COOKEVILLE – A major retail project along Interstate Drive in Cookeville got a green light from the state, developers behind the effort said on Friday.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) issued a necessary permit and notice of determination for the Shoppes at Eagle Pointe, which includes tenants like Publix, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Ulta and more. That means Nashville’s Browning Development Solutions and CHM Development, a real estate development firm based in Knoxville, can proceed with design, engineering and mitigation plans for the multi-million effort.
Construction, officials say, could start in early 2017.
Shoppes at Eagle Pointe was first announced in late 2014; its progress has been delayed, however, for a myriad of reasons, including recent opposition from the Sierra Club to that TDEC permit. More than 150 people attended a May public hearing on the issue. While other hurdles remain, the state’s OK moves the project closer to fruition.
SEE: Sierra Club files petition against Interstate Drive development
“We are very pleased with TDEC’s decision and believe the plan that we provided is a win-win situation for the community and environment,” CHM’s Mike McGuffin said. “We look forward to the next steps of this project as well as working with the city and county on design and permitting. Our goal is to submit plans and drawings this fall so that we can be in a position to start construction after the first of the year.”
Overall, the development, on Interstate Drive and South Walnut Avenue, will include roughly 265,000 square feet of retail space on 42 acres at a cost of $45 million, and leaders have said it could create as many as 600 jobs. CHM initially slated the project for this summer before delays ensued.
An early site rendering posted online depicted other tenants to include Michael’s, an art and hobby supplier; Five Below, a value merchandiser that caters to the teen and pre-teen market; and discounters like Shoe Carnival and Ross department stores, although it was unclear which retailers had formally signed agreements. That site plan has since been removed.