Hutton, a Chattanooga-based commercial real estate, development and construction company, has purchased the former Kroger building in the Maryville Commons shopping center.
Construction began last week on the redevelopment of the property at 730 Watkins Road in Maryville.
Matt Phillips, vice president of real estate for Hutton, said the building will be completely renovated and expanded to include multiple retail shops.
“We’re taking what was previously a free-standing Kroger and dividing it into four different tenant spaces,” Phillips told The Daily Times. “We’re also adding on to the Aubrey’s side of the building to fill in the gaps.”
Although the company is currently in the process of securing permission to release tenants’ names, the finished project will bring a total of six new businesses to the area.
Phillips said Hutton was attracted to the property for its frequent traffic flow and close proximity to Target and other popular retailers.
“Being adjacent to Target is a great opportunity for us to play off that existing traffic and bring some life back to a very important property for Maryville,” he explained. “Kroger left a big void there, and it’s an opportunity to bring some life back to that void.”
The redevelopment is expected to be completed by this summer.
“It’s an exciting project,” Phillips said. “The city of Maryville was instrumental in making this happen.”
Maryville’s city manager Greg McClain said the city council voted in August to approve a resolution allowing the Blount County Industrial Development Board to hold ownership of the property and accept Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for the redevelopment of the site.
The PILOT program, which essentially takes the property off the tax roll, is the city’s effort to keep traffic driving through the Maryville Commons shopping center, he said.
“When you see something like Kroger suddenly go away, you begin to wonder how that’s affecting all the other businesses and restaurants,” McClain said. “We have to be conscious of the possibility of a center like that losing ground.”