By Mike Steely
The long abandoned Standard Knitting Mill in East Knoxville has been officially sold to a South Carolina based investment and developing company. Details of the sale and possible future use will be given Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Pellissippi State Community College on Magnolia Avenue.
The City of Knoxville made the announcement Tuesday about the transfer of the old 435,667-square foot facility to WRS Inc., a developer of Underground Atlanta and various retail centers, malls and mixed use projects in the Southeast. The understanding is that WRS will convert the property to a mixed use development.
According to the city the company will be investing “tens of millions of dollars” in redevelopment and the new owners plan to ask for a Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement.
A spokesman for WRS Inc. informed The Focus that C3 Studios of Knoxville have nothing to do with the purchase or the plans for the facility. The local firm had emailed The Focus last week with information on possible uses of the property.
Attending the neighborhood briefing Thursday will be Mayor Madeline Rogero, Mayor-elect Indya Kincannon, and members of city council and staff.
In its heyday, Standard Mill was the largest employer in Knoxville. Founded in 1901 the huge skeleton of a building was active until the 1980s but has been empty since then.