While Food City committed nearly two years ago to anchoring the under-construction mixed-use Kingston Pike Village development, at the corner of Kingston Pike and South Watt Road, unconfirmed rumors are swirling that the regional grocery chain may not be locating there after all.
Social media posts have floated the rumor, with no substantiation.
Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said he has repeatedly, and recently, reached out to the project’s developer “and other powers that be,” asking about its status, but had not received an official response as of late last week.
Food City officials had planned to lease a 56,000-square-foot building, Williams added.
As for overall retail interest in Kingston Pike Village, “I think the developer does have people in mind,” Williams said to Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance board during its Wednesday, May 11, meeting.
However, the mayor added, “When you have people lined up you don’t tip your hand. It’s very competitive. … You kind of keep it close to your vest until they sign.”
Apartments planned for the development remain on target for construction, being built independently from the retail portion of the site along South Watt Road near Kingston Pike.
Hobbs, Alliance board
Concerning Kingston Pike Village and the Town’s other two major projects under construction — Biddle Farms Town Center (specifically Aldi’s) and TopGolf in the Outlet Drive Entertainment District, Trevor Hobbs, assistant to the Town administrator, answered Alliance questions about business openings and prospective new businesses.
“With all of the development in the old Kroger shopping center (location)” now the Town Center location, “and those retail spaces … has anybody requested permits … or any idea what businesses are planning to come to Farragut in the next 12 to 18 months?” Alliance chair Candace Viox asked Hobbs, who was filling in for Town administrator David Smoak to give the monthly “Town Report” at the Alliance meeting.
“We’ve had some conversations with the developer (Budd Cullom) about that section of retail,” he said. “He shared some potential tenants but nothing concrete at this point,” adding Cullom would “continue building it out, sort of spec, and then they’ll come.”
As for when TopGolf is projected to open, Hobbs said, “Right now I would feel comfortable saying that they’re just shooting for as early in summer as possible, or as early in fall as possible. They’re making good progress.”
Viox also asked if there was “an increase in people asking for” information who are “interested in opening businesses” in Town.
“I don’t know that I can say whether there’s an increase of people asking for the information,” Hobbs said.
“But I can safely say we have a better response to give them when they do ask,” he added.
Alan Sloan contributed to this story.