By Scott McKie
Cherokee One Feather
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians added more property to its holdings last Thursday as it closed on a parcel of land in Tennessee located off one of the state’s busiest exits.
“The EBCI’s purchase of the Dumplin Creek property, 197.524 acres located off Exit 407 of Interstate 40, is an exciting opportunity to further our economic development interests within our aboriginal territories,” Principal Chief Richard Sneed said. “The Kituwah, LLC, an organization tasked with vetting and pursuing economic development opportunities for the EBCI, will manage this property, and I am eager to see what proposals they come up with.”
Tribal officials noted there are no immediate plans to pursue gaming on the property and declined comment on the amount paid for the property.
“We can now begin the process to determine the highest and best use for the property,” Kituwah LLC Executive Director Mark Hubble said. “We expect that a mix of restaurants, hotels and entertainment options will be the primary focus of development. We are very confident that the site will be a very successful development that will benefit the tribe for decades.”
About 10-12 million vehicles per year pass through the I-40 Exit 407 interchange, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
The tribe purchased 122 acres in 2019 off the Exit 407 and just north of the Tennessee Smokies stadium. Tribal Council approved the purchase of that property in February 2019 and the sale became official in late spring.