ANTIOCH, Tenn. - As one of the fastest growing zip codes in Davidson County, Antioch is set to see massive development happen over the next few years, which is a turning point for an area that was once in decline.
"It was just a different area," said Danny Butler, General Manager for the Ford Ice Center, who oversaw the construction of the ice rink about four years ago. "There were two Best Buys that left, a Circuit City that left, all those big box stores were just sitting empty. A lot of the hotels hadn't been updated, restaurants hadn’t been updated, a lot of things just hadn’t been done or had been neglected in the Antioch area. Over the last three years, we’re seeing that change."
Recently, Antioch celebrated the opening of a new library and community center, but more is in the works.
A Metro Parks plan calls for the former Starwood Amphitheater to be transformed into 600 acres of green space, complete with a dog park, miles of hiking trails, and a space for concerts and festivals.
Additionally, retail giant IKEA announced plans to open an Antioch location in 2020. An addition that's already attracting smaller businesses, like local restaurant start-up Slim and Husky's who plans to renovate a former Applebee's in Antioch in order to open its second location.
City officials hope those additions are just the start.
"Our hope with Slim and Huskies is that we’ll be able to attract some of those small business owners that want to open up hip, young, trendy restaurants into the Antioch area," said councilwoman Karen Johnson.
However, with change comes new challenges. Johnson said infrastructure will be a leading priority for her moving forward.
"We’re already at gridlock in the mornings and that’s the number one thing I hear from my constituents," Johnson said.
Some have said traffic isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"Traffic’s worse, but that’s a good thing," Butler said. "Traffic’s bad, that means people are coming back to Antioch and want to be in the area."