Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than 200 new retailers have set up on the west side of town - including healthy alternatives. As for the east side ? A bad reputation is said to be the blame - and the reason why folks are saying nothing comes here.
In just one year, Cheddars, two Publix grocery stores, Chuy's, Chick-Fil-A - more than 200 new businesses opened up in West Knox County - as for the east side? Only 27.
One person who knows it well has a theory on why more businesses don't take root there.
"There's been plenty of murders in west and south and east - but if something happens in East Knoxville it's blown out of proportion," said
Awolowo believes, labels like gun zone and the ghetto keep retailers away.
Experts said, it's all about cash flow. The average income for someone on the east side is $40,000 less than someone in West Knoxville.
The Knox County Health Department said it's partnering with the city to find ways to put healthier alternatives on the east side.