Design Review Board
Updates for 5-B-20-DT

5-B-20-DT

Request
Level 2: Major alteration of an existing building/structure; Level 2: Addition to an existing building/structure

Apartment Dwelling Units (short term rental apartments) within the existing shell of the building. Existing lobbies will be repurposed as resident entries and common areas for the residents. A new rooftop deck will be added above the Tower portion of the property. Two new dwelling units in the upper portion of the existing courtroom will be installed and will require a new rooftop addition for access to the unit above the Supreme Court portion of the property. One window portion on the west elevation of the Tower portion will be installed to match the existing grid of windows on that elevation. Some small windows on the north side of the Tower portion will be infilled to accommodate the dwelling unit layouts and restrict view to the adjacent Church & Henley project to the north. Modifications to Courthouse Building (2-story building that fronts Locust Street): 1) There will be no modifications to the Locust Street or Cumberland Avenue elevation. 2) Most of the existing building will be refinished and refurbished as needed to preserve the unique finishes of the existing building. 3) Add a 1-story corridor to the rooftop between the 5-story tower and the 1-story clerestory in the middle of the courthouse roof. 4) Add rooftop deck on the north and south sides of the clerestory (future dwelling units). The decks will have a depth of approximately 10' and will be setback from the sides of the building approximately 33'. The deck will have guardrails around the perimeter. 5) Replace the existing clerestory windows with a new metal storefront window and door glazing system. 6) Add new metal canopies over both rooftop decks. The canopies will extend about 5' over the deck. Modifications and Addition to Office Tower (5-story building that fronts Cumberland Ave and Henley St): 1) Move existing Cumberland Avenue entrance to the western elevation of the building, facing the surface parking lot and Henley Street. The former entrance facing Cumberland Avenue will be infilled with wall cladding and windows to match the existing building. 2) Add two new sets of windows on the west elevation, one will be north (left) of the new entrance and one will be in the northwest (upper left) corner of the tower. The windows will match the existing building. 3) Remove and infill nine windows on the north elevation of the tower. 4) The new rooftop addition will be articulated as a "ribbon" that begins on the east elevation of the tower and continue upward over the penthouse as a roof and continue vertically on the west elevation facing Henley Street. Smaller additions will be clad in the same metal material to distinguish new construction from existing. 5) The "ribbon" will be clad in a metal composite material with concealed fasteners similar to Alucobond. The other addition cladding and rooftop canopies, other than the over the courthouse roof decks, will be corrugated metal panels with concealed fasteners similar to Pac-Clad. See example of materials in the plan packet. Parking Lot: 1) A parking lot with 12 spaces will be located west of the building, at the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Henley Street, and will only have access to Cumberland Avenue. 2) Landscaping will be installed along all sides of the parking lot, except along the eastern edge next to the building. The two street frontages will have a continuous row of shrubs and shrubs will be added long the foundation of the new apartment building under construction to the north. 3) Shade trees will be installed in the southwest and northeast corners of the parking lot (2 total). General Landscaping and Potential Art Locations: 1) Landscaping will be installed in the planter beds along the Locust Street and Cumberland Avenue frontages. This includes 7 ornamental trees and 1 shade tree. 2) The courtyard between the courthouse building and the new apartment under construction to the north will include landscaping and a sidewalk that makes a connection between the new parking lot and the Locust Street sidewalk. 3) Two potential art locations are noted on the Landscape Plan at the Cumberland Avenue intersections with Locust Street and Henley Street.

