group that was evicted from the Candy Factory.

Story link

Oren Incandenza's picture

Deafening silence

Funny, there's no mention of this in The Brian Conley Quasi-News Organ this week.  How convenient.

Bbeanster's picture

Rob Frost did NOT vote to

Rob Frost did NOT vote to let Kinsey Probasco Conley off the hook. The NS got that one wrong.

Chickens are coming home to roost PDQ on this decision.

Number9's picture

I am shocked, shocked I tell

I am shocked, shocked I tell you.

Barbara Pelot is always a reliable vote for the machine.

michael kaplan's picture

no answers, as usual

when i stood up at city council on january 17 and asked where the arts and fine crafts, the kma, and the discovery center were going to be relocated - and at what cost to taxpayers - i didn't receive a single answer from any member of council or the haslam administration. just watch the video and study the lame responses ...

Rachel's picture

I wondered about the Frost

I wondered about the Frost vote when I read this in the KNS.  Thanks for setting the record straight on that one, Betty.  Was the vote still 5-3?  If so, who was the other "nay" (in addition to Marilyn & Barbara)?  And why the heck was Mark abstaining on a vote involving his own district?

As I understand it, the county isn't completely getting out of the library business in Sequoyah Hills.  But unlike most of the rest of the library system, circulation at the Sequoyah branch has been declining.  So the plan is to keep the children's collection, internet access, etc. but remove the adult collection (almost all the adult books checked out there are ordered from LML anyway).  The city will take over the extra space, and expand the building so the Arts & Crafts group can use it.

At least, that's my understanding, although it's gleaned from only a couple of conversations.

Why does Marilyn object?  Is it financial or does she just not want the yokels in SH?

Bbeanster's picture

You'd have to ask Marilyn

You'd have to ask Marilyn why she objects, but I'm hearing the normal complaints you'd hear from a neighborhood that is losing an amenity. Plus, there are worries about increased traffic and parking problems. Perhaps she's just trying to represent her constituents.

She was also a strong supporter of giving the Candy Factory to KPC, which, of course, is what triggered the move to give the library to the arts group.

Rachel's picture

Perhaps she's just trying to

Perhaps she's just trying to represent her constituents.

I don't really have a position on the SH library thing, but since Marilyn is an at-large Council member, she should remember that her constituents extend far beyond SH.

Bbeanster's picture

Elected officials tend to

Elected officials tend to respond to those from whom they hear. And since Roddy lives in the 'hood, it's not hard to figure out who she's hearing from. Do you know any neighborhood that likes having something that has been theirs being given away to someone else?

Car Guy's picture

Brown was absent, not abstaining

The article said he was absent, not abstaining, from the meeting.

Rachel's picture

I could have sworn when I

I could have sworn when I read this in the hard copy yesterday it said he abstained.  I guess I just misread it.  Thanks.

Anyway, who was the third "nay" if it wasn't Rob?

Number9's picture

I wondered about the Frost

I wondered about the Frost vote when I read this in the KNS. Thanks for setting the record straight on that one, Betty. Was the vote still 5-3? If so, who was the other "nay" (in addition to Marilyn & Barbara)? And why the heck was Mark abstaining on a vote involving his own district?

You may be confusing some people. The vote was 3-5.

Council voted 3-5 against releasing the developers from their obligations, with members Barbara Pelot, Marilyn Roddy and Rob Frost voting in favor of Zenni's request. Vice Mayor Mark Brown was absent.

If I had to guess who the other vote was for releasing KPC from their obligations I would guess Chris Woodhull or Bob Becker.

Isn't this reminiscent of the Market Square contract with KPC?

Didn't some people predict this would happen?

Car Guy's picture

I wondered about the Frost

I understand the third vote to let KP & Cardinal/Conley off the hook was Joe Bailey. So that'd make it Pelot, Roddy & Bailey.

StaceyDiamond's picture

Emporium

It sounded like Ms. Zenni was really unhappy with the work Kinsey and co. were doing. It did remind me of Market Square, didn't they leave a whole bunch of work undone? I forget if that was ever resolved. I like what Frank Cagle said, and it should apply to the city too, that if you are asking the council or commission to let you be part of a project etc, wear a sign saying how much you have donated to who. Stacey

Mark S's picture

The more I hear the worse the Sequoyah Hills deal sounds

I am usually in the Sequoyah Hills Branch Library once a month or more, and it seems fairly well used to me. 

I don't have any general problem with artists or craftspeople in the neighborhood, but they are going to have to come in through what should be a residential neighborhood street to a facility with poor parking.  The quality of Scenic Drive has already been degraded by the massive expansion of the Sequoyah Elementary School district, and this will only make matters worse.

