Five Points to move forward

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
kfarley@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Five Points to move forward

Posted: 01/23/2006
 Five Points Plaza developer LeRoy Thompson plans a joint venture with a familiar name. Thompson will partner with Norman Wright of the Cox & Wright family to operate the Village Plaza grocery store in East Knoxville.

Thompson's BDT Development & Management LLC, as majority owner of the Village Plaza, recruited the family-owned Cox & Wright Food Center to operate the grocery store as a joint venture with his company. The firms are buying out the interest of D&W LLC, which was to have been a joint venture of John Davis and Jim Woods.

"We have all worked very hard to see this project through, and I'm committed to completing this project and running a successful community-based grocery store," said LeRoy Thompson, president of BDT Development & Management. "We are focused on getting the doors open as quickly as possible."

John Davis, and his wife, Pilar, which had operated the Express Mart on the site, were among those who sold their property to Knoxville's Community Development Corporation for the redevelopment project. Mr. Davis partnered with Jim Woods, president of the grocery chain Smith and Woods, to operate the grocery store. Mr. Woods was to provide initial working captial and management expertise. Woods notified the City of Knoxvile and Davis that financial and health issues prevented Mr. Woods from continuing with the project."I am disappointed that I have had to end my involvement in this project, but I simply had no choice," Mr. Davis said. "I did not have the financial backing or the management expertise to do this project alone. "I want the people of East Knoxville, and the Five Points area in particular, to know that I believe in them and I believe in that neighborhood," he added. "I appreciate LeRoy stepping up to make this additional investment in our community, and am confident this shopping center will be a success."In addition to BDT, funding for the $6 million Five Points project comes from the City of Knoxville, federal Empowerment Zone funds, Knox County, the Partnership for Neighborhood Improvement, and KUB."Our first goal in supporting this project has been to create a community grocery store that provides quality service, specialized products and creates employment opportunities," said Renee Kesler, the City's director of community development. "Secondly, we wanted to encourage strong minority participation and ownership in the project. I believe this new agreement will accomplish both goals."

Completion of the 20,000-square-foot grocery store is continuing and the store is expected to open in six to eight weeks, pending various regulatory approvals.

The center also includes 12,000 square feet of retail space. Tenants include Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, J-R's House of Fashion and a Knox County Clerk's satellite office, as well as other small shops.