Design Review Board

Level 1: Minor alteration of an existing building/structure


Staff Recommendation for Level 1: Minor alteration of an existing building/structure

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 6-B-21-DT, subject to the following conditions:
1) obtaining any fire separation easements or agreements which may be necessary to install windows on the north elevation; and
2) installing clear glass in the storefront windows and doors.

Applicant Request

Revised submission for exterior rehabilitation at 706 S. Gay Street, which was previously reviewed by the Design Review Board in June 2020. This COA will replace 6-B-20-DT. The previous submission and COA included a significant upper-story addition, which is no longer proposed.

The proposed renovations will affect all exterior elevations of the existing building, which is a two-story brick masonry building fronting Gay Street which drops to a single story at the rear half of the property, fronting the alley. The original masonry walls on the side and rear elevations will be preserved. Most of the façade was removed during a previous renovation, and the existing façade is metal stud framing with a thin brick veneer. The existing façade will be demolished, with a new façade built in its place.

On the west elevation (fronting Gay Street), rehabilitation will include the reconstruction of the Gay Street elevation to create a two-part façade, with an aluminum storefront system and a decorative metal cornice between stories. The second story will have a brick exterior, with three adjoining two-over-one, aluminum-clad double-hung windows centrally located on the façade, and a decorative metal cornice topped by black metal coping along the roofline. The right half of the façade will feature a small hyphen, clad in cementitious board and trim on the first story and black architectural metal paneling on the second story. The hyphen is slightly shorter than the main façade (at 41'-3.75" compared to the main façade's 44'-1.75").

On the north elevation (fronting the parking lot), applicant will install sixteen total new windows. On the one-story massing which extends towards the rear property line, eight two-over-one, double-hung aluminum-clad windows will be installed. Four matching windows will occupy the second-story of the center, two-story section, with four single-light aluminum storefront windows installed below. The exterior will feature a decorative metal cornice and black metal coping along the roofline. The previously painted brick masonry walls will be painted with new black paint.

On the rear elevation (fronting the alley), new second- and third-story windows will be installed to match existing windows. Other work includes the installation of new black metal coping, new downspouts, and new paint on the already-painted brick masonry.

Site Info

706 S. Gay Street is not located within a National Register Historic District so the proposal is not subject to the Historic Resources section of the design guidelines. In addition to having to meet the recommendations of the Downtown Design Guidelines, the proposal also must meet requirements of the DK-G zone district, including the dimensional standards and design standards (Art. 5, Sec. 5.5 - Table 5.3 & 5.4). There are no apparent conflicts with the zoning standards (see page 17 for the applicable DK-G requirements and associated measurements/calculations for this proposal).

In general, the proposal will bring the building more in line with the Downtown Knoxville Design Guidelines by adding transparency to a previously blank wall on a highly visible elevation, dividing the building into "modules" with a recognizable base, middle, and top, and by using building materials and elements of a "human scale" to connect with pedestrians at street level. The design successfully differentiates architectural features of the ground floor from the upper floors and uses cornices and details harmonious with surrounding historic buildings.

The new windows proposed to be installed on the north side elevation are along the property line, so the project will require a 5'-0 fire separation easement with the adjacent property owner.


Meagan Grohol / R2R Studio, LLC

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: (865) 215-3795
706 S. Gay St.

Hatcher-Hill Properties, LLC, Tim Hill