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What’s Happening in Oak Ridge, Tennessee!

By: Steve Goldman, CCIM
Photo compliments of Y-12

Photo compliments of Y-12

If you don’t know much about the Knoxville suburb of Oak Ridge (also known as The Secret City) and the latest economic news, here’s some key information.

Y-12 National Security Complex & Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL)

Oak Ridge is home to two United States Department of Energy facilities and their high tech/high wage employees: The Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL).

The Y-12 National Security Complex, helps maintain the nation’s nuclear weapons, stores the nation’s supply of weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium, disassembles nuclear weapons components, supplies the highly enriched uranium fuel used in the U.S. Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers, and provides the fuel for the few remaining highly enriched uranium research reactors around the world. Y-12 is Oak Ridge’s largest employer.

The $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project is underway at the Y-12 National Security complex. It is the biggest single construction project ever in the state of Tennessee.

Photo compliments of ORNL

Photo compliments of ORNL

Nearby, the vast Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) is the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy lab. Half of the lab’s work is basic research with about 25 percent related to national security. For example, at the ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, officials showed off products made by 3-D printing, or so-called additive manufacturing.

ORNL has a staff of 4,400 including scientists and engineers in more than 100 disciplines. In addition, ORNL annually receives 3,200 users and visiting scientists.  Read more.

Horizon Center

Horizon Center is East Tennessee’s premier business, technology & industrial park. Located in the world-class scientific community of Oak Ridge, Horizon Center is a state-of-the-art park in a campus-like setting situated approximately 10 miles from the central business district.  Read more.

Photo compliments of

Photo compliments of

New Kroger Marketplace

The Kroger Marketplace opened on June 28, 2015 and is located at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Illinois Avenue. At 124,000 square feet, this is the largest Kroger in both the Knoxville and Nashville markets, and is the third Kroger Marketplace in the Knoxville area. This store employs a total of 375 workers, including the 270 new jobs created. This new grocery store features larger bakery, dairy, deli, meat, seafood, and produce sections, it also has a Kroger Fuel Center.  Read more.

Photo compliments of RealtyLink, LLC

Site plan compliments of RealtyLink, LLC

Oak Ridge Mall Redevelopment

The 58+ acre mall is in the process of being redeveloped. RealtyLink, a South Carolina retail developer, has recently taken over this project and is planning to have parts of it up and running by fall 2016.

RealtyLink is hoping to create a downtown-feel for the area. The master plan shows many retailers staying in the area, including Walmart, JC Penney, Belk, and Cinemark. RealtyLink has said that the redevelopment will create almost 1,000 new jobs and will increase annual city and county sales tax revenues by more than $2 million.  Read more.

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