Now you are saying this is going to involve the expense of new construction.  

I thought the Candy Factory tenants were supposed to be relocated to the Emporium Building at the expense of Kinsey Probasco.

 

Rachel's picture

#9, you're right about me

#9, you're right about me confusing people.  I realized that after I left the house earlier.  I had "nay" and "yes" backwards.  Thanks for setting that straight.

Joe Bailey being the third vote to let KPH off the hook makes a lot more sense than Rob Frost (or Becker or Woodhull, for that matter). 

I don't have a particular dog in the Sequoyah Library fight, but I know that KCPL has statistics that do show its circulation is declining.  The Arts & Crafts thing was a way for the City/County to partner to make maximum use of an underused public asset.  It certainly sounds like an idea worth exploring, although I agree it's important for the concerns of the neighborhood to be taken into account.

Car Guy's picture

vote correctly reported in today's N-S

On page A2 today, there is a correction that it was Bailey, Roddy and Plot who voted to "release a Chattanooga development firm from its obligation. . . ."

michael kaplan's picture

For the record,

For the record, approximately 32,900 s.f. of the Candy Factory (52%) was occupied by public groups that have been or will have to be relocated at taxpayer expense. The Knoxville Arts/Fine Crafts Center occupied 5,400 s.f. and served some 11,000 people a year (according to its director).

The best solution - considering what is coming down the road - would be for the city to re-purchase the Candy Factory and restore it for use as a public community center. That's still possible under the terms of the August 16, 2005 agreement.

The Knoxville Museum of Art, Candy Factory, and the shared courtyard/garden in between, naturally comprise an entity that would provide beautiful, expansive access to the arts. Such a project deserves as much consideration (and money) as a downtown cinema.

The lack of vision shown by the Haslam administration in this project is astonishing, and this should become more evident as the 'relocation' of the crafts center, KMA, KAMA Discovery, UT Gallery 1010 and Tennessee Stage prove to be unworkable or, at best, costly to taxpayers.

Number9's picture

The lack of vision shown by

The lack of vision shown by the Haslam administration in this project is astonishing, and this should become more evident as the 'relocation' of the crafts center, KMA, KAMA Discovery, UT Gallery 1010 and Tennessee Stage prove to be unworkable or, at best, costly to taxpayers.

There is NO vision.

Let me explain why. The Candy Factory was an asset that was worth much more than the cost of the repairs needed to bring it back to prime condition.

Since selling the Candy Factory against the will of the people the Haslam administration has endorsed plans for a 130,000 square foot "Meeting Center" for the South Knox Waterfront plan. The City has proposed a TIF plan to pay for this "Meeting Center". At a conservative $154 per square foot that "Meeting Center" will cost 20 million dollars.

The repairs for the Candy Factory were estimated at 3 million dollars and were grossly inflated to ensure the sale of the Candy Factory. Actual repair cost were closer to 1.5 million dollars. You may recall the City said it could not "afford" the repairs.

Then the Library System decided to shutdown most of the Sequoyah Library and convert that space to Arts and Crafts, again against the will of the people.

Plans are underway to combine the City of Knoxville Codes Department with the Knox County Codes Department and move them to Cherokee Place on Sutherland Avenue. At $14 per square foot the lease payments for 40,000 square feet will cost the City and County $560,000 per year. There are many excuses for this Codes Department consolidation, reduce duplication, "combined efficiencies", yada yada.

The biggest reason for the Codes Department consolidation is that too many people have complained that they cannot park in the City County Building. Of course by keeping the parking closed it sure does cut down on that pesky public participation in City Council and County Commission meetings. There will be NO money savings in combining the Codes Departments. But it will happen. Don't you love politicians? First they create the need, then they declare victory for the solution. And the solution always costs the taxpayers double.

Vision, there was no vision involved. Does this border on malfeasance? There are new condos all over downtown Knoxville. What was needed was City and County government office space and meeting space for the people.

What did we get? More condos.

Rachel's picture

Since selling the Candy

Since selling the Candy Factory against the will of the people the Haslam administration has endorsed plans for a 130,000 square foot "Meeting Center" for the South Knox Waterfront plan. The City has proposed a TIF plan to pay for this "Meeting Center". At a conservative $154 per square foot that "Meeting Center" will cost 20 million dollars.

What the bloody hell are you talking about?  Do you mean the proposed Cultural/Civic Institution?  If that comes about, it's much more likely to be a museum or a discovery center etc. than a "meeting center."  I've never seen the language "meeting center" used in any south waterfront document, or mentioned at any south waterfront oversight committee or public meeting.  Nor have I seen any mention of the City financing such a building with a TIF.

