Renovated Magnolia building home to Trotta Montgomery

Nick Della VolpeFeature, Inside 640

East Knoxville’s only full service real estate firm, Trotta Montgomery Real Estate, is about to move into its newly revitalized digs at 2300 Magnolia Ave. That 1930s building started life as the H.G. Hill neighborhood grocery store (later called Victory Grocery) — the Magnolia Cleaners and Dyers adjoined it —and the building is still known to most locals as the former Specialty Shop aka Wheel Horse mower and tractor repair company. It sits proudly at the southeast corner of Olive Street and Magnolia Avenue.

Locals will also recall this area was once home to the 800-seat Park/Studio One movie theatre which sat across the street at 2301 Magnolia. But the times, they are a changin’.

Original 1930s building housing H. G. Hill Grocery and the dry cleaners

The four partners of the Park City Improvement Company, Suzy Trotta, John Craig, Jennifer Mongomery and J.J. Rochelle, bought the roughly 4,000-square-foot building in 2016 and have been planning and renovating it with the help of architect Susan Tarovella of Sparkman & Associates and general contractor High Oaks Construction Company. The building had run down after years of neglect which allowed a leaky roof to weaken parts of the structure. A city facade grant helped fund the front, brick and glass face of the building. Architect Tarovella said, in addition to restoring the supporting structure, they “tried to get the new facade as close as possible to the original.” Nice job. As remodeled, the building has two office suites.

Water damaged the interior of the building before renovation.

The revitalized building will house the Trotta Mongomery realty business as tenants in the roughly 2,200-square-foot corner suite, and the building owners will rent out the remaining 1,800-square-foot suite to a suitable tenant. Completion and occupancy by Trotta Montgomery is slated for this September, with a planned October grand opening.

The 11-person Trotta Montgomery realty firm handles both residential and commercial real estate sales and rental property management. Both of its principals live on the east side. Jennifer Montgomery has been active in both downtown and East Knox realty for over 13 years, and partner Suzy Trotta hails from a real estate family and has 11 years’ prior experience. They live in nearby restored neighborhoods and are active in their community.

Door installation by Oak Hill contractors Josh Richard and John Wampler

Readers may recall that Jennifer Montgomery was a contender for the District 6 city council seat in the November 2017 city elections. While she did not win election, she campaigned hard, and Jennifer and Suzy remain heavily committed to revitalization of the area. As Jennifer said, they “love being a part of everything going on along Magnolia.” Their team of affiliate brokers bring a wide range of backgrounds and skills to help execute the firm’s property management and sales mission.

That’s not the only thing happening on Magnolia. The city has just launched the $5 million first phase of construction improvements on the Magnolia Corridor streetscape. Construction work on the first four blocks, from Jessamine to Myrtle Street, began just weeks ago and is scheduled to be completed early next summer. Phase II work is expected to be bid this fall, taking the streetscape upgrade further east to Bertrand Street. See ‘s earlier article on the Magnolia Miracle Mile for more details on the corridor improvements.

Meantime, you can reach the pros at Trotta Montgomery real estate at their present 200 W. Fifth Avenue offices, 865-213-2000, or by email at or Their business is expanding, and opportunities exist for qualified individuals to join the firm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *