Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
Weekend edition November 17, 2023 | Katelyn Keenehan

Brick-and-mortars, supercomputers, and a Thanksgiving bonus!

The Weekend News Roundup features stories related to local business, technology, entrepreneurship, economy, and innovation.

Property records – from Knox County Register of Deeds

The total value of all the loans recorded last week was $75.54 million. Five loans exceeded one million dollars each. The largest loan, amounting to $13.55 million, was secured by the Merchants of Indiana Bank.  A total of 160 properties were transferred. Among these transfers were two commercial properties valued at over $1 million each.

  1. AS Realty I LLC (Altar’d State) made a significant purchase, acquiring an 11.66-acre property adjacent to Brown Squirrel Furniture for $4 million. This marked the second substantial purchase from Apex Bank in three weeks.As of November 8, the Maryville-based fashion brand has acquired two-thirds of the former Warner Bros. Discovery campus in Knoxville. This serves as the future headquarters for Altar’d State, as the company continues to expand and relocate from Blount County to Knox County. The specific parcel, located at 540 Frank Gardner Lane, is predominantly open space with a substantial parking lot and a small storefront building. Altar’d State anticipates completing its relocation to the new headquarters by late 2023.
  2. LeeGacy DB Knoxville LLC  purchased property at 10248 Kingston Pike in the Lovell Heights area from South David Lane LLC for $2.41 million, making it the second-highest value commercial sale of the week. Dutch Bros Coffee currently occupies this location.

Also of note, Nick McBride, the Knox County Register of Deeds shared low numbers for trust and warranty deeds in 2023 compared to the last few years.

ORNL leading charge on greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs

According to a report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) , aquatic ecologist Natalie Griffiths, along with researchers from the Department of Energy’s ORNL, conducts early morning sampling runs on Douglas Lake in East Tennessee. Instead of catching fish, she helps collect bubbles to analyze methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the reservoir. The goal is to understand and predict the release of these climate-warming gases from reservoirs nationwide. Emissions are influenced by various factors such as temperature, algae growth, water depth, and flow. Natural and human-induced changes, like nutrient pollution, droughts, and storms, affect emissions, as does the release of water for flood control, irrigation, and recreation. With over 90,000 dams in the U.S., understanding these emission sources is crucial for addressing the environmental impact.

Read more from ORNL.

ORNL constructs the world’s first exascale computer

The construction of the world’s first exascale supercomputer, Frontier, involved extensive renovations at the Computing Facility’s data center in ORNL. With 74 cabinets covering over 7,300 square feet, Frontier is significantly larger than its predecessor Summit and more than three times the size of the average American home. The supercomputer runs on 30 million watts of electricity and requires additional infrastructure, including 90-plus miles of cables, million pounds of cooling pipes, and 50 cabinets for the Orion file system. Renovations of this supercomputer posed a unique challenge as researchers built it amid a pandemic and global shutdown.

“In the end, that was probably the biggest challenge of all,” said  Bart Hammontree, an ORNL project manager who oversaw the renovations. “We had daily meetings to reshuffle work plans and just keep everything going to finish on time. The great thing about an experienced team like ours is we don’t get surprised often, even during a situation like the pandemic. We see the problems, learn from them and apply those lessons as we go.”

Read more from ORNL.

TVA gives $256 million in bonuses

Although the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) saw a 3 percent decrease in operating revenues for fiscal year 2023, they still managed to bring in $12.1 billion. TVA also reported its lowest debt in 30 years, which it expects will boost ambitious investments in the near term.

More than 10,000 non-executive TVA employees will receive a bonus as a result. TVA said the median bonus is around $9,965. The board also decided not to alter the compensation of TVA CEO Jeff Lyash for the upcoming fiscal year. He is the highest paid federal employee, making $10.5 million in the fiscal year 2023. However, compared to other public and private energy companies of it’s size, Lyash makes a less-competitive salary.

Read the news release here.

Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!