Midway’s men in the middle

Sandra ClarkEast Knox, Let's Talk

We talked today (2/18) with both U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett and state Rep. Dave Wright about the possible sale of Midway Business Park to a solo buyer, rumored to be Jordan Mollenhour. Earlier story here.

Burchett said he had been briefed on negotiations. He is not happy, but is “optimistically unhappy.”

Wright said it was news to him. “But we had guidelines on (the rezoning) – no gas stations, fast food or motels.” Wright said if the property is sold, “We’ve got to be sure that the promises made to the community are fulfilled.”

And therein lies the rub. Midway Road was never a good location for a traditional business park. It’s too remote and has sinkholes. Team Ragsdale bought the property and it looks like Team Jacobs will sell it. Meanwhile, for eight years, Team Burchett, with steady assistance from District 8 county commissioner Dave Wright, were the men in the middle.

Tugged by the Chamber to make Midway work, Burchett and Wright burned time, money and political capital with studies, concessions, meetings, consultants, an ice cream social and even an almost $14 million elementary school to make peace. These men in the middle made promises and must ensure fulfillment.

Request for correction: Mike Donila, spokesperson for Mayor Glenn Jacobs, says the mayor is not friends with Jordan Mollenhour, as stated in our earlier story. “They barely know each other.” Continuing to check on this.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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