Farragut Gateway gets FMPC nod

A new development may soon take the place of the vacant Silver Spoon Café.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission voted on two different measures related to the Farragut Gateway development at the former Silver Spoon site, June 16.

FMPC voted to approve a resolution allowing any tenant in the Mixed Use Town Center zoning area to have two separate wall signs on different sides of its building. Kelly Hedden, senior vice president of Barber McMurry Architects, said Starbucks, a potential tenant at the site, requested the change.

FMPC did not accept Starbucks’s other request for internally illuminated signs on the building’s walls. The site’s zoning, Mixed Use Town Center, does not allow them.

“This is where the potential rub is,” Hedden said. He said the ability to have internally illuminated signs was a big deal for the tenant. He said he had presented a painted-on-sign design, but Starbucks came back with an internally illuminated one.

“Quite frankly, it just trashes up a beautiful building,” Noah Myers, planning commissioner, said regarding internal illumination. “We just didn’t want the MUTC to look like a strip mall.”

Myers said he wanted a classy, downtown look for the district.

Internal illumination would mean letters would glow using LEDs inside them, as is common in other Farragut shopping centers. MUTC zoning would not allow internally illuminated signs attached to buildings, although it would allow them separate from the building.

FMPC also voted to recommend an amendment that would increase the size of menu boards in the MUTC from 15 to 36 square feet. The request to allow larger menu boards came from Starbucks by way of developer First Farragut.

“I don’t like the idea of the drive-through in the Mixed-Use Town Center, but if nobody sees it, then I think it’s something that’s manageable,” Mark Shipley, Community Develop-ment director, said. Under the new regulations, MUTC menu boards would be hidden from adjacent properties and right of ways.

So far, Meyers said Saah Salon and Suites, Farragut Gateway and a multistory mixed-use building have been discussed by FMPC as future parts of the MUTC district.

“The MUTC’s a fairly small district geographically that goes from Concord Road to about Kohl’s,” Myers said.

The former Silver Spoon site will not have any residential areas, although MUTC zoning allows them. “We don’t force mixed use into it … It’s really the core of the town, and we’re trying to encourage folks that, if they desire, they can mix some residential into the commercial,” he said.

Myers said larger developments and projects with subdivisions in the MUTC would need to include green space. Individual pieces such as Farragut Gateway on the corner of Campbell Station and Kingston Pike would have landscaping requirements, including at least 35 percent green space.