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Background Report

Land Use and Development
Map 5: Existing Land Use

Community Form
The overall development pattern of the West City Sector reflects strong topographic constraints, social distinctions, and advances in transportation over time. The major organizing features of urban development in the sector are:

  • The commercial corridors that include Kingston Pike and Sutherland Avenue
  • A few small, dense residential areas adjacent to this commercial development (for example, Gleason Road)
  • A loosely knit commercial/industrial park on the flat land near the railway line and Baum Drive
  • Residential areas in hilly terrain based on curvilinear street networks with long irregular blocks and cul-de-sacs linked to major collector roads. These areas were mostly developed after 1920
  • Steep ridges with significant tree cover and miscellaneous large open spaces, including golf course and cemeteries

rolling, heavily wooded terrain
Rolling, heavily wooded terrain, like this part of Sequoyah Hills, is found in many parts of the sector.

Existing Land Use

Land Use
Acreage
Percentage (%)
Agriculture/Forestry/Vacant Land
640.208
9.40
Commercial
537.389
7.90
Industrial (Manufacturing)
30.612
0.45
Multifamily Residential
357.919
5.26
Office
241.692
3.55
Private Recreation
124.439
1.83
Public Parks
320.742
4.71
Public/Quasi Public Land
469.966
6.90
Right of Way/Open Space
930.045
13.66
Rural Residential
305.519
4.49
Single Family Residential
2497.983
36.68
Transportation/Communications/Utilities
31.897
0.47
Under Construction/Other Uses
48.426
0.71
Water
253.279
3.72
Wholesale
19.482
0.29
TOTALS
6,810.098
100.00

Residential Uses
Much of the housing in the eastern part of the sector is at least 50 years old. Almost a third of the units around Sutherland Avenue and half the units in Sequoyah Hills were built prior to 1950. Newer houses exist in the lower elevations near Fort Loudoun Lake. Westmoreland Heights is the oldest subdivision in the western portion of the sector, and the only one predating 1950. Many subdivisions were developed during the 1950s and 1960s adjoining the area’s major roads, including Deane Hill, Westland, and Northshore Drives. Later subdivisions were developed on an infill basis during the 1970s and 1980s.

Almost 46% of the land in the sector is currently used for residential purposes. The condition of the housing is generally good. Over 90% of the housing stock within this sector is rated as having an average or above average building condition, according to the county tax assessor’s data.
According to the 2000 census, the number of rental-occupied housing units in the sector increased by 289 (approximately 6%). Forty-eight percent of the occupied housing is rental occupied units. The number of owner-occupied units in the sector increased by 460 (approximately 9%).
garden suburbs photo
Knoxville’s earliest “garden suburbs” with their curvilinear streets and forested yards were created in this sector.

Housing Characteristics
(Source: US Census Bureau, 2000)

Occupancy Status

Census Tract
Total Housing Units
Occupied Housing Units
Vacant Housing Units
Percent Occupied Housing Units
Percent Vacant Housing Units
25
1,990
1,844
146
92.7%
7.3%
37
2,456
2,207
249
89.9%
10.1%
44.01
2,082
1,990
92
95.6%
4.4%
44.02
4,430
4,077
323
92.5%
7.5%
Sector
10,863
10,051
812
92.6%
7.4%
City
84,981
76,650
8,831
81.2%
9.8%

 

Tenure

Census Tract Occupied Housing Units Percent Owner Occupied Percent Renter Occupied
25
1,844
74.3%
25.7%
37
2,207
24.9%
75.1%
44.01
1,990
86.5%
13.5%
44.02
4,077
38.5%
61.5%
Sector
10,051
51.6%
48.4%
City
76,650
51.5%
48.5%


Commercial Uses
Approximately 7.9% (537,892 acres) of the land within this sector is used for commercial purposes. This sector continues to serve as Knoxville’s regional retail hub.

There are 31 shopping centers (or plazas) in the sector; approximately 16 of theses plazas were built prior to 1980. In 2002, these plazas had a total of 3,424,381 square feet of available commercial space, and 406,205 square feet (12%) of this space was vacant. The 16 plazas constructed prior to 1980 accounted for 73% of all the vacant space found in 31 plazas.

Shopping Centers/Plazas-2002

Name
Total Gross Floor Area (Sq. Ft.)
Year Built
Vacant (Sq. Ft.)
5803 Kingston Pk.
8559
1970
Bearden Square
8649
1977
Village Square
16676
1974
1250
West Towne Pointe
18026
1998
Village On Bearden Hill, The
19692
1987
Melrose Place
20000
1987
Colony Square
21724
1982
Gables West
20373
1972
3571
Mercedes Place
22750
1998
Fifty Seven Ten Center
24352
1965
West Hills Center
27238
1964
7301 Kingston Pike
27740
1966
Kingston Four Center
32400
1978
Kingston Pike Shopping Center
31651
1957
7290
Forest Hills Shopping Center
36000
1989
29000
Plaza, The
42982
1980
4060
Montvue Shopping Center
48400
1972
Homberg Place I & II
79918
1973
12800
Bearden Center
79104
1958
7000
Gallery, The
100403
1987
4440
Papermill Plaza
100992
1978
18025
Knox Plaza
104296
1973
2800
Kmart Plaza, West Hills
111000
1968
40000
Suburban Shopping Center
128691
1964
4000
Olde Kingston Towne I
68747
1983
5250
Walker Springs Plaza
159173
1972
30071
Western Plaza
207000
1957
63578
Centre at Deane Hill, the
429000
1997
7500
West Town Mall
1,346,917
1972
107500
Brickyard Shops, The
4500
2000
Olde Kingston Towne II
77428
1985
58070
Rocky Hill Shopping Center
64464
1969
TOTAL
3,488,845
Avg. Age 1976
361,034

 

Office Uses
In addition to its leading role on the retail market, West City contains 68 office buildings, totaling 1,357,262 gross square feet with 1,509,268 square feet of rentable space. There is an estimated 125,420 square feet of vacant office space (8.31% vacancy rate). There is a varied supply of office space; rents range from $7.50 to $23.20 per square foot.

Industrial Uses
There is less industrial land within the sector in comparison to other sectors. There are 29 industrial buildings with 843,485 gross square feet of industrial space; these buildings have 35, 724 square feet of vacant space (4.2% vacancy rate).

 

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