timmay143

Cookeville News

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I didn't know Cookeville had a bus transit system. So I am not sure if this is brand new or a few years old. I don't remember it being there when I was at TTU a few years ago, but maybe I overlooked it. Anyways it is called CATS (Cookeville Area Transport System) similar to Knoxville's KATS I guess, and it is part of the UCHRA (Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.

Ok it looks like is it new according to a TTU fb news feed.

Cost for adults is $1.00 per trip, $3.00 for a day pass, $25 for a 30 trip pass, or $10.00 for a 10 trip pass; children 5 years and under ride free. (Tennessee Technological University students are free with student identification cards.) A ride ticket and all passes can be purchased at the UCHRA Putnam County Office.

CATS WEBSITE

UCHRA WEBSITE

Looks great! Let us know how it works out, Cookevillians!

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Glad to see a Cookeville thread on here.

 

There are several potentially major economic developments on the horizon for Cookeville:

 

1.  1100 new jobs with "Project Uno."  This was just announced yesterday.  City and county bodies are meeting this coming week to approve incentives for this 36-acre, $50 million project that will be located in the new Highlands Business Park located just west of the Willow Ave/Tennessee Tech University I-40 exit (286).

 

http://www.ucbjournal.com/news.php?id=3166

 

2.  700 new jobs with "Project Victor."  This was announced a couple of weeks ago.  This will be located on 256 acres adjacent to the Highlands Business Park.  Rumors are that this will be a distribution center for Academy Sports.

 

http://www.ucbjournal.com/news.php?id=3148

 

For these two developments, the state has promised to fast-track the new I-40 interchange with Mine Lick Creek Road which is on the western edge of Highland Business Park, about 2 miles west of exit 286.

 

3.  CHM Development of Knoxville (developers of University Commons and Northshore Town Center) and Browning Development of Nashville are teaming together to develop the Shoppes at Eagle Pointe (stupid name), a 236,000 square foot "lifestyle center" located on 40 acres at the corner of Walnut Ave and Interstate Drive, behind Logan's Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Cheddar's.  No tenants have been announced, but their web site says it should open in summer 2015.  Rumors are that it will include a Publix and Academy Sports.  CHM has developed a couple of Targets and all three Knoxville Publix locations.

 

http://www.browningcompanies.com/images/properties/1390077710.pdf

 

4.  While not "major," this is still pretty exciting.  The NC-based Cookout fast food joint is building a new store in Cookeville.  What makes this different is that, from what I can tell, this is their first location in Tennessee that will be built from scratch and not just a re-use of some other vacant fast food place.  It's going to be built on land that used to be a little water park (water slide) way back in the 70s and 80s and has been vacant ever since, on Jefferson Ave in front of Nick's restaurant and the Executive Inn.

 

http://www.ucbjournal.com/news.php?id=3165

 

 

 

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I saw that Rich Froning won another CrossFit games. Didn't know he was a Cookeville guy.

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^ Actually the Murfreesboro Cookout location was built from the ground up. However, all of this is great news for Cookeville, so much untapped potential. I wondered why it's taken developers this long to realize that it's the place people stop in between Nashville and Knoxville. There are strong demographics, incomes, a superb university and room for development. 

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^^^and, I might add, one of the most interesting, expansive, and walkable downtowns of all of Tennessee's small towns...

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I saw that Rich Froning won another CrossFit games. Didn't know he was a Cookeville guy.

 

Yeah I think this was his 4th time or so winning the CrossFit games.  There are a couple of CrossFit gyms in downtown Cookeville, and I think his is just around the corner from Ralph's Donuts which is pretty funny.  The other CrossFit gym is just down the street from an ice cream parlor that sells Mike's Ice Cream.  You can't make this stuff up.

 

^ Actually the Murfreesboro Cookout location was built from the ground up. However, all of this is great news for Cookeville, so much untapped potential. I wondered why it's taken developers this long to realize that it's the place people stop in between Nashville and Knoxville. There are strong demographics, incomes, a superb university and room for development. 

 

Ah so I was misinformed about that.  Sorry about that.  I was told that the Murfreesboro one had been something else.  It's certainly the biggest Cookout I've ever seen (and I'm kind of a Cookout junkie).  I doubt that Cookeville's will be that big although Cookout bought a one-acre lot so who knows.  But yeah Cookeville really is an untapped market.  It probably doesn't help that the Nashville media (especially the Tennessean) pretty much ignores the area.  The Tennessean loves to talk about "Middle Tennessee" when they really mean the Nashville MSA.  Anyway, there are 300,000 people in the 14-county Upper Cumberland Region of which Cookeville is at the center.  And as the Nashville MSA continues to creep eastward, Cookeville/Putnam County will definitely benefit.

