Downtown Knoxville Hotel Magnate Buys Parking Lot Near Smokies Stadium

August 16, 2022

Ephant Group Gets a Downtown Focus

As the Old City continues to see new investment, a key South Central Street property has been acquired by one of downtown Knoxville’s newest real estate magnates.

Ephant Group, led by founder and CEO HD Patel, completed its $4 million purchase of an Old City parking lot last month in a deal handled by Oliver Smith IV and Will Sims of Oliver Smith Realty & Development Company.

Previous owner GP Corner LLC spent $2.4 million to purchase the property three months prior from Wayland-Goodman Properties, which spent just $558,468 in January 2021 to acquire it.

The 130 S. Central St. property, downtown’s most visible paid parking lot, is across the street from Pretentious Beer and a five-minute walk from the Tennessee Smokies’ future multiuse stadium planned for the Magnolia Warehouse District just east of the Old City.

The property also is within the newly proposed tax increment financing district, where property taxes from new developments would go toward repaying the city for infrastructure work around the stadium and toward repaying Tennessee Smokies owner Randy Boyd for a planned loan covering stadium cost overruns.

Boyd has promised to bring $142 million in private development around the stadium. The city expects the project will have a 30-year economic impact of $480 million.