Get our Insider's Guide to Downtown Knoxville delivered straight to your inbox. We promise to send you only the good stuff.

Setting Up Shop in Downtown Knoxville

The urban core of Knoxville is tailor-made for fiercely independent merchants.

Video by Loch & Key Productions

About your customers

The sidewalks are vibrant as downtown workers take coffee or lunch breaks, and residents and visitors head to dinner, performances and festivals, often pausing to explore unique shops, galleries and services along the way.

Your business will enjoy a diverse clientele of downtown workers, tourists from near and far, business travelers attending meetings and conventions, and college students and their families. And downtown residents take the most pride in local businesses and their success.

About the central business district

  • $135 million+ in annual restaurant and retail revenue (2018, TN Dept of Revenue)
  • Long-term anchors and new businesses have benefited from double-digit growth in restaurant and retail revenue (TN Dept of Revenue)
  • 15,000 convenient parking spaces for your customers, with 5,500 spaces free on nights and weekends
  • 150+ days of free outdoor festivals driving foot traffic to your store or restaurant
  • Downtown housing on the rise (2018, Knoxville|Knox County Planning); under-construction projects will expand residential population within the 0.67 square mile district to over 4,000
  • New business growth expanding throughout the downtown district
  • 28,000 students – and potential employees – at the University of Tennessee, less than a mile from downtown

About Knoxville

Located in the heart of East Tennessee, Knoxville sits at the crossroads of I-75, I-40 and I-81. It is the third-largest city in the state, with the nine-county metro area comprising close to 900,000 residents. The area is home to the University of Tennessee and corporate headquarters such as The Pilot Company, Bush Brothers, PetSafe, Clayton Homes, Jewelry Television and Regal Cinemas. Set in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, America’s most visited national park, Knoxville’s combination of history and nature is loved by locals and visitors alike.

  • One of the top five Trending U.S. Destinations by Conde Nast Traveler (2020)
  • Named one of the Best Cities to Start a Restaurant by Bid-On-Equipment (2019)
  • Named Tennessee’s Coolest City by AFAR Travel Magazine (2019)

Learn more About Knoxville, including cost of living, workforce, quality of life, and more.