The $10 million conversion of the former KUB Building in the 600 block of South Gay Street into the new downtown offices for The Tombras Group will hit a highly visible milestone next week.
Starting Wednesday morning, Dec. 14, the northbound lanes of South Gay Street between Church and Clinch avenues will be closed during the day. A crane will be set up, and demolition of the four-story building’s antiquated glazed green brick façade will begin.
[tweetthis]RESTORATION OF FORMER #KUB BUILDING TACKLES GREEN FAÇADE #Knoxville[/tweetthis]
One southbound lane on Gay Street will remain open while the daytime crews are working. While the crane’s operation will prevent daytime curbside drop-offs of visitors in front of the Tennessee Theatre, Gay Street’s lanes will reopen each evening, once the work crews end their shift.
Johnson & Galyon Inc. is the project contractor. The façade demolition and daytime lane closures are scheduled to continue into mid-January.
The façade removal is a key step for the rebirth of the building, which has stood vacant for more than 16 years. In about a year, The Tombras Group will move into an extensively rejuvenated building with a modern, open design – rooftop and outdoor patios, large windows, high ceilings and a state-of-the-art photography and videography studio.
The new building will boast more than 50,000 square feet of office space, housing about 250 employees eventually. A coffee shop will anchor 5,000 square feet of street-level retail space.
“We’re excited to be moving into our new downtown headquarters late next year,” said Tombras Group CEO Charlie Tombras. “This is an unusual restoration project, and we’re pleased that the City has been so helpful and allowed us to set up a crane to really accelerate the work on this project.”