Hardin Valley to get boost from $28 million development

11:08 AM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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Monday morning local officials will join developers in Hardin Valley to break ground on a project they estimate is one of the most expensive residential complexes built in Knox County in recent years.

The development called 'The Preserve at Hardin Valley' will host three hundred luxury apartments with "resort style" amenities.

Mike Cohen of Cohen Communications represents developers Mike Murphy, Paul Murphy, Darby Campbell and Ed Campbell.

Cohen says they expect 15% of the tenants to be working Pellissippi State students. He also expects the development will draw people from Knoxville and Oak Ridge.

The $28 million complex will go in right behind Pellissippi State, off Solway Road.

It's an area that's seen a lot of empty store fronts since the 2008 recession hit.

But with new money, new attention, and new people moving to Hardin Valley some are hopeful it's a signal the area is growing.

"It says that the Hardin Valley area appears to be growing, that people have confidence in this area," says Cohen of his clients' investment.

But just on the other side of Pellissippi State, reminders of tough economic times linger.

Several shopping centers that went up before the recession have many empty storefronts.

Commercial Real Estate Expert Justin Cazana says that area took a big hit.

"Unfortunately when the economy slowed down retail was hit the hardest ,and a lot of developing that went on out there was retail," says Cazana.

Hardin Valley is the obvious next frontier for developers, says Cazana, but it will take more time to flourish.

"Your hindered by the river on one side but as you head toward Oak Ridge there's plenty of land," says Cazana. "A lot of people looked at it as the next place to be developed."

He says the area needs a higher traffic count before it attracts big national retailers to the area.

Cazana says with so much already happening out west, such as shopping at Turkey Creek, there's a chance that national retailers may overlook the area for the time being.

But eventually he expects Hardin Valley's time will come.

"You're seeing the continued growth of Pellissippi Parkway. That's the fastest growing road in Knox County," says Cazana.

Cohen says the developers plan to build in phases with some apartments ready this summer.

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