Plans for the new Walden grocery store and village center released
A new developer, Southeast Capital Partners, has applied to the City of Walden to convert the former Lines Orchid property into Walden View, a mixed-use village center. The Walden View plan leverages the anchor of a new grocery store to offer retail outlets, patio restaurants, rooftop offices and single-family homes. The plan optimizes outdoor meeting spaces for the public with a plaza courtyard and a village square with a stage, pavilion and splash pool.
“We are excited to offer the city the opportunity to enable Walden View to open its desired downtown with our curated vision for shopping, dining, entertainment and cottages,” said John Argo of SE Capital Partners. “Upon approval, Walden View will become the ideal platform for the city to attract a quality grocer to the community, and we are poised to make that happen.”
Mr. Argo and his teams of engineers, architects and other professionals designing Walden View are hosting a community meeting Monday at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1716 Anderson Pike on Signal Mountain. More complete information on the proposed new grocery store in Walden will be available at the meeting.
“We studied Walden’s new land use plan closely to ensure the design met the desires of the citizens of Walden,” said Colin Johnson, vice president of RaganSmith Engineers, who is working with the developer on the project. “The updated plan is the culmination of the first round of coordination efforts with Walden executives and implements a number of improvements based on their feedback.”
Improvements enhanced sustainability by incorporating rain gardens, permeable walkways, and electric vehicle charging stations. The project’s green profile includes sidewalks for walkability and user connectivity, a trailhead for a future nature trail to Middle Creek, and the settlement of most of the 25-acre open space.
The updated plan shows more clearly the stages of development of the village center; With the grocery store project demonstrating the first phase of the Walden View village center, the plan can explore the integration of other future village center components.
The new parking lot design includes a linear park that runs the full length of the property, connecting the grocery store with the plaza’s courtyard while creating two appropriately sized parking areas.
The Walden View team is studying all of the infrastructure needed to mitigate potential traffic impacts and believe installing a traffic signal at the Taft and Timesville intersection will be warranted. The project will have its own internal systems for rainwater collection and management, as well as underground wastewater treatment.
The design for the grocery store would adhere to the aesthetic of Walden’s mountain context. Shops are placed in such a way that they form an architectural edge to the outer streetscape with small-scale facades. Pedestrian walkway and rest area lighting will be aligned with Walden’s Dark Skies initiative, keeping residents’ view of the night’s stars clear.
The 29,365-square-foot grocery store model is planned as a full-service model while being proportionally sized to match the density of the mountain market it would serve. It is a different brand than the one suggested here before.
Officials said it would not only provide Walden residents with an alternative grocery shopping convenience without leaving the mountain, but it would also provide the community with a wide selection of affordable goods while creating jobs, generating funds for schools, and increasing sales and other tax revenue who pay for public services.
The grocer targeted by the developer of Walden View is not only known for its unmatched quality; They are also respected for being environmentally conscious, actively working with local schools and known as advocates for supporting local communities, officials said.
In addition to several hundred construction jobs, Walden View will create a mix of more than 200 full-time and part-time positions at various pay levels; Among them will be opportunities for teenagers and young adults to work close to home in a safe and clean place with trusted brands.
Walden View is projected to generate average annual revenue increases of $273,000 annually in sales and property taxes in Walden and $355,000 annually in sales and property taxes in Hamilton County. Such commercial source income for their local tax returns is typically used to expand community infrastructure, meet other community-wide needs, and maintain existing services. Such “payments” by companies allow local governments not to impose an additional tax burden on residents, officials said.