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Weekend edition March 17, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | Bricks, food trucks, and velociraptors

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

Knoxville’s first food truck park closes for good

Central Filling Station, Knoxville’s first-ever food truck park that opened in 2018, will not reopen for the 2023 season.

General Manager Charles Ellis, who now also serves as general manager of the newly-opened Yee-Haw Brewing, told WATE that it will not reopen this year after closing for the winter in December.

“During the pandemic, it was a safe haven for people that wanted to remain outdoors. We were happy to be able to offer that,” Ellis said in a statement. “However, now people are more comfortable being inside and we’ve seen a sharp decline in business where it doesn’t make sense for us to remain open.”

Ellis said the future plans for the property remain undetermined at this time.

New owner for Knoxville Discovery campus

Apex Bank is under contract to purchase the former Warner Brothers Discovery office campus at 9721 Sherrill Boulevard in West Knoxville for an undisclosed amount, according to the Knoxville Chamber. The closing date is March 31.

The 33-acre campus includes the 155,500 square-foot, four-story office tower and 189,000 square-foot Knoxville Technical Center for a total of 344,500 square feet with several amenities including a wellness center, fitness center, cafeteria, and lake view.

Apex Bank will move its corporate headquarters and national mortgage-servicing division from 430 Montbrook Lane to its new campus beginning April 1. The company will occupy 50,000 to 60,000 square feet of space and lease out the remaining space.

Johnson Architecture earns international award for local project

Johnson Architecture has earned a Brick in Architecture Award from the Brick Industry Association for its design of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Rocky Top Dining Hall in recognition of the versatility and beauty of brick in modern buildings across the world.

The state-of-the-art facility is the anchor and hub of student life for the West Campus Redevelopment project and includes a 1,200-seat dining hall, campus bakery, Chick-fil-A restaurant, convenience store, a 50-foot vaulted main dining room with a massive, exposed brick fireplace and chimney, and the building includes more than 300,000 bricks.

“This award is shared by Johnson Architecture and our partners on the University of Tennessee West Campus Dining Hall project,” said Daryl Johnson, Founder and President of the Knoxville-based firm. “As we designed the dining hall, the intent was to call attention to brick as a building material throughout the structure in both eye-catching and seamless ways that tied together a 78,600-square-foot structure. We fully appreciate this Brick in Architecture recognition.”

St. Patrick’s Day festivities color Knoxville green

No one’s dying the Tennessee River green, but there are lots of St. Patrick’s Day festivities planned this weekend in downtown Knoxville.

Friday night’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade was Friday night and was held despite the rain. “It looks like we are going to have authentic Irish weather for the parade!!!” the group posted on Facebook Thursday. “Be prepared!! Rain makes everything more fun and MEMORABLE!!!!”

Two separate pub crawls are happening Friday night, one in the Old City and one on Gay Street and Market Square.

Sunday is the family-friendly Knox Shamrock Fest at World’s Fair Park. The Irish festival features live music and entertainment, food and beverages, midway games, face painting, balloon twisting, bounce houses, and more from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. on the Festival Lawn.

Part of the fest is the Lucky Kidney Run benefitting the East Tenessee Kidney Foundation. There are 1-mile and 6k options that take off from World’s Fair Park at 3 p.m.

Dinosaurs come to the zoo

Come for the elephants, stay for the dinosaurs.

Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a special exhibit at Zoo Knoxville that tells the story of the ancestors of today’s birds and crocodiles. During this limited-time exhibition, visitors can learn about the living descendants of dinosaurs and how modern animals evolved similar characteristics.

Click here to learn more and make sure to experience Dawn of the Dinosaurs in person happening now through September 4, 2023.

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