The Cookeville Planning Commission allowed a future Commercial development to move forward Monday after voting to rezone a single family residential area on East 10th Street and Old Kentucky Road.
Titan Development plans to construct a 150,000 square foot shopping center on the 14-acre property.
Representative Wayne Cravens said the company intends to help Cookeville grow responsibly.
“This property has been a vacant field for many years, but to the North and South of it are very prominent neighborhoods,” Cravens said. “I know a lot of people in these neighborhoods and the last thing that we want to do is create a situation that’s going to be detrimental to them in the long run. We felt like we could create a neighborhood center that would still preserve the look and the feel of the neighborhood.”
At least 10 nearby residents spoke out against the development during Monday’s meeting with many of their concerns about increased traffic.
East 10th Street resident Amanda Carlen said the plans were too much for the area.
“I’m very concerned about the traffic and if the grocery store doesn’t do well and it closes. I think something is going to go there, but I just don’t know if we need that much to go there,” Carlen said. “I appreciate what they’ve done and I like the way that it looks. I’m just concerned with what it’s going to do with my property values and my time to get in and out of my house.”
East 10th Street resident Jerry Cantrell said he worries that the building won’t be taken care of.
“Anyone remember the Cookeville Mall? Remember when it was booming and we were promised that it was going to be a landmark? Go look at it now,” Cantrell said. “If that happens on East 10th Street, I don’t want to look at it.”
The Titan Development plan calls for building a mid-sized grocery store with a pharmacy and fuel center. Casual dining, fast food, and specialty cafe options would also be included along with a possible bank.
Cravens said the development would bring in an estimated $750,000 to $1 million in sales tax revenue per year.
“We’ve estimated that this could create over 200 new jobs and offer area residents some alternatives for having to drive across town,” Cravens said.
Titan Development has also agreed to address any traffic issues that may arise from the development. One improvement would include the widening of East 10th Street.
“We felt like we could help participate in the improvement in 10th Street. We never intended to be a party of trying to add to an already bad situation there,” Cravens said. “We new there would have to be some expansion and help. One of the things we planned early on was a light on 10th Street and Doris Drive.”
The Planned Commercial Development rezoning still needs approval from the Cookeville City Council. Council members will first need approve an amendment to the 2030 plan to allow the rezoning to occur. The Planning Commission approved the amendment during the October meeting.
The city council will meet January 3rd to vote on the amendment. If voted down, the commission’s rezoning approval would be stopped in its tracks.
The planning commission voted 8-1 to rezone the property. Commissioner Tracy Cody voted no.