A private group is working quietly with government agencies to assemble a large amount of brownfield property on 10th Street that could become a major component of UTC's campus expansion, and will mark the farthest south the University's footprint has ever extended.

Using the name 10th Street Rsd Llc, a private development group has purchased eight parcels of land south of M.L. King Boulevard, telling Tennessee Valley Authority officials that the nearly five acres will "serve the university," said Jim Hopson, a communication consultant at TVA.

The land sits in an area near where UTC has sought to expand student housing, the demand for which has risen each year. The UTC master plan calls for an additional 1,200 beds of student housing over the next 10 years to meet projected student enrollment.

Hopson was among a number of TVA officials presiding at a land auction Monday that was slated to start at 1 p.m., but was delayed before it began as the federal agency haggled with the developers — led by Chris Curtis of Riverside Development — behind closed doors.

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.