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Downtown Knoxville reports two years of record growth
Published September 12, 2023; 5:11 p.m.

Year-over-year revenue is up nearly 20% from 2021 to 2022

KNOXVILLE - After an impressive 64% rebound in revenue from 2020 to 2021, Downtown Knoxville has achieved another year of high growth, according to 2022 numbers. In comparison to an average of 4% yearly growth over the past four years, 2022’s 19.6% increase in revenue indicates that residents and visitors are eager to spend in Downtown Knoxville.

“Downtown Knoxville’s growth is stunning by any comparison,” said Downtown Knoxville Alliance Executive Director Michele Hummel. “These numbers show that business is booming in the area, expanding opportunity to more people than ever and enriching life in downtown and greater Knoxville.”

downtown knoxville growth

The analysis was completed from tax data received in 2023 from Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Research Section. The numbers reflect taxable revenue of restaurants, retail and service businesses within the 0.67-square-mile Downtown Knoxville Central Business Improvement District (CBID). Of the district’s total revenue, restaurants contributed 72% of business and retail and service businesses accounted for 28% of the total.

The significance of the growth is even more apparent when compared with the City of Knoxville. Downtown Knoxville’s nearly 20% growth in 2022 outpaces the city’s 8% increase and supports the prosperity of the entire area.

“When Downtown Knoxville does well, so does the rest of the city,” said Hummel. “The combined success makes Knoxville a great place to live, work, visit and enjoy.”

According to numbers provided by the state, all areas of Downtown Knoxville – along Gay Street, in Market Square, North of Summit and all other areas within the CBID boundary – contributed almost evenly to the district’s revenue, ranging from 22%-29% and reflecting strong businesses across the board.

Additional gains are expected in Downtown Knoxville for the future. From 2020 to 2022, 49 ground-floor businesses opened. Another 12 ground-floor businesses have opened or plan to open in 2023. Developers and business owners’ commitment to the district is evident, providing people new places to explore in the walkable area.

“It is an exciting time for Downtown Knoxville whether you’re moving in, starting a new job, opening a business or visiting for a day,” Hummel said. “Come down to see what’s happening and take advantage of the possibilities that await!”

About the Downtown Knoxville Alliance Ensuring a vibrant, flourishing downtown is the primary mission of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance (DKA). Formed in 1993 as a Central Business Improvement District (CBID), the district encompasses a 0.67-square-mile area and is supported by a special assessment to property owners that is used to make improvements, enhance services and promote downtown. The DKA continually focuses on attracting and retaining a thriving community of residents, businesses and visitors in Downtown Knoxville. For more information, please visit

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