Ben Atchley Street Controversy

BEARDEN, Tenn. (WVLT) --Knox County developer Tony Cappiello wants to help bring a new woman’s clothing store to Bearden, but at the cost of closing Ben Atchley Street and handing it over for development.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission already voted down a proposal by developer Tony Cappiello to close the street in spite of the city's recommendation. He is appealing their decision.

Ben Atchley Street was named in honor of State Senator Ben Atchley and is only about a block long. But to businesses along the street, is a vital artery bringing prospective customers to their stores. Southern Market along with other nearby businesses don't oppose Anthropologie moving in, they just oppose closing the street. Their studies show hundreds of cars travel the 200 foot street every day.

John King represents businesses along the street and has this to say, “It's not a good public policy to convey that property to a private person for his or her use, or their private gain as opposed to the interest of others affected by that."

Tony Cappiello wants to create a pedestrian village connecting the two properties where the street bisects. A new parking area would then be shared by all neighboring businesses. But local businesses object because they claim they would lose accessibility and visibility to Kingston Pike. The Metropolitan Planning Commission will review and vote on Tony Cappiello's appeal Tuesday.

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