New shopping center planned for Watt Road
Alan Sloan - Farragut Press

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).