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January 06, 2013 | Tom Ballard

Symposium of “Creative Mixed-Use Spaces in Knoxville” set for January 24

We indicated in a December post that local entrepreneur Alex Lavidge had several different initiatives underway, and would report on them in early 2013.

One of those is something called the “Creative Mixed-Use Spaces in Knoxville Symposium” set for January 24 at Remedy Coffee, 125 West Jackson Avenue. It starts at 5:50 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Information about the event is available at or To register, go to

During our December conversation with Lavidge, he talked about the earlier “Envision Knoxville” project that identified a “strong need from the creative community for live/work, mixed-use spaces that provide access to educational programs, access to capital for entrepreneurial projects, advocacy resources, and a variety of other value-added services that could be integrated in innovative ways.”

He added that “the results from the ‘Envision Knoxville’ campaign were integrated with, a privately funded effort by the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville to identify strategic investments that could help Knoxville reach its potential.”

Lavidge said the “Envision Knoxville” finding was a catalyst for the January 24 event where the theme will be the importance of entrepreneurial and creative groups “working together as a community to create mixed-use spaces.”

Those who are encouraged to attend include entrepreneurs, small business owners, self-employed professionals, real estate developers, public officials, community leaders, artists, writers, musicians, and others who are interested in mixed-use development.

During the roughly two-hour symposium, Lavidge expects eight or so individuals to make four-minute presentations about mixed-use best practices, initiatives either underway or planned, or “existing spaces that you should know about.”

Promotional material for the event cites “initiatives in other metropolitan areas that integrate amenities such as co-working office spaces, affordable green living lofts, educational resources, nonprofit and start-up accelerators, city welcoming centers, community hubs, collaborative venues, social spots, and a lot more in innovative ways that help unleash creativity and entrepreneurship in their surrounding community.”

Lavidge notes that these spaces by design can save tenants time, reduce costs, create work opportunities, and help them feel more connected to their community while also increasing surrounding property values and deliver a strong ROI for real estate investors.


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