Design Review Board
Updates for 12-B-19-DT


Level 2: Major alteration of an existing building/structure

This proposal includes renovations to the front faҫade and storefront/entry, and addition of a stair enclosure for roof access. Front faҫade: 1) Remove the existing canopy, door system (including sidelites), and light fixtures. (Sheet A2.0, detail 1) 2) Install new full lite door and sidelite in a metal framing system. (Sheet A2.0, detail 2) 3) Install new flat metal canopy with tie rods. The canopy will have a sidewalk clearance of approximately 9'-2" and offset to the right side of the faҫade, located over the entry door and window to the right of the doorway. The canopy is proposed to be finished with a red color. (Cover; Sheet A2.0, detail 2) 4) Install cementicuous wall panel (nichiha panel) in a horizontal orientation on the left (north) side of the front faҫade over the existing brick faҫade. The wall panels will extend from the ground (sidewalk) elevation to 4'-0" above the existing parapet wall, and will extend into the entry door recess to cover the left (north) wall. The nichiha panel will be the "vintagewood - bark" style. (Sheet A2.0, detail 2; Sheet A1.1, detail 1&2; Sheet A3.1) 5) Install a new light fixture below the canopy and to the left of the entry doorway. (Sheet A2.0, detail 2) 6) Prime and paint the brick faҫade. (Cover; Sheet A2.0, detail 2) Rear faҫade: 1) Clean and paint the CMU faҫade. (Sheet A2.0, detail 3) Roof addition: 1) Create an opening in the roof and construct a new stair enclosure for access to the roof. The roofing and siding will be galvanized standing seam roof and wall panels. The windows and door will be clear anodized storefront front door and window assemblies. (Sheet A1.1, detail 1&3; Sheet A2.0, detail 3; Sheet A2.1; Sheet A3.0) 2) The stair enclosure will be located approximately 100 feet from the front (Gay Street) elevation and 40 feet from the rear (alley) elevation. 3) Install roof deck or work platform to allow maintenance of the rooftop mechanical units. (Sheet A1.1, detail 1 -- deck/platform not shown)

Site Info

This structure is not located within a national register historic district but is between two structures that retain historic architectural characteristics that were common on this block of Gay Street. This proposal is not subject to the Historic Resources section of the design guidelines. The applicant states the existing faҫade was constructed in 1980. The guidelines have several recommendations for that the board needs to consider to determine if this proposal is appropriate for this building and location. These include the following: 1) "New building materials should relate to the scale,durability, color and texture of the predominate building materials in the area" (Section 1.B.3) and "Use complimentary materials and elements, especially next to historic buildings" (Section 1.B.3a). NOTE: Horizontally oriented cementicuous (wood grain) panels are not common on ground floors or upper elevations along Gay Street. The storefront of the adjacent structures have been modified and do not retain their historic materials or character. There are buildings on this block that have been modified architecturally and use materials that are not commonly used on downtown buildings. 2) "Enhance pedestrian interest in commerial and office buildings by creating a largely transparent and consistent rhythm of entrances and windows" (Section 1.B.4b) NOTE: The exterior design of the building will change by adding new materials and door systems but the number of entrances and windows are not proposed to change and the transparency will be greater because of the new door and sidelite. Other applicable guidelines: Section 1.B.1 (BUILDING MASS, SCALE AND FORM) Building form should be consistent with the character of downtown as an urban setting and should reinforce the pedestrian activity at the street level. Creating pedestrian-scale buildings, especially at street level, can reduce the perceived mass of buildings. Historically, building technology limited height and subsequently created pedestrian-scaled buildings typically less than 10 stories. Building technology no longer limits the height of buildings and there are no height limitations imposed by the zoning ordinance for downtown Knoxville. However, there is still a need for buildings that respond to pedestrians. The use of 'human-scale' design elements is necessary to accomplish this. Human-scale design elements are details and shapes that are sized to be proportional to the human body, such as, upper story setbacks, covered entries, and window size and placement. GUIDELINES: 1a. Maintain a pedestrian-scaled environment from block to block. 1b. Foster air circulation and sunlight penetration around new buildings. Buildings may be designed with open space, as allowed under existing C-2 zoning; or buildings may be 'stepped back' on upper floors with lower floors meeting the sidewalk edge (see Area Regulations of the C-2 Zoning District). 1c. Use building materials, cornice lines, signs, and awnings of a human scale in order to reduce the mass of buildings as experienced at the street level. 1d. Divide larger buildings into 'modules' that are similar in scale to traditional downtown buildings. Buildings should be designed with a recognizable base, middle, and top on all exposed elevations. 1e. Avoid blank walls along street-facing elevations. Section 1.B.4. (ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER) Buildings should be visually interesting to invite exploration by pedestrians. A building should express human scale through materials and forms that were seen traditionally. This is important because buildings are experienced at close proximity by the pedestrian. GUIDELINES: 4d. Differentiate the architectural features of ground floors from upper floors with traditional considerations such as show-windows, transoms, friezes, and sign boards. 4e. Design top floors to enhance the skyline of the block through cornices and details that are harmonious with adjacent architecture. Section 1.B.5. (GROUND FLOOR DOORS AND WINDOWS) Entrances and ground floor windows should foster pedestrian comfort, safety and orientation. Not every building in downtown needs to have the same window or entry designs; however, repeating the pattern of historic openings helps to reinforce the character of downtown, differentiating it from suburban areas. GUIDELINES: 5a. Use consistent rhythm of openings, windows, doorways, and entries. 5c. Design entrances according to the proportions of the building's height and width. 5e. All windows at the pedestrian level should be clear. 5f. Recess ground floor window frames and doors from the exterior building face to provide depth to the facade. Section 1.B.7. (MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT AND SERVICE UTILITIES) Utilities can include telephone and electrical lines, ventilation systems, gas meters, air conditioners, fire protection, telecommunication and alarm systems. Adequate space for these utilities should be planned in a project from the outset and they should be designed such that their visual and noise impacts are minimized. GUIDELINES: 7a. Minimize the visual impact of mechanical equipment through screens or recessed/low-profile equipment. 7b. Do not locate units on a primary facade. 7c. Screen rooftop vents, heating/cooling units and related utilities with parapet walls or other screens. Consider sound-buffering of the units as part of the design.

Staff Recommendation

APPROVE Certificate 12-B-19-DT subject to the following conditions: 1) The canopy must meet the requirements of the City of Knoxville Zoning Ordinance. 2) If necessary, obtaining approval from City Council to allow the cementicuous wall panels and/or the canopy to extend over the public right-of-way. (NOTE: The location of the front property line is not shown in the plan set so City Council approval may not be required.) 3) The rooftop deck or work platform must be reviewed and approved by DDRB staff before building permits are issued for the new stair enclosure to ensure it meets the intent of the request which is to provide access to the mechanical equipment.

Case Fileposted 12/11/2019
720 S. Gay St.
La Corona Properties Inc., Kevin Grimac
La Corona Properties Inc., Kevin Grimac

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