Stunning drone video shows the ongoing destruction of Knoxville Center Mall to make way for an Amazon delivery center opening in 2022.

Knoxville News Sentinel

I’ve stopped telling people I’m a business reporter.

Eyes tend to glaze over. Minds turn to more interesting topics, like the weather.

For most people, business sounds boring. Business is what you do when you’re at work. You might think I write about corporate financial statements and HR issues.

But for the last three years, I’ve covered the growth of our city: the people and projects that are contributing to our economy. The restaurants and retail that change how you spend your dollars. The major employers that will offer new opportunities for you.

I’m excited to bring that reader-centric approach to my new role as editor of growth and development for Knox News.

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Brenna McDermott is the editor of growth and development coverage at Knox News. (Photo: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel)

Our team is laser-focused on previewing, explaining and analyzing the significant growth that is changing the DNA of our community.

We’re covering significant construction projects in the works: Amazon soon will become one of East Tennessee’s major employers after investments in Alcoa and Knoxville. Topgolf will redefine Farragut’s appeal as an entertainment destination. Dick’s Sporting Goods is opening its second interactive store concept at West Town Mall.

We’re bringing you the most in-depth, records-driven reporting in town on the projects coming in and going up.

CUMBERLAND AVE.: What’s next for block about to be demolished? ‘A more pedestrian friendly experience’

MAGNOLIA AVE.: Olympians-turned-investors plan mixed-use redevelopment on downtown’s north side

DOWNTOWN: Will Pryor Brown Garage ever get a new life? We answer your burning Knoxville questions


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Perhaps you’ve noticed that buying a house in Knoxville has become a competitive sport? We give you useful information about buying (and affording) a home in East Tennessee.

Downtown Knoxville and the surrounding areas are expanding and thriving. We’re getting two food halls in the next year. Developers are renovating old buildings and constructing new ones. We love nightlife, good food and city living as much as you do, and we drop everything to bring you the first and best coverage in town.

Love a good sneak peek before a new place opens? From Five Thirty Lounge to The Vault, we do previews better than anyone else.

Does all of this change and growth make you wonder if Knoxville’s Scruffy City nickname should be retired? Join the debate on the Urban Knoxville Facebook group and listen to “The Scruffy Stuff,” a weekly podcast where we talk anything and everything downtown.

Our team is plugged in and passionate about bringing you the latest news.

Ryan Wilusz is the downtown reporter for Knox News. (Photo: Brianna Paciorka)

Whether talking with restaurateurs about their post-mandate mask enforcement plans or previewing a new bar, downtown reporter Ryan Wilusz is your go-to source for restaurants, bars, beer and city living.

Audience engagement specialist Kelli Krebs has her finger on the pulse of what’s new and next downtown. She’s your go-to source for essential lists like dog-friendly patios and the weekly Urban Knoxville newsletter, which keeps you up-to-date on all things downtown.

Kelli Krebs is the Audience Engagement Specialist for Knox News. (Photo: Brianna Paciorka)

I’ll continue to bring you insights into the growth of our city, like how Knoxville’s red-hot real estate market is pricing out first-time home buyers or the latest renovations and redevelopments to Knoxville’s hotels, commercial buildings and more. 

Thank you for reading our business coverage – which I think you’ll agree is anything but boring.

We want to answer your questions about the growth of our city. Email me at [email protected].

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