 

^^^and, I might add, one of the most interesting, expansive, and walkable downtowns of all of Tennessee's small towns...

 

Yes it does!  Even though I don't live in Cookeville, I would live in downtown Cookeville in a heartbeat if I could.  It's not nearly as flashy or swank as downtown Franklin, but it is definitely very liveable and walkable, particularly considering the regional hospital and Tennessee Tech University are also within easy walking distance of downtown.

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It's official.  Academy Sports is building a 1.6 million square foot distribution center in Cookeville.  It will be the largest distribution center in the state under one roof and will employ 700.  The state has also promised to start construction on the new Mine Lick Creek I-40 exit this fall which should be finished just before the distribution center opens.  Exciting news for Cookeville and the entire Upper Cumberland region.

 

http://www.ucbjournal.com/news.php?id=3174

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It's official. Academy Sports is building a 1.6 million square foot distribution center in Cookeville. It will be the largest distribution center in the state under one roof and will employ 700. The state has also promised to start construction on the new Mine Lick Creek I-40 exit this fall which should be finished just before the distribution center opens. Exciting news for Cookeville and the entire Upper Cumberland region.

http://www.ucbjournal.com/news.php?id=3174

I heard about that. I'm hoping to get in on some of the business over there (I'm in the forklift battery industry).
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Great win for Cookeville! 256 acres is huge. Where exactly is this?

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Great win for Cookeville! 256 acres is huge. Where exactly is this?

 

Yeah it really is huge.  It's just south of where Mine Lick Creek Road crosses I-40 about 2 miles west of the Willow Ave/Burgess Falls/TTU exit (286).  If I can figure out how to do this, here's a map of the area.  This project is supposed to border Old Stewart Road.  In this map you can also see the new, four-lane road built for the new business park where 36 acres is supposedly going to be developed into "Project Uno" and its 1100 jobs.

 

https:[email protected],-85.5794004,1213m/data=!3m1!1e3

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(I'm in the forklift battery industry).

 

Now there's an niche market.  :thumbsup:

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Now there's an niche market. :thumbsup:

Tell me about it. I didn't even know it was a thing until I interviewed for the job.

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Great news for the area. I'd like to see TTU grow some more as well.

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Yeah it really is huge. It's just south of where Mine Lick Creek Road crosses I-40 about 2 miles west of the Willow Ave/Burgess Falls/TTU exit (286). If I can figure out how to do this, here's a map of the area. This project is supposed to border Old Stewart Road. In this map you can also see the new, four-lane road built for the new business park where 36 acres is supposedly going to be developed into "Project Uno" and its 1100 jobs.

https:[email protected],-85.5794004,1213m/data=!3m1!1e3

Thanks for the info. It's hard to imagine how Academy will need that much acreage.

Edited by CenterHill

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Thanks for the info. It's hard to imagine how Academy will need that much acreage.

 

With large warehouses, I think a lot of it is just buffer. They don't need it, but I can see how they want it.

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Yeah that is a lot of buffer. 1.6 million square feet is 40 acres, if I did my math correctly.  That's a lot of real estate under one roof (about 28 football fields), but it still leaves them with just under 200 acres around the warehouse.  It's going to be exciting to see this thing go up although I don't know how much will be visible from I-40.  I drove by there yesterday and couldn't see much from the interstate because of all the trees.

Edited by jmtunafish

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This one came out of left field.  The new owner of Oreck is bringing over 200 jobs from China and Mexico to an expanded Cookeville factory.  When TTI (who also owns Hoover and Dirt Devil) bought Oreck last year, many were afraid that TTI, which is based in Hong Kong, would shut down Oreck's Cookeville plant and move the operation overseas.  Instead, TTI is beefing up its Cookeville operations.  And this makes sense.  TTI sees the wisdom in capitalizing in the skilled, educated workforce and the central location available in that part of Tennessee.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/blog/2014/08/new-oreck-owner-to-add-more-than-200-jobs-at.html

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Nashville Jr. -- er, Cookeville is really on fire lately. If these job announcements (and their projected amount) holds to be true, this could have a big ripple effect throughout the economy. 

 

I think this could bring a big boost to the city's population. I hope city planners are ready for it.

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Still waiting on the Shoppes at Eagle Pointe (Publix, Academy Sports) to break ground.  The developer said they hoped to get started in May 2015 so I guess it could be any day. 

