Earlier Sunday morning 1/17/2021. I posted here, in thepost was a video from Farragut Citizens for Responsible Growth of a comment made a recent meeting by the developer of Biddle Farm. Farragut Mayor Ron Williams answered the question in a very detailed email to me. His answer is below.
The Farragut Business Alliance is not a Town of Farragut committee but a non-profit organization made up of all types of Farragut business owners as members. Their Board have posted monthly meetings to go over the business climate in the Town of Farragut. They sponsor numerous events during the year such as Dog Daze, Red White & Blues as well as the Taste of Farragut. One of their many goals is make Farragut a better place to do business with another to recruit new business into Farragut. They basically are a economic development team in a way like a chamber of commerce. Examples of their members hard work would include the Costco project , the future Top Golf project and now the Town Center at Biddle Farms.
Every year the (ICSC) International Council of Shopping Center organization has a large convention in Vegas as well as many smaller ones scattered around key cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville. They are basically trade shows that have participants of all sizes from your typical chain restaurants all the way up to the big box stores. You also see booths maned by developers as well as business lobbyist. The goal for all is for a meet & greet of the staff of both business owners and developers. If your Town has a retail development in the horizon you will see representatives trying to put together prospective businesses for that location. The ICSC is a organization based out of New York that has been around since 1957 and has been responsible for much of the intro’s that built the retail in this country.
For the past number years the Farragut Business Alliance (FBA) has sent representatives to the various conventions to work on bringing new businesses to Farragut. The long term vision of the Town founders was to see a actual Farragut Town Center. Mayor McGill championed many a cause with this one right up at the top of the list. Many times you would see FBA members David Purvis and Jim Nixon at the conventions working hard to bring new business to our Town. The initial thought was to push for a vertical Town Center with retail businesses on the ground floor and residential on the floors above. This was presented to as many developers that had the courtesy to listen to the pitch but with no results. They were politely told that this type of concept required a parking garage with at least five plus stories above it. Since the tallest buildings in Farragut are four stories they were told that their best bet was to find a developer who would be the risk taker for horizontal type development. This suggestion is what gave them a new direction and the hunt was on. With three properties in the Town Center area hopefully there were opportunities for a risk taker.
With David Purvis as a liquor store business owner in the old Kroger complex his thought was to push this property as it really needed to be totally repurposed. He had past business dealings with a local Farragut High grad Budd Cullum, a principal with CHM Development, who he approached with the thought of a horizontal Town Center. It was not until CHM Group brought the project to the Town staff did myself or Vice Mayor Povlin know of Budd Cullom or anyone connected to CHM Development or J A Fielden.
On another note myself or Vice Mayor Povlin did not know the property owners Jim & Mary Biddle and to this day have never had the opportunity to meet them. (On a note of sadness, David Purvis recently passed away after a long battle with cancer.)