More development possible on South Illinois Avenue

South Purdue Land Use Plan

The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission on Thursday will consider amending the Land Use Plan to change the designation on parcels 39 and 40 above from residential to business. The parcels are next to Aldi grocery (Parcel 43 at right) and between South Purdue Avenue (white road center right) and South Illinois Avenue (yellow road at bottom). The Planning Commission could consider rezoning the property in July. The new Weigels gas station and convenience store is off the map to the left on Parcel 41. Potomac Circle is at top left. (Image courtesy State of Tennessee)


The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission on Thursday will consider amending the city’s Land Use Plan to change the designation of more than two acres on busy South Illinois Avenue from residential to business, possibly to allow a small multi-tenant building to be constructed.

The two parcels being considered are sandwiched between two other recent developments—Weigels gas station and convenience store on one side and Aldi grocery on the other—and also near the new Aubrey’s restaurant, Panera Bread, Ole Ben Franklin Motors, and Bojangles’ restaurant.

A Nashville development group has a contract on the property, Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin said Monday. [Read more…]

Ole Ben Franklin Motors opens Thursday, sixth new business in south Oak Ridge

Ole Ben Franklin Motors Building and Sign

Eric Martin of Sign Co. Inc. in Knoxville installs lettering at Ole Ben Franklin Motors on South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge on Tuesday.

Ole Ben Franklin Motors, the largest independent used car lot in Tennessee, is expanding into Oak Ridge, and the company’s new location on South Illinois Avenue will open Thursday, the owner said Tuesday.

It will be the sixth business to open in a little more than one year in a one-third mile stretch of the busy roadway at the southern entrance to central Oak Ridge.

“We want to be part of (the growth),” said Mike Mencer, owner of the Knoxville-based company.

Mencer said the Ole Ben Franklin Motors lot at the former Dean Stallings Ford could have more than 100 cars when it opens at 9 a.m. Thursday. He said the company has a great selection of used cars, can offer financing through its own bank, and has been in business for 30 years. [Read more…]