An urban living development in southwest Knox County has reached a big milestone.
Target became the first major retailer to open inside Northshore Town Center on Wednesday.
It's a moment that often seemed unattainable as the development moved from an idea into a reality.
Officials broke ground on the 141-acre urban village on Sept. 30, 2004. The plans: build a self-contained community of homes, upscale stores and boutiques, entertainment venues, offices and restaurants off Northshore Drive at Pellissippi Parkway.
But progress was slow.
In late 2007 and early 2008, the WBIR program, "Style: A Show For You," helped build one of the homes in the community. The house was auctioned off for charity when it was completed.
The homes started to come together and families moved in, but other development lagged.
The economy took a dive and the plans for retail and other developments sat stagnant.
A bank foreclosed on part of the property in August 2009 after the original developers defaulted on their loan. The property was purchased by another company the next month.
The developers adjusted some of the plans and talk about the project picked up once again.
In February 2010, the Knox County Board of Education approved plans to build a new elementary school inside the center. It's set to open in fall 2013.
One year later, the Industrial Development Board and Knox County Commission approved tax increment financing to help spur development. The incentive included the construction of an exit ramp off Pellissippi Parkway that enters Northshore Town Center.
A few months later, the announcements about retail stores started rolling in.
In June 2011, Target and Publix confirmed plans to build stores and construction on the retail portion of the development began in earnest.
Publix is set to open on Aug. 2.
Several smaller stores also are set to open this summer or fall. The line-up includes Great Clips, Froyoz Frozen Yogurt, Fusion Tanning Studios, Barre 3 and The Nail Spa.