2007-01-31, 14:35

A new village at the foot of the Great Smokies

By: Jonathan Groner
A new "village" is opening up soon in Gatlinburg, Tenn., at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, less than two hours from Asheville, N.C.

Known as White Oak Flats, this will be a 15-acre, $50 million development that will include 84 luxury condominiums and about 50 retail shops, food, and entertainment venues. The theme will be the heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains and Southern Appalachian arts and crafts. Publicity materials say:

"Highly respected professionals who have been designers and planners for Disney and MGM have carefully master-planned White Oak Flats to be an environmentally sensitive development with native arts and crafts, exquisite dining, a fully operational winery, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and a magnificent mountain lodge.

"From homemade ice cream to gourmet coffee and pastries to a country deli or an upscale restaurant featuring continental cuisine, the Settlement at White Oak Flats provides a wide range of dining and snacking experiences. And from a playhouse to an amphitheater to quaint boutiques full of unusual finds and galleries featuring Appalachian’s best artisans, there is something for everyone.

"The Settlement at White Oak Flats is truly a unique small town experience."

This is a different vision of mixed use -- more like a luxury condominium community with a mountain lodge and various forms of entertainment. It's an attempt to replicate a small town, but a very affluent one.

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