 

In the mean time, a Chattanooga developer, Hutton, is buying a public housing project, will tear down the 30'ish homes in the neighborhood and build a new supermarket with gas pumps.  Hutton has been developing Walmart Neighborhood Markets all over the place, so that's what is assumed to be going on here.  It's sad to see this neighborhood bulldozed for another Walmart, and it's ironic that Walmart is demolishing a neighborhood in order to build a Neighborhood Market.  But it's a very good location; when this housing project was built it was way on the outskirts of town, but it's now in the thick of things.  Immediately south of it is a shopping center with Office Max and Walgreens.  Immediately to the west is a shopping center with Belk, Sears, Kohl's, Old Navy, TJMaxx, Petco, and others.  Here's the neighborhood in question:

 

Jackson%20amp%20Willow_zpsumc0uvoo.png

Edited by jmtunafish
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In additional development news, a consortium of private individuals and government entities has formed a partnership called Auxin which plans to build a 20,000 square foot conference center and four-story hotel in downtown Cookeville where the old Wilson Sporting Goods factory now stands.  This development is supposed to include some retail.  Details are fuzzy, but we do know that the government entities involved with Auxin are the city of Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee Tech University, Upper Cumberland Development District, and Cookeville Regional Medical Center.  Plans were unveiled last night, but I can't find an online rendering.

 

Anyone who has ever been to Cookeville's Westside district downtown has seen the old Wilson building.  It's across the street from the Depot.  It's had a long and storied past, once being the place where jerseys were made for teams such as the Atlanta Braves and Dallas Cowboys.  Part of the building is being used as a laser tag course, an Asian grocery store, and the crossfit gym of Rich Froning (ESPN's "fittest man on earth") so I don't know what's to come of those businesses, if anything.Wilson_zpspygxtvry.jpg

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Cookeville has come a long way.  The commerical growth did not occur until the local government pass "liqour by the drink" in the mid '90s.  That is when all the casual sit-down dining establishments like Applebes came to town.

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Cookeville has come a long way.  The commerical growth did not occur until the local government pass "liqour by the drink" in the mid '90s.  That is when all the casual sit-down dining establishments like Applebes came to town.

 

Very true. I had friends who were living in Cookeville at the time and were opposed to liquor by the drink.  Yet they would drive all the way to Nashville to eat at Red Lobster.  Having liquor by the drink really started the beginning of Cookeville's growth spurt.  I think it helped attract a lot more retirees than before in addition to telecommuters to Nashville and those who work out of home and can live anywhere.  Even though I don't drink, I was very supportive of the liquor by the drink initiative and am glad it passed.  Not only has it brought restaurants to town like Olive Garden, Outback, Chili's, Red Lobster, Longhorn, etc., but some of the locally owned restaurants have really stepped up, places like Spankie's, Nick's, Crawdaddy's, Mama Rosa's, and some wonderful, new independent places have opened like Char, Cooke House, Mauricio's, Father Tom's, Seven Senses, Taiko, and some others whose names I can't think of right now.

 

Even though I don't drink, I really do wish that a microbrewery would open up downtown.  It would go over like gangbusters and would make downtown Cookeville even more attractive.  I've heard that there were a couple of proposals to do that but I don't know what happened with those.

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Project UNO still has legs and looks to be more promising than ever.  This past Friday the Industrial Development Board finalized the paperwork to bring this unnamed company to town.  The number of jobs has been reduced from 1100 to 900, but that's still a pretty significant number of jobs.  In the agreement, the company will get free land in the new Highlands Business Park where they will spend $50 million to build a facility that will employ 600 by the end of 2016, 800 by the end of 2017, and 900 "shortly thereafter."  They'll also not pay any property taxes but will instead pay $125,000/year PILOT every year, to be split by the city and county.  In return, the city and county are each ponying up $1.25 million to help the company with site improvements and construction of its 265,000 square foot facility.

 

In related news, the city last week agreed to start moving water and gas lines around there so the state can start building the new I-40 interchange where the business park and the Academy Sport distribution center are located.

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Here's a shot of the area where most of the new industrial development in Cookeville is taking place.  The black circle is where the new I-40 interchange is going to go; it's two miles west of Exit 280 (Willow Ave).  Just SW of that in red is where the 1.6 million square foot Academy Sports distribution center is being built.  In blue is the Highlands Business Park where the mysterious Project UNO is going.  Tennessee Tech is also building a business incubator somewhere in there.  Also, a new, limited access highway is going to be built from this new interchange to Hwy 70N a couple of miles north of here.  That highway will include an interchange at Buffalo Valley Road.

 

highlands_zpsdpxg2itd.png

Edited by jmtunafish
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Glad to hear of a connector from I-40 to 70N on that west end of Cookeville.  Bad need of such a route to complement SR-111 on the east, which has been in place since the mid-'70s.  Also good to know of planning out-of-the-box by interchanging to B-Valley Rd.  Haven't done much roaming in Cookev'l in about 40 years, when I used to hang with buddies at Tech and from nearby Sparta, but i do get to go there still now and then (and to Silver Point and Baxter).  That's why I can appreciate the change and proposal.

-==-

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