Walkway discussed to bridge Pinnacle, TopGolf over I-40/75
Could two sides of Farragut be connected across Interstate 40/75?
That’s a possibility currently being entertained by Town officials, Pinnacle at Turkey Creek management and TopGolf brass as that multi-property development finally is under construction.
If all parties can agree — and funding secured — a pedestrian walkway could be in the cards that would commence in Turkey Creek between the two Belk stores, stretch over the Interstate and conclude on the currently under-construction TopGolf property along Outlet Drive.
“We are currently having that conversation with our ownership and the Town,” confirmed Darryl Whitehead, general manager for Pinnacle at Turkey Creek, which oversees a conglomeration of nearly two dozen Turkey Creek stores including both Belk’s, Best Buy, Regal Pinnacle, Total Wine, Flemings Steak House, Abuelos restaurant, Michael’s, Marshalls and Party City.
“Offering some form of connectivity between Parkside Drive and Outlet Drive is really important as both areas are expanding,” he added. “It just makes sense.
“How it gets done would be in the next steps. And of course it would be up to TopGolf (officials) as well.”
He said funding sources could come from either private and public monies, or a combination of the two, but didn’t estimate the cost.
Whitehead said there is precedence for such a project, as Pinnacle at Turkey Creek’s parent company, Bayer Properties, oversaw similar construction for Atlanta’s Peachtree Village.
“Bayer has embraced this conversation,” he said.
Farragut Mayor Ron Williams also discussed the proposed project during a Tuesday, May 18, Tourism Advisory Committee meeting, and said he had broached the subject to Colby Price of Realty Link, which is land owner for TopGolf and its surrounding properties.
Even though TopGolf in Farragut’s newly-created Entertainment District has been a catalyst for the talks, Trevor Hobbs, Farragut’s assistant to the Town administrator, said the idea isn’t a new one.
“I’ve heard there was talk many years ago from Turkey Creek to Outlet Drive, but I’m not sure why it didn’t get built,” he said. “That being said, from my perspective, thinking about connectivity and economic development, an additional connection from Turkey Creek to the Town’s entertainment district could help the town move closer to some of its long-term goals. “However, this isn’t a project the Town has discussed in any of our strategic planning sessions or CIP meetings as long as I’ve been with the Town.”
Williams and Whitehead said the Ollie self-driving transportation system might play a part in transporting shoppers, tourists and diners along Parkside Drive and to and from Outlet Drive. “Now with all the growth, consumers need to be able to access both sides of the Interstate,” Whitehead said.
He added the proposed walkway would tie into its million-dollar courtyard renovation currently wrapping up behind Panera Bread, which he said is due to be completed sometime in June.
“We’ve built in a stage, and have an eight-foot tall rock wall water feature as a backdrop, which will cut down on the noise from the Interstate,” Whitehead said. “We are wired up for food trucks, too.”
As TopGolf is constructed during the next 14 months — the company has a projected Grand Opening July 4, 2022 — surrounding properties will offer restaurants and other attractions.
“Who would have though 40 years ago Turkey Creek would be what is it today?” Whitehead said..