Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) September 20, 2011
Cataloochee Holdings, LLC recently appointed their board of directors to oversee the 4,500-acre Cataloochee Wilderness Resort being developed next to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Under the leadership of Chairman Don Buenger, the board of directors have successfully assembled land, put equity funding in place and lined up construction funding. The large-scale, mixed use project will be developed in seven phases, and is moving forward under the stewardship of the board. The first phase of the project will include retail, a resort style lodge/conference center and residential units.
Cataloochee Holdings, LLC is pleased to formally announce their board of directors:
Chairman of the Board – Donald C. Buenger, AIA, Principal, Urban Design Group
Board Member – Randall Beard, CPA, Partner, Randall Beard & Company, P.C.
Board Member – J. Michael Sweigart, President, JMS Real Estate
Board Member – Kevin J. McOmber, Senior Vice President, Clark Patterson Lee
Board Member – Jerry B. Pospisil, President, JBP Consulting II
A vision for the project was conceived years earlier, and now economic conditions have improved to an extent where the project ownership has determined the development is viable. The new leadership team predicts the region will hit the peak of economic recovery in approximately two years, which is the time frame required for construction.
“Real estate and development are extremely challenging at this particular time,” said Don Buenger, Chairman of the Board. “What is needed is a carefully orchestrated strategy for a project with inherent high value. Eyes wide open; we are deep into to this process. We have a vision and around this we have carefully assembled the best partners to infuse our developing strategy with depth, energy and creativity.”
Phase One includes a lifestyle development featuring family entertainment, an exceptional mix of retail shopping, resort lodging, fine dining and residential opportunities. The initial phase will include three major developments: the 134-acre Village Commons retail center, 68-acre Wilderness Lodge Resort, and a unique facility called OutdoorWorld. Within OutdoorWorld, three large outdoor lifestyle retailers will be physically arranged in a pinwheel about a museum dedicated to the past and present outdoor wonders of the region. The Lodge is being developed by an internationally known resort hotel operator and will open within months of the Village Commons.
Ground breaking for the site is anticipated in early spring 2012 with a potential completion date of the retail components in 2013. The anticipated construction costs for just the retail elements and the museum is approximately $220 million. The development is anticipated to create hundreds of jobs and spur much economic development for the region. Permanent employment, when Phase One is fully completed, is projected to be 2,000.
The Resort is located at the gateway to the most visited park in North America, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and is only twenty minutes from the most visited (4.5 million annual visitors) tourist attraction in North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. It will be one of the only Resorts in the United States with 1.7 million acres of National Parks so accessible to the property. The project also benefits from high visibility from I-40 and US 276. More than 40,000 cars per day now pass this scenic location.
For more information, please visit http://www.cataloocheewildernessresort.com.