Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Developer Extends Putnam Fairground Property Option Until May

Putnam County extended the option on the 41.4-acre Fairgrounds with developer E2L through May 6.

The $20,000 option gives E2L the opportunity to continue negotiations with potential tenants of the site off South Jefferson Avenue. County Mayor Randy Porter said the extension date was chosen to line up with an expected decision on a VA Clinic which could be built on seven to ten acres of the site.

“The 30-33 acres that’s left of the fairgrounds property that E2L have the option on for them to do other things with,” Porter said. “So it’s two projects kind of going down the road at the same time.”

E2L’s original term to purchase the fairgrounds site expired this month. The firm is the second developer to hold an option on the site since the county decided to sell the fairgrounds and build a new facility off Tennessee Avenue.

Porter said he could not discuss any specifics regarding E2L’s plan for the property. He said it could be used for restaurants, retail or other things.

“That’ll be up to the developer,” Porter said. “They’re working all kinds of options. You never know what’s liable to hit and lock in. It could be any of those. We’ll just have to wait and see how it works out and the plan ends up to be.”

The site has long been considered by locals as a space for big box retailers. However, that sector of the economy has struggled with changing consumer tastes and online shopping.

As for the VA Clinic, Porter said the federal government is considering several parcels for the proposed clinic. Porter said the new VA Clinic will help Putnam veterans because they will not have to drive to Nashville to get medical treatment.

“We’re just happy to know the new VA Clinic is coming to Cookeville and Putnam County,” Porter said. “It’s going to be great for our veterans, and we support our veterans here 100 percent. So we just want to see the clinic. We hope it comes to the fairgrounds, but if not as long as its coming to somewhere here in Cookeville, we’re happy.”