Town titans look to lure business at Vegas conference

Farragut government and business leaders developed their best sales pitch, while attempting to persuade retail businesses to locate in Town, at the recent RECon conference for retail and real estate professionals in Las Vegas.

RECon, sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers, drew Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill; David Smoak, Farragut Town administrator; Doug Horne, owner of Republic Newspapers, Inc., parent company of farragutpress; Jim Nixon with First Commercial Real Estate and a partner in Turkey Creek Land Partners, and David Purvis, co-owner of Farragut Wine & Spirits.

“We had several meetings with retailers and tenant representatives,” Smoak said. “Our opportunity there was to tell them about specific sites.”

“The convention has most every tenant that’s in any shopping center in the U.S.,” Nixon said, “and most every developer, listing agent, contractor, architecture and supplier are all in one room for three days.

“In 15 or 20 minutes, you can’t make a deal with somebody,” Nixon added. “It takes months. You develop relationships that mature over time.”

“So we get out there and we’ve got a bunch of them who are interested,” Purvis said. “They know where Farragut is and what it’s about. Some are just waiting for the right time in their expansion plans when they want to come in. We find that if you talk to developers, they have relationships with retailers, somebody is going to come in and build something or remodel something. They do a better job of recruiting specific retailers to go in that specific development.”

McGill said the Dairy Queen off Kingston Pike in Farragut is the result of one of the conventions.

“I’d like to have [Town] empty buildings occupied or turned into something else,” he added.

“The main two [empty] are the old Kroger and the [old] Ingles,” Purvis said. “Both of those have peculiar situations with them that keep them from being remodeled. ... The Kroger space is under a ground lease that isn’t up till May 2019, so it’s unlikely that anything will happen to that space till that ground lease is up.”