KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A proposed development in the Karns area could turn a family farm into a neighborhood. Developers said the goal is to create a one-stop place to live, work and play. Its name is Bell Town.
But some longtime members of the Karns community said they believe it does not need more houses. Julie Mcbee Fritts said she lived in Karns her entire life. She says it used to be a close-knit community.
"I did love the small community feel, everyone knew everybody, and people would wave at the stop signs,” said Fritts. "And it's grown exponentially. A lot of changes that aren't always the best."
Karns keeps growing, and Primose Land Company hopes to break ground soon on multi-generational homes that would be spread across around 300 acres. The new neighborhood would be built on land that used to be Bell Farms on West Emory Road.
Josh Sanders, a development associate for Primose Land Company, says it is a part of a master plan for the future, called Bell Town.
"It's kind of the live-work-play mentality you see all over the country," he said.
At the edge of Karns and Powell, it would consist of more than 1,000 homes and could bring more than 4,000 people to the community. Primrose is the sister company to Smithbilt homes, which has construction underway just a few miles from the potential future home of Bell Town.
Sanders says they have been building homes there for nearly 40 years.
"We know it like the back of our hand, we know what it needs, and we know the challenges it presents," he said.
But people like Fritts think otherwise.
"We have major concerns about the traffic adding to the existing traffic,” she said.