New office condos project planned for Bearden, Tenn.

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Jul. 3--Despite a sluggish economy, the Bearden area continues to attract investment. The latest project to launch is Lyons Crest Professional Offices, a 30,000-square-foot office condominium development on Northshore Drive south of Kingston Pike.

The $8 million project on a wooded hillside will have five buildings facing Fourth Creek near the proposed extension of the Bearden Greenway from Kingston Pike to Lakeshore Park.

Excavation is under way, and developer Jason Chandler expects space to be ready for occupancy by the end of the year.

Although the economy has slowed in recent months and lenders are being cautious in the wake of the national credit crisis, Lyons Crest's location near Interstate 40/75 and its proximity to the Bearden business district, West Knoxville and downtown make it an easy sell, Chandler said.

"This kind of infill location just doesn't exist anymore in the Bearden-Homberg area," he said.

The project is being marketed to professionals running small- and medium-sized businesses who want to own their office space, although some space is available for lease, said Holrob broker Barry Slade. Several area business owners have expressed interest in buying space, but Slade declined to identify them.

Holrob is handling sales and leasing for the project.

Space is available in suites starting at 1,170 square feet to 6,600 square feet for an entire building.

Architect Bryan Good of Stonecreek Studios has designed the complex in a classic Georgetown style with stone and brick facades and copper awnings. The look will be similar to Franklin Square in West Knoxville, Chandler said.

"It's a unique site. The views of the Bearden area from the top of the hill, the location near the greenway and the architecture make it a little bit different than most projects," Chandler said.

Several retail, office and restaurant developments have opened or are under construction in the Bearden area. These include The Shops at Forest Park, a 60,000-square-foot retail project close to Sequoyah Hills; Cherokee Plaza, a 28,640-square-foot shopping center next to Naples restaurant; and Brookview Town Centre, a mixed-used development between Northshore Drive and Weisgarber Road where a six-story, 190,000-square-foot office building is now under construction.

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