It's possible I missed it - could you elaborate on the details and give the source of your information?

Number9's picture

On the South Knox Waterfront

On the South Knox Waterfront plan the 135,000 square foot building is listed as Cultural/Civic Institution. I can't access the KNS articles from that time. I had the square footage wrong also, it is actually listed as 135,000 square feet. Add another $770,00 to the cost. That makes it about $20,770,000 and change.

I took the civic part to mean it was like the Candy Factory and was to be used as a meeting place for diverse groups. So won't their be a civic meeting center in the building? I took the cultural part to be like the Candy Factory was for the Arts.

I have not read about the museum or a discovery center concept, but I trust your information. Is that the Cultural part? You are closer to the project than most people. So will the museum or a discovery center take 100 percent of the space? That seems unlikely. I guess no one really knows what this building will be.

Wasn't the Candy Factory a Cultural/Civic center? Repairs for the Candy Factory would have been about $22 per square foot. That seems like a bargain compared to the alternatives.

Rachel's picture

 I can't access the KNS

 I can't access the KNS articles from that time.

You don't need 'em.  The entire vision plan, financial plan, etc. are on the city website.  Much more complete info than any of the KNS stories.

I took the civic part to mean it was like the Candy Factory and was to be used as a meeting place for diverse groups. So won't their be a civic meeting center in the building? I took the cultural part to be like the Candy Factory was for the Arts. 

You're making some awful big assumptions there, digit - you're the first person I've heard who assumed the proposed civic/cultural institution for the south waterfront would duplicate the CF.  All the discussions at the numerous open meetings assume this to be some kind of museum or discovery center.

I guess no one really knows what this building will be.

Actually, this is true.  It's purposely vague in the plan - the main idea being to identify the best site for such an institution so that we don't build other stuff there.   It's premature at this point to come up with a specific proposal for the site, just like there are few specific proposals in the rest of the plan.  Remember this is a plan, not a project.

And I doubt that anybody expects that whatever gets built (if it does) would be 100% City financed - quite the contrary.  I imagine it would be more of a private institution with some government support.  But that remains to be seen.

At any rate, the cost of this institution is not included in the public costs section of the financial plan, and therefore not proposed (at this point anyway) to be covered by the infrastructure TIF.

 

Jhirmack's picture

That downtown cinema sure is

That downtown cinema sure is moving along. I see where they have brought in a couple of cinder blocks. However, it is moving faster than Mast Gen.

Car Guy's picture

uhh Jhirmack. . ..

go by the Mast location and look in the windows and doors; it looks like they're about ready to start in stalling the fixtures. It's on schedule to open in August, per their original statement.

bob stepno's picture

coincidence

Here's a location not far from the Candy Factory: The three vacant and in-need-of-renovation buildings at Maplehurst. Photos: (link...)

They're even kinda artsy and covered in stucco & ivy. Great timing if the Gameday speculators are refocused on the bottom of the hill and could use a tax write-off.

(As Groucho said, "Can you get stucco? /Boy/ can you get stucco!")

spintrep's picture

Save the Candy Factory!!

Rally @6:00!

stop Gore, GO GREEN!! 

 

Midori Barstow's picture

MP: Show Me the Money

 

http://www.metropulse.com/articles/2006/16_26/ear.shtml

Show Me the Money

It would appear that the redevelopment of the first floor of The Emporium for use by the Arts and Culture Alliance is back on again.

Last week, City Council voted 5-3 against a proposal that would have allowed the developer, Kinsey, Probasco, Hays, to pay $200,000 to the Arts and Culture Alliance in lieu of building out the space.
Liza Zenni, Director of the Arts and Culture Alliance, had lobbied for the money, saying she would rather have a check than work with Kinsey, Probasco, et al.
Intending to use approximately $50,000 for build-out of a 1,368 square foot space on the second floor of The Emporium and bank $150,000 for future operating expenses, Zenni said the interest the money earned would pay the utilities, the janitorial fees and the maintenance on the space.
“I was happy with that plan,” said Zenni. “I wanted it to go through.”
Conversely, Jon Kinsey said that he was happy City Council rejected the plan because he had been unaware that the entire $200,000 was not going toward build-out of the first floor.
 “Our deal with the city has always been to build out the first floor of The Emporium in similar fashion to the arts-related space that existed on the seventh floor of the Candy Factory. We were asked to change that, and to write a check for $200,000 to the Arts and Culture Alliance.
Had we known that $150,000 of that would be going toward operating expenses, we would have never agreed to it,” Kinsey says.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

style="display:block"
data-ad-format="autorelaxed"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-3296520478850753"
data-ad-slot="5999968558">

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives