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Choto Markets break ground

John Huber, third from left, breaks ground at his development, Markets at Choto, Wednesday, March 9. Joining him, from left, are Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Bettye Sisco, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Knox County Commis- Heather Mays/farragutpress
John Huber broke ground on his controversial development, Markets at Choto, at the corner of Choto Road and Northshore Drive, Wednesday, March 9.

“This is not going to be just a sea of asphalt with a strip center in the middle. This is going to be a true community asset,” Huber said to a group of about 40, sheltered from the rain under a tent.

The development will include a Weigel’s market and gas station, along with eight retail and office buildings, and will include improvements to Northshore Drive. Huber’s development ran into opposition from neighboring residential areas when it first was introduced.

But Huber said the buildings in Markets at Choto — including Weigel’s — would be constructed with residential building material and would feature low lights.

“We want to seamlessly blend with the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said he appreciated the risks Huber took in pursuing a development such as Markets at Choto at this time.

“This country was created by a bunch of risk-takers. And that’s what this is in this economy,” he said.

Burchett lauded the development’s planned sidewalks and greenways, and the improvements to Northshore Drive, which will include a signal at the intersection at Choto and grading and widening.

Huber said the sight-blocking “hump” on Northshore will be graded down to improve sight distance, and Northshore will be widened to three lanes in front of the development.

“That’s a really needed safety improvement,” Huber said.

He added the asphalt taken up for the road project will be recycled and used in development of Markets at Choto.

Huber said he hoped another “green” element of the project would be an irrigation system that used stormwater run-off.

Burchett told him, “I salute you and the excellent work you do.

“Now let’s dig a little dirt here,” he added.

For more information on the project, visit


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