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Changes along Northshore Drive
Developers bring safety improvements to hazardous areas on heavily traveled route

Two developers are leading the charge with projects to improve stretches of Northshore Drive in the coming year.

John Huber, developer of Markets at Choto, an office and retail development being constructed at the corner of Northshore and Choto Road, will be constructing a center turn lane and installing a traffic light at the dangerous intersection.

“Essentially, we are going to cut Northshore Drive down where that blind hill is coming into the intersection,” Huber said in a previous interview with farragutpress.

The blind hill will be graded out and Northshore Drive widened to three lanes at the intersection with Choto.

“This was a good opportunity to create a better situation for the community through a public-private partnership,” Huber said.

“It’s going to be a massive improvement, safety-wise, out there,” he added.

Construction on the property currently is ongoing, and utilities are being relocated to make way for the new, wider Northshore.

Huber did not return calls regarding the project, but previously stated the road would not be closed during the widening process, and the impact to drivers should be minimal.

Markets at Choto has faced a bit of controversy from neighboring residents, but the development is being built to residential aesthetic and light standards. It will include a Weigel’s gas station, among other offices and retail, and planned greenways and sidewalks.

Only a few miles away, developer Bud Cullom is widening parts of Northshore Drive and is in the process of constructing a slip ramp off Pellissippi Parkway for his development, Northshore Town Center.

Cullom was granted a $9 million TIF, or tax increment financing, from Knox County earlier this year for various infrastructure improvements for the previously stalled development, which Cullom bought in a foreclosure sale in 2009.

TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi said although Northshore Drive is a state street in that area, Cullom was in charge of the project.

“This project is being paid for by the developer. TDOT approved the permit for the project.  But this is the developer’s responsibility until it is completed, at which time TDOT will maintain, just like all other roads, bridges, etc. throughout the state that TDOT currently is responsible for,” he said in an e-mail.

In a previous interview with farragutpress, Cullom said the TIF funding would help pay for widening Northshore Drive, installing traffic signals, constructing the slip ramp and building more city streets in the development.

Northshore Town Center will be home to Knox County’s newest elementary school, which is in the design phase, and also is a mixed-use development, which includes residential and commercial structures.

Cullom’s most recent plans include a 34,000 square foot discount department store, a 45,000 square foot grocery and possibly a hardware store and a movie theater. Publix and Target have confirmed spots in the development.


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