The Metropolitan Planning Commission says office space vacancy rates in Downtown Knoxville have risen slowly since 2008.

Rates then were at 12 percent. Today they are just a little under 15 percent.

Officials say most businesses that pull out of Downtown Knoxville leave because they want new office space or more parking.

Despite the rise in vacancies, developers say several businesses are interested in moving downtown.

"Everything is so vibrant downtown that getting to office here means you can walk to lunch, you can walk to shop at lunch. You can go back to the office. There are workout facilities. It's just the vibrancy of what downtown has become over the last 10 to 15 years," said Joe Petre, president of Conversion Properties.

Petre says more parking downtown soon will help matters. He also said a new tenant will likely be coming to downtown soon but could not say who.

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