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New shopping center planned for Watt Road

A South Carolina developer’s motivation to build a shopping center in Farragut/Dixie Lee Junction is based largely upon customer lure from the future Watt Road extension traffic north of Kingston Pike.

Thomas Ravenel, Ravenel Development Corp., Charleston, S.C., advised Farragut Municipal Planning Commission of his company’s intensions during the monthly FMPC meeting Thursday, Nov. 16, in Town Hall. The 2.3 acres runs along Kingston Pike to the south approximately 200 feet west of Watt Road.

“We are working with an anchor tenant, a grocery store, although we’re not certain we are going to necessarily have that as our anchor tenant,” Ravenel said. “… They’ll be cross-pedestrian shopping, … like a hair salon or a nail shop, etc., a coffee shop, perhaps.

“I think our plans are about 60,000 to 70,000 square foot retail [total lot], one story building,” Ravenel added. “Right now we’re looking at about 19,000 square feet of shops, but that may change.”

After approaching the board, Ravenel later said his company would “probably have to scale back the shops to maybe 12,000 square feet of shops. You’re looking at maybe seven or eight shops. … maybe a Chinese restaurant, a Subway, typically those type tenants that go in with a grocery-anchored center.

“It’s very important that Watt Road be extended because that’s where the customer base is,” Ravenel added after his presentation. “So we may be held hostage to their timetable.

“It would be my druthers to build it as soon as possible.”

With access from both Kingston Pike and the proposed N. Watt Road extension, Ravenal said, “It will probably face Watt Road, take advantage when they make that extension. I think its projected to be extended, I think the latest, is 2010. So we see that as being a draw retail location.”

Ravenel said his company, which develops and owns shopping centers and retail properties throughout the Southeast and Midwest, has developed “a very preliminary site plan.”

The developer received unanimous FMPC approval to change property zoning from R-2 to C-1 (by a 5-0 vote — commissioners Constance Rutenber, Bob Edlund, Dot LaMarche and Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III absent on town business).

In other town business:

• Concept plan modifications for the planned Farragut Town Center District were discussed. Among resident concerns were those of three Park Place subdivision residents. Pam Zachary joined fellow subdivision resident Donna Scott to express concerns that the road bordering south end of proposed town center would, because it’s projected to line up with the subdivision’s only access point, create serious traffic congestion and safety issues for those residents.

However, town engineer Darryl Smith said, “I don’t think they’ll be any real issue with traffic at that intersection” due in part to other town center exit/access points.

Sue Groves of Park Place subdivision also expressed traffic concerns.

Commissioners voted unanimously to rezone the 27.51-acre town center land, parcels 142 and 148, tax map 142, 11500 Kingston Pike, located on the south side of Kingston Pike across from Village Green Shopping Center, from C-1, O-1, B-1, R-1, and R-2 to TCD Town Center District. (Southern Home Development, Inc., applicant)

• Walter Lane, a local developer in the process of building a subdivision north of the 1-40/75 Interstate, said he had Tennessee Department of Transportation permission to bore under 1-40/75 within TDOT right-of-ways to eventually lay pipe “for the purposes” of sewer.

However, Lane said construction includes “coming through the town of Farragut’s property where you’re public works building is at the end of Fretz [Road].”

Lane was advised he must go through proper FMPC channels, such as completing a preliminary plat application and receiving and accepting town staff recommendations, to proceed.

• Unanimously approved a site plan for new outdoor display and storage area for Gander Mountain, Parcel 191.16, Tax Map 130, 11501 Parkside Drive, zoned C-2, 8.09 acres for Gander Mountain.

• Unanimously approved a site plan for the remodeling of the existing Pittsburgh Paints building at Concord Square, 11000 Kingston Pike, located on the south side of Kingston Pike, zoned C-1, 2.49 acres (Scott Hatmaker/R2R Studio, Applicant)

• Unanimously approved a request to amend the text of the Farragut Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 3, Section XII. General Commercial District (C-1) and Section XV. Regional Commercial District (C-2), to allow drive through operations as a principal use for restaurants, coffee shops, and other similar establishments and to remove the outdoor seating percentage based on indoor seating (Robinson & Phillips, LLC, applicant)

• Unanimously rejected a request by Walgreen’s to amend the text of the Farragut Municipal Code, Title 9, Chapter 4, Sign Ordinance, Section 9-406 (3)(g), to allow changeable copy ground-mounted signs for businesses not grandfathered to use such signage. Various commissioners cited ground-mounted sign usage restrictions – such as limits on type of lettering used and spacing between letters — as unenforceable if allowed throughout town.


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