Farragut 40th: right time for Town Center?

Michael Bates believes, as the Town of Farragut is poised to celebrate its 40th birthday, now could be the right time to create its long-discussed Town Center.

The developer/Realtor has the plans, and is listing what he describes as “the perfect property,” former Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford’s 68.31 acres of land alongside Farragut Town Hall up to Kingston Pike, for $12.5 million.

“Highly visible and undeniably the most beautiful undeveloped property in Town, it offers a unique value of physical size, location, topographical elements, historical and cultural qualities,” Bates said. “This prime property, located just a few hundred feet from the intersection of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, is most certainly in the very heart of Farragut.”

Now, he just needs to find the right buyer, and has been sending e-mails and developer packages both locally and nationally to various developers and real estate companies, detailing the land and its history.

“With the Town of Farragut about to celebrate its 40th year anniversary in 2020, the timing could not be more perfect for developers to get involved and plan for a much sought after Town Center in the very heart of Farragut,” Bates said. “Town leaders continue to emphasize their hopes for a Town Center that will provide a true identity for Farragut.

“For years there have been discussions about the desire and viability of a true Downtown Farragut characterized as a pedestrian friendly mixed-use type development of a ‘Live, Work, Shop, Play and Dine’ nature — one that blends these varied mixed uses and includes multi-family, residential, commercial/retail, office, senior living and other options.

“In 2007-08, my company had the plans and that property under contract,” added Bates, a long-time Farragut resident who at one time served on the committee updating the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. “The Town had already been working with me on the different zoning options there and they were very excited at the prospect of having a downtown and a Mixed Use Town Center.”

In fact, “a new zoning ordinance for Town Center development was developed in 2007-08,” targeting that very property, Bates said.

“The very detailed engineered plans for this project are available and will be provided to any developer wishing to utilize them. The plans include 14 two- to four-story building pads as part of a Mixed-use Town Center development with approximately 173,000 square feet of commercial/retail space on the ground level, over 250 residential units and about 1,200 parking spaces.

“The plans are in such detail that they include all utilities, road profiles, landscaping, a Town Square, Town Lake and round-a-bout,” he added. “The balance of the 41 acres is perfect for other forms of attached and detached residential, senior living and multi-family options.”

Moreover, “the overall pricing of $183,000 per acre is exceptional for Town Center development,” Bates said.

“... These plans would probably require some tweaking now, but I believe the Town leaders and staff are very keen on having something happen with the property,” he added.

In fact, Bates pointed out the updated Town’s CLUP “identified eight key strategies of the most important goals and objectives for Farragut’s future. The No. 1 strategy was noted as ‘Bringing about a Downtown.’”

Bates can be reached at 865-924-6244 or 865-777-9191.

As to why now is a good time to be actively recruiting a buyer or developer for the property, Bates lists a couple of reasons.

“The Town of Farragut’s 40th anniversary is one thing,” he said. “And, the economy is doing well, and the interest rates are good. There are a lot of current developments in and around Farragut, and I think timing is good for development of this property. The price of the property is very well priced and with the Town’s CLUP and its varied options available, the overall pricing of $183,000 per acre is exceptional for Town Center development. Given all this property and its location have to offer the Town as a whole, I would love to see something positive happen,” concluded Bates.