2023 Development Activity Report Available

Development activity in Knox County experienced continued growth in 2023 with record-setting numbers.

New residential construction dominated the headlines, with most activity occurring in unincorporated Knox County. Continuing a trend from recent years, housing demand has outstripped supply, constrained by rising interest rates, high construction material costs, and labor shortages.

Despite these challenges, 2023 saw a record high number of local residential permits, totaling 5,197. Following this increase, the value of new residential construction exceeded one billion dollars for the first time.

The Northwest County Sector led significantly in new residential units, reaching 2,003–a 100.5 percent increase from 2022. This sector alone accounts for over a third of the new residential units. The South City Sector came in a distant second with 639 new residential units, largely due to the biggest apartment project of the year: the 348-unit Livano Knoxville, valued at $81.5 million.

In subdivision approvals, Northwest County led in number of new residential lots, delivering 555 lots across 230 acres. However, East County had the greatest acreage impacted by non-residential subdivisions with nearly 341 acres subdivided into 17 non-residential lots. 

Despite the significant gains in residential construction, non-residential construction saw a slight decrease, with 127 permits compared to 180 permits in 2022. High-value projects are distributed across various sectors, led by the multi-use stadium in the Central City Sector, valued at 80 million dollars. Following the stadium are Innovation South in South County and the second phase of Mill Creek Elementary School in Northwest County.

Despite ongoing disruptions to the labor market and supply chain, residential growth continues to expand and non-residential growth remains steady in Knox County. When adjusted for inflation to match 2023 dollars, the value of residential and non-residential construction and renovation over the past ten years demonstrates sustained investment.

Residential trends show that multi-family units continue to account for nearly half of new units. Renovation values also remain high in the face of supply shortage and high mortgage rates.

For more information, view the full report, or visit knoxplanning.org/data for past versions. For a screen-reader accessible version of this report, contact Aubrey Weiland at aubrey.weiland@knoxplanning.org or 865-215-3832.