Bearden witnesses business boom

10:40 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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The dirt is moving in several parts of Knoxville's Bearden community.

Construction is set to finish at a Holiday Inn Express, a Courtyard Hotel, and an Anthropologie in the coming months. Also, other recent companies moved into the nearby New York Life Building.

"It's not a very transient community and it's got a great location to Papermill on the interstate. So that sets the stage for investment," said Mike Edwards with the Knoxville Chamber.

He added the key to this business growth comes down to population stability. In a one-mile area in Bearden between I-40/I-75 and Kingston Pike, more than 1,200 people lived there in 2010. That number remains the same today.

"People who would might be familiar to Atlanta, Buckhead 30 years ago. It would be a different scale, but it would be similar to that," Edwards added.

One of the businesses that recently moved in was the Casual Pint.

"We started seeing the tenants come in and fill up the space. We have the hotel going up on the hill there," said co-owner Nathan Robinette.

While there is business flowing in this nook of Knoxville, Edwards predicts future growth in other avenues.

"I expect there will be housing to be developed in Bearden, multifamily housing at high-end costs," he said.

Robinette said it won't just be the big stores coming in.

"The Bearden community supports local, supports small business and that's the key for Bearden," Robinette added.

Another company still planning to build in that area is Whole Foods at the former Knoxville Wholesale Furniture lot on Papermill Drive. Officials told 10News a few weeks ago they hope to start building the organic grocery in 2014.

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