Reflecting on recent years growth

With 2022 just around the corner, I was asked to give an update on some of the major changes in our Town during the current administration. I will list some that are finished and many that are still under way. The groundwork started with the demolition or renovation of the many derelict buildings and properties that had fallen into disrepair. It was important that we put this program in motion first.

Three of the Kingston Pike/Campbell Station corners were transformed with the addition of Starbucks, 35 North and the Mayor Ralph McGill Plaza. The old Lutheran Church was repurposed into a community center/senior center after we purchased the property.

The old Ingles complex had a major renovation that finished up right before COVID hit, and now has P3 Sportsplex as the first tenant. The Court Café finally came down to make way for what they say will be a Food City complex. 

We now see steel beams coming up out of the ground on the Top Golf property on Outlet Drive, and along with that comes the removal of another billboard. The Elliott’s Boots building was rebuilt and an AFC Urgent Care and Dunkin’ drive-through were added.

Across the street, the BP made way for a Tire Discounters. The abandoned U.S. Golf building came down and was replaced by a climate-controlled storage warehouse.

A new Dollar General store and a second building in the shopping center that houses Anytime Fitness are a jumpstart to the west end. The east end saw another old building go away and yet another billboard come down when O’Reilly Auto Parts was built.

We saw the repurpose of a vacant building when Pep Boys moved across the street. Renovation of the former Outlet Mall building brought it up to green standards and it now houses Sitel, a long-term tenant the brings solid entry-level jobs to our Town.

The last vacant property that needed to go was the abandoned Kroger complex. You can currently see a tremendous amount of underground pipe going in to handle stormwater drainage for the new project by CHM Development. Steel will be coming out of the ground in the next few weeks as the Aldi gets started. With four restaurants and many small shops on the way to our future Town Center, it will be a great, walkable destination.

A major expansion will soon be completed at the 52-acre McFee Park. The new section will include tennis/pickleball courts, as well as a multi-purpose sports court and a dog park, in the future. A grant for a third turf field, along with a new ADA restroom facility, was a great upgrade for Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

A grant also helped Anchor Park with a new ADA restroom facility. Our Public Works Department built a performance stage at Founders Park, and this year, Light the Park was expanded to feature more than 100,000 lights.

We updated Town Hall with ADA restrooms in anticipation of the Blue Cross Healthy Place behind Town Hall. You may have noticed the sidewalk upgrades and crosswalks across Town as well as our yearly paving projects. TDOT’s Concord Road project is finally approaching completion, and the second phase of the Virtue Road project and the Kingston Pike/Watt Road intersection improvement are set to be completed in the spring.

Be sure to read the farragutpress article on the redesign of Campbell Station Road at I-40/I-75. This project is important as we go forward with our next generation red-light control system.

 Yes, it is a lot to keep up with, but when you have a great staff and surround yourself with good committees, you see results happening on every corner.

Ron Williams

Farragut Mayor