Knox County Clerk Sherry Witt is relocating her East Knoxville office to the East Towne Crossing shopping center in a portion of the old Food Lion store. Knox County Commission approved the contract Oct. 28, appropriating up to $100,000 to build out the new space.
Witt said the current office, the former Markman’s Jewelry at 3010 S. Mall Road, is inadequate for the volume of business there.
“Our lease ends in January, so we will be month-to-month until the new office is finished. We are thinking maybe (opening in) March, but are not sure. Also, this space will also include offices for the Trustee and the Sheriff,” Witt said in an interview Monday. She said Sheriff Tom Spangler will provide volunteer inmate labor for painting and finishing work.
In a handout to the commission, Witt said the Markman’s lease is $6,327 per month (about $21.25 per foot) for 3,573 square feet of space. The new site will cost $6,229 per month (about $13 per foot) for 5,750 square feet.
Witt said the cost-neutral deal will give Knox County additional space to accommodate population growth. Also, since taking office in 2018, Witt has added replacement titles, handgun carry permit replacements/renewals, and Real ID/DL to services offered at this location. Staff processes 16,000 to 18,000 transactions monthly at this location.
“We combed the area, looking for better space,” Witt said. The East Towne Crossing owners were willing to create a drive-through window with potential for a second drive-through. “We have ample parking with more than 130 designated spaces. The lease term is up to 15 years with renewal options.”