More construction is underway on Millertown Pike – just a stone’s throw away from the failing East Towne Mall. Richardson Turner Construction Company (RTC) is erecting a new Arby’s restaurant on the corner of Millertown Pike and Loves Creek Road. The street address for the $750,000 structure, owned by SS Millertown LLC, is 5345 Millertown Pike.
Willis Lay, RTC’s site construction superintendent, projects the completion of the building by Christmas, assuming Mother Nature cooperates. The site has been rough graded and the drainage and underground piping has mostly been installed. Meantime, the building pad has been poured and the construction crew has been busy framing the basic structure. This time of year, job one is getting the building under roof. Then the interior finishes can proceed without weather interference.
Millertown is a busy road, with a segment carrying some 21,000 cars per day. Readers will recall that this site had previously been slated for another fast food restaurant, a Hardee’s, but that transaction did not go through. Just last week, Aldi’s opened its new food store just east of this location. An existing Food City grocery store is nearby.
Many other businesses serve the area. Millertown Pike already sports several fast food businesses, including Burger King, McDonald’s, Zaxby’s, Domino’s Pizza and Sonic, as well as traditional restaurants like Tangerine, Texas Roadhouse and Cracker Barrel with a nearby Applebee’s and Wendy’s located along the mall periphery road. Sam’s Club and Walmart are also located here. In addition, Tim Graham’s shopping center, called Isaiah Landing, located just across I-640, features both a Lowe’s and a Home Depot building supply stores. Moreover, nearby Washington Pike has its own business complex under Target’s banner.
Years ago, East Towne Mall was the main center of activity in this Millertown and Washington Pike business area. Locals continue to wonder whether current mall owners, Henry and Wallace and/or its business partners, will begin the needed revitalization of the soon-to-be-shuttered mall. Most folks would rather avoid congested west Knoxville as we enter the busy holiday shopping season.
Nick Della Volpe is a lawyer and a former member of Knoxville City Council.