$250-M project: Creekwood development to bring new businesses, homes to Lenoir City

By: Mark Hudson
Source:  News Herald 04-10-2006

Plans have been announced for an estimated $250-million development of 204 acres located adjacent to Interstate 75 at Highway 321 and Highway 70 in Loudon County.

Construction on the site, which is being developed by Creekwood Partners, LLC, is expected to begin sometime in the fall. The development will be called Creekwood Park and includes plans to incorporate the land’s natural features including Town Creek and a 17-acre spring-fed lake on the property. According to a Creekwood press release, “additional amenities will include underground utilities, walking trails, sidewalks and street lighting.”

The developers said conceptual plans for the site show approximately 80-percent of Creekwood Park will be reserved for commercial and office uses. The remaining property will include approximately 100 single-family home sites, 100 multi-family units and open space. Housing prices are estimated to range from $200,000 for multi-family units to between $300,000 to $400,000 for single-family homes.

"Loy said while the developer had been in negotiations with an "anchor tenant" for the site, none had committed so far, although he added "there is interest." Loy also informed council the project would generate approximately $500,000 in yearly property taxes and more than $1-million in sales tax revenues for the city." (News Herald 5/29/06)

Originally conceptualized by the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, the project consists of a four-lane divided median roadway linking Highway 321 and Highway 70. The road will run parallel to Interstate 75 to give the businesses “maximum exposure” to the interstate, according to the release.

Loudon County Economic Development Agency (EDA) President Pat Phillips said the developers had purchased “the bulk” of the land. “We’ve got two other tracts we’ll need to access to extend the road through,” he added. “We have been in discussions with [the land owners], they are aware of it. We have not got into actually assembling the land.” Final negotiations are reportedly under way with a national "big box" retailer described by Phillips as a “home improvement” store. An announcement on the retailer’s identity is expected sometime in May.

"This is an unique location and a site we have had on our radar screen for several years," said Phillips.

Lenoir City officials have been working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to construct an interstate connector road linking Highway 70 with Highway 321, a project city leaders said is critical to accommodating the future transportation needs of the region.

"Timing is everything and this announcement along with our plans for an interstate connector road through the property will allow us to coordinate both the development and the connector road," said Lenoir City Mayor Matt Brookshire.

"Lenoir City’s involvement with the project is critical and we are pleased by both their receptivity to the project and their cooperation," said Tony Hale, spokesman for Creekwood Partners.

Phillips added the project is expected to take approximately one year to complete.