Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted June 6, 2013 12:28 pm

Augusta firm redeveloping downtown Knoxville

Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial Corp. is redesigning a portion of downtown Knoxville.


The Augusta-based firm unveiled plans on Tuesday for 23 acres of waterfront property where a hospital once stood. The site will have 300 luxury Class A apartment units overlooking the Tennessee River, 225 student housing suites, a 150 room waterfront hotel and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space.


The firm says it will complement the city’s Suttree Landing Park, which will include a river walk, arboretum, children’s play area, boat deck and festival lawn.

Work will start at the end of the year. Knoxville’s newspaper says the entire site will be built out by 2015 at an estimated cost of $125 to $150 million. The hospital campus will go through a demolition phase, removing all buildings with the exception of the two existing office buildings.


Why is an Augusta commercial real estate firm doing this in Knoxville? It is the hometown of chief executive Vic Mills.


“It’s an honor to be involved in such a remarkable development in my home town. I’ve spent time on this property since childhood and now to be able to work with the city of Knoxville to redevelop this site into something that will be, once again, a major economic driver to Downtown Knoxville, the University and East Tennessee,” Mills said.


Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial in years past have done commercial sites in the city, they’ve done two Kroger shopping centers there.


Around here, you’ll know the firm for developing Evans Exchange, Evans Town Park, Walton’s Corner and The Gateway shopping centers.



  • General: “We have already stood up the 7th Cyber Mission Unit at Fort Gordon ... going to start recruiting here shortly for cyber warriors.” 
  • Very Vera closing cafe and mail order business. Vera Stewart says on Facebook that she will concentrate on TV show and cookbook. 
  • MAU Workforce Solutions is hiring 10 Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) Call Center Representatives in Augusta. Interested? Resume to bl@mau.com.


PREDICTION SURE TO GO WRONG: Because making a prediction will get you jinxed, so saying the prediction will not happen when you make the prediction will cancel the jinx and give it a normal chance of happening. (Sorry, no logic chart to help you understand that.)


Real estate agents will sell 600 homes in a month this summer.


That milestone hasn’t happened since the summer of 2007 when the economy was still cupcakes and sunshine.


The basis for the prediction? Hearing a lot of real estate agents talking about pent-up demand.