KODAK (WATE) – The developer intending to make Dumplin Creek a shopping destination revealed more about the plans Monday for the Sevier County location.
Joe Fielden and his company, Neyland Land Associates, are in the process of purchasing the 200 acres, but a few steps still need to be completed.
Sevier County residents are hopeful something can finally be done with the property, that has been sitting idle site after work first began there in 2009.
"We envision this is to be a Turkey Creek in Knoxville. We're about half the size in acreage to Turkey Creek," explained Fielden, the developer.
He says several big name retailers are being targeted to possibly locate there.
"We would go to Walmart, Sam's, Target, Ikea," he said.
The company made its pitch to Sevierville city leaders Monday evening to explain some of the funding needed for roads and improvements.
The developers are hoping for a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant of $4 million, plus $4 million from the city.
They will add roughly $10 million or more to that amount to develop the property to make it suitable for retailers.
Right now, the area around Dumplin Creek is a bit of business dead zone.
The operator of LaQuinta Inn and Suites says the location is difficult for marketing themselves to people looking for a place to stay.
"When I tell them it's seven to ten miles from all major attractions, they typically say, ‘Let me call you back,' and then they don't," sad Tiffany Belcher, at LaQuinta.
Belcher also lives near the site. She says shopping for basic necessities in her area is inconvenient. It's a long drive through tourist traffic to reach retail businesses.
"I have to wait in standstill bumper-to-bumper traffic. The closest thing, Walmart, is nine miles up the road," she explained.
If plans go as the developers hope, that scene will change in a big way.
"It's possible we could start construction work in the fall," Fielden said.