Site Info

This property is not within a national register historic district so the Historic Resources section of the guidelines do not apply, however, the building is listed as being eligible for the national register. The building permit application was filed with the City of Knoxville in 2018 and is still active so the zoning on the property at that time, C-2 (Central Business District) / D-1 (Downtown Design Overlay), is what this proposal is being reviewed under. The current zoning is split on the property with the Locust Street half being DK-G (Downtown Knoxville Grid Subdistrict) and the Henley Street half being DK-B (Downtown Knoxville Boulevards Subdistrict). If the current proposal is not constructed and a new permit application is required, the new proposal will be required to meet the new zoning regulations. Applicable guidelines: Section 1.A.3. (PARKING FACILITIES) It is important to ensure that parking facilities (both public and private) are safe, accessible, and clearly marked. New parking facilities should be designed to be attractive, compatible additions to downtown. In general, new parking facilities should remain subordinate to the street scene. GUIDELINES: 3c. Locate surface parking lots to the side or rear of buildings. No surface parking lots should be created in front of buildings. 3d. Screen surface lots, where they abut a public sidewalk, with decorative walls, fencing and landscaping. 3e. Distribute shade trees within surface lots at a ratio of 1 tree per 8 parking spaces. Trees may be planted in wells between spaces. 3f. Provide pedestrian-scale lighting (10-15 feet in height) that uniformly illuminates the lot. Section 1.A.4. (DOWNTOWN BEAUTIFICATION) Beautifying downtown can occur through many different elements including architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, art, and performing art. These elements provide expressions of local history and culture. They contribute to local identity and unique qualities of downtown. Public spaces should be designed to include art and beautification. GUIDELINES: 4a. Foster downtown beautification with landscaping and plantings, public art, and public open space. 4b. Establish performance spaces for the arts including opportunities for artists to perform, display, or create work. 4c. Plant street trees where possible. Choose tree planting locations that will not significantly alter the setting of, or harm the materials of historic buildings. 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.3. (BUILDING MATERIALS) New building materials should relate to the scale, durability, color, and texture of the predominate building materials in the area. GUIDELINES: 3a. Use complimentary materials and elements, especially next to historic buildings. 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: 4a. Encourage first floor uses that draw walk-in traffic; businesses that do not require pedestrian traffic should be located on other floors. 4b. Enhance pedestrian interest in commercial and office buildings by creating a largely transparent and consistent rhythm of entrances and windows. 4c. Scale first floor signs to pedestrians. 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. 4f. Encourage the use of 'green roofs' and other sustainable practices, while minimizing the visual impact from the street. Section 1.B.6. (RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS) Solely residential buildings, such as townhouses and apartment buildings, are rare in downtown Knoxville. Privacy and safety are concerns with residential units that meet the sidewalk. Mixed use buildings, with apartments above shops or offices, can avoid these challenges and add to downtown vitality. GUIDELINES: 6a. Elevate the first floor of townhouses and apartment buildings so that pedestrians cannot look directly into the residence from the sidewalk level. 6b. Design entrances to residential buildings so that access is separated from pedestrian flow on the sidewalk. 6c. Encourage the development of mixed-use buildings with apartments over lower story commercial uses. 6d. Provide yard space for apartment buildings in the Boulevard District. 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. A. THE BOULEVARD DISTRICT There are four areas within the Boulevard District, the development surrounding Summit Hill Drive, Henley Street, Main Street and Neyland Drive. Its character can be attributed to two basic design features:
Automobile-oriented thoroughfare designs with Summit Hill and Henley being traditional boulevards with medians and street trees; and Main Street and Neyland operating as wide conduits through the southern portion of downtown.
Newer buildings that were generally developed with yard or other substantial open space beyond the street travel lanes. In the case of Main Street, a kind of 'outdoor room' was fashioned and is framed by Bank of America, the First Baptist Church and City-County Buildings on the south side with the Post Office Building and the Howard Baker Jr. Federal Courthouse on the north side. The open landscape — the 'street yards' — was repeated with lawns, plazas, and variable setbacks as buildings were created. Most of the investment in these areas is relatively new and not likely to appreciably change. Consequently, the design characteristics set a tone for the following guidelines. Section 2.A. THE BOULEVARD DISTRICT 1. YARDS/SETBACKS Create yards that complement the green space of adjacent buildings. GUIDELINES: 1a. Separate new buildings from the sidewalk with lawn or other landscaped area. 1b. Plant native or naturalized trees and other landscape materials in the open spaces. 1c. Compliment the architecture and landscaping of adjoining property. 1d. Allow for plazas or similar quasi-public spaces in a portion of these private open spaces. 2. BUILDING CONSIDERATIONS Enhance the architectural harmony of all buildings along the street. GUIDELINES: 2a. Design building entrances to be clearly oriented to the street. 2b. Encourage building forms that are complimentary to the mass of adjacent buildings. 2c. Design building elevations to compliment the buildings along the side or back streets when buildings are to face more than one street. 2d. Screen service facilities or incorporate them into the design of new buildings so that they are not obtrusive.

Staff Recommendation

APPROVE Certificate 5-B-20-DT subject to the following conditions: 1) All signage must be reviewed and approved by the DRB as a separate application. 2) Approval by the City of Knoxville of any changes to the development agreement (see attached).

Case Fileposted 5/13/2020
Location
709 Locust St.
Applicant
Dover Signature Properties
Owner
Dover Signature Properties

Actions from the May 20, 2020 meeting

5-A-20-DT Approve as requested

APPROVE Certificate 5-A-20-DT as submitted.


5-B-20-DT Approve subject to conditions

APPROVE Certificate 5-B-20-DT subject to the following conditions: 1) All signage must be reviewed and approved by the DRB as a separate application. 2) Approval by the City of Knoxville of any changes to the development agreement.


5-C-20-DT Approve a modification of the application

APPROVE Certificate No. 5-C-20-DT for the Union Avenue sign only and to deny the sign for Gay Street, per staff recommendation.