Economic boom expected with Sitel

Economic growth is expected with Sitel Call Center moving into the “old Outlet Mall” building, 11221 Outlet Drive, and making it official with a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m., Wednesday, June 12.

“We’re very excited about them being there,” Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said. “We just want to fill that other side (of the building) up now.”

The arrival of Sitel, a business process outsourcing solutions group, means hundreds of new jobs, Williams said.

“Those people will be, of course, buying tires at our four tire stores, and they’ll be eating in our restaurants and buying gas at our gas stations,” he added.

While he does not think having Sitel at Outlet Drive will impact traffic at that corridor, Williams said, “You are going to see some growth in that area.

“We worked with the (Farragut) Comprehensive Land Use Plan Steering Committee to make sure that we had everything correct for expected growth in that area,” he added. “We’re actually going up to the west end of Snyder (Road) and we’re making two left-turn lanes onto Campbell Station with the anticipation that area will be growing.”

“The (Farragut) Board of Mayor and Aldermen is thrilled the former outlet mall has a tenant,” said Alderman Scott Meyer, who represents the North Ward. “The Comprehensive Land Use Steering Committee is studying the Outlet Drive area to determine if zoning changes might draw companies similar to Sitel, as well as sales tax-generating businesses that would support them. 

“We believe Farragut is a great town in which businesses of all types can thrive, and we want to do all that we can to support them,” Meyer added.

Kelin Mock, site director for Sitel Group-Tennessee, expects the company to have about 540 employees in the opening weeks.

“We are closing two sites,” Mock said. “We have a site in Knoxville and a site in Oak Ridge, so we’re merging those two sites together into this new location.

“We’re projecting about 100 new jobs a year over the next three years, with our total occupyable head count of about 850 employees,” he added.

He projected Sitel would hire about 20 percent of those new employees from the Farragut area.

“We have a pretty broad reach … we probably will recruit in a 40- to 50-mile radius from this area,” he said. “But anyone is welcome.

“We have lots of jobs to fill, and it’s an exciting time because as we fill those jobs we’ll create careers,” Mock added.

Sitel Call Center, for which the first hammer was swung Feb. 1, is taking up 45,000 square feet of the total 160,000 square feet of Outlet space, which belongs to Kodak Properties, the building landlord.

Jim Nixon, who represents Kodak Properties, said Kodak hopes to rent out the remaining vacant space.

“We do have expansion space that we have a right-of-first-refusal on, but right now the goal is to fill the 45,000 square feet,” Mock said.

As for working with Town of Farragut, “I’ve built relationships with Ron Williams and (Town administrator) David Smoak,” Mock said. “They have been very accommodating and very understanding about some of our urgency around getting this project done.”