Multi-story apartment buildings, brewery proposed for Wilson Street

Two developers have submitted plans featuring apartments, businesses and a park area for an area near Oak Ridge’s Wilson Street.

The Oak Ridge Land Bank manages the land involved. No decisions have been made yet, but Oak Ridge’s Cappiello Real Estate and Knoxville’s Machinations have submitted proposals. At a Land Bank work session on Feb. 22, Wayne Blasius, Oak Ridge Planning and Development Department director, said “blending the two proposals” is a “smarter route” than just doing one of them. He gave a shorter version of the presentation he and the developers gave to the Land Bank to the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board on March 7.

Blasius, after the Industrial Development Board meeting, told The Oak Ridger the Land Bank is scheduled to vote on the issue at its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, and can decide whether to accept one, both or neither of the proposals.

Oak Ridge Community Development Director Wayne Blasius

“A heart for the community. A place that we could gather, you know, and when the high school wins the state championship, when we have various celebrations, it’s a place that we turn out together,” Blasius told Land Bank regarding his idea for Wilson Street, which he has described as a downtown area.

The proposals both involve parcels near South Rutgers Avenue and the Kume restaurant. However, they stretch beyond Wilson Street. At the meeting, Blasius promoted a proposal that would give Oak Ridge’s Cappiello Real Estate the parcels closer to Kume where Wilson Street meets Rutgers Avenue to develop.

An open space would, under this proposal, sit in between this property and a set of parcels, to be developed in phases by Machinations of Knoxville. Both Machinations and Cappiello are interested in developing multi-story apartment or condominium-type buildings, but with commercial establishments like breweries, restaurants, bowling alleys, retail stores or restaurants on the first floor. Parking would be behind this area.

This image shows the Capiello Real Estate side of the Downtown Oak Ridge development with ideas for bowling and a brewery.

The open space, to be called Spallation Neutron Source Park, might host a live music performance venue, Blasius and the other presenters said. It would be about the size of Knoxville’s Market Square.

The combined proposals, Blasius said, involve about 57,000 square feet of eating and drinking places, entertainment, retail and office space, in addition to about 60 to 120 apartments and condominiums.