News Opinion Sports Videos Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Events Search/Archive Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Calendar Contact Us Advertisements Search/Archive Public Notices

Looking for tenants

New owners floating numerous ideas for shopping center at Hwy. 61/US 441 junction

The new owners of a business center at the southeast corner of Andersonville Highway (Tenn. 61) and Norris Freeway (U.S. 441) say they’re still looking for tenants who might want to occupy the property, which they say has enough space for a supermarket and/or a variety of other businesses.

Business partners Ken Seaman and Dave Moore bought the 3.99-acre property for $1.2 million on Jan. 12 under their business name 3310 Real Estate Partnership.

The unnamed center, part of which was once the site of Hensley’s IGA supermarket, most recently served as a location for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, which had been allowed to use the former grocery’s space free of charge.

Still housed in the center are satellite Anderson County government offices that collect real estate taxes and process motor vehicle registrations and renewals, along with a hair salon called The Cuttin’ Corner.

Seaman had told the Norris City Council that he and Moore planned to put a secure, climate-controlled indoor storage facility in the approximately 20,500 square feet of space formerly used by the grocery store.

The city changed its zoning ordinance in March to accommodate such indoor storage in the C-2 commercial zone in which the building lies.

But Seaman told The Courier News late last week that he and his partner have dropped the plans for the storage facility, and will begin advertising soon to try to find a tenant or tenants to fill out the unoccupied space in the building.

He said there is about 20,500 square feet of space where the grocery store was, and an additional 4,000 square feet that had recently been used by the Anderson County High School wrestling team as a training facility.

“Our intention is to find some tenants without going down the storage [facility] path,” Seaman said. “That’s not our preference. We decided we didn’t want to go into business for ourselves.”

Necessary renovations are underway now, but no interior build-out will take place until there are tenants lined up, he said.

“We’re fixing issues with the building now,” Seaman said.

“But it depends on who the tenants will be before we put up walls and such. There is 20,500 square feet available, plus the 4,000 square feet where the wrestling folks were.”

Resealing of the parking lot surface was to have been completed this week, and then the property was to be listed for rent, Seaman said.

“When they are done with seal coating of the parking lot and re-striping it, [the property] will be going on the MLS for advertising,” he said. “We’ll carve it up if we need to. Obviously, we hope a grocery would take the 20,500 square feet and the 4,000 where the wrestling team was.”

Seaman said he hopes to keep the county clerk’s office and the hair salon in the center, and will be “in discussions” with both soon over renewing their leases.

“The clerk and the hair salon get first right of refusal,” he said. “We’re not pushing anyone out.”

Seaman had earlier released an artist’s conception of a convenience store that he was proposing for the front of the parking lot on the west end, but he said no one so far has expressed interest in building that.

Last year, Seaman had posted several ideas on Facebook for the property.

The post said that “some possible retail options include grocery, auto parts, hardware, cellular service, banking/lending, fitness, coffee shop, pastry/donut/bakery, pet store, entertainment, or outdoorsman store (hunting, fishing, camping and or marine).

“Medical options include chiropractic, health and wellness, walk-in clinic or dentist office. The open corner has the potential for a nice sit-down restaurant, a drive-through or possibly a combination thereof. Other options could be a [convenience store] with combo gas and restaurant with drive-through or hospitality.”

Seaman said earlier that the site would be perfect for businesses that could tap into the pool of people driving by on their way to and from Norris Lake, especially those pulling boats.

“It’s a numbers thing,” he said of the financial viability of the revamped center, saying the project depends on whether “we can get the tenants to justify the numbers. We have to have a grocery store, restaurant, or gas station to make it work.”

One key to success, he said earlier, would be to gain approval of Norris, Anderson County and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to open an entrance for vehicles to the property off Norris Freeway, just south of Andersonville Highway.

The only access now is off Andersonville Highway or from the adjacent Anderson Crossing center, which houses a variety of businesses, including a pharmacy, Dollar General store, Mexican restaurant, pizza restaurant and sports bar.

Seaman, of Powell, is a longtime executive with REA, Inc., in Knoxville, a heating and air-conditioning company.

Moore is a real-estate agent with Realty Executives in Knoxville.