'Miracle Mile' developer says he's meeting with Somerset mayor, city attorney

A Google map shows location and layout of proposed Miracle Mile Complex.

The developer of the proposed Miracle Mile Complex in far eastern Pulaski County said he will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 3 with Somerset Mayor Alan Keck and City Attorney John Adams to discuss what he hopes will be Somerset's participation in the project.

Anthony (Tony) Del Spina wants to develop a Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge-type attraction near the Rockcastle River. Somerset's natural gas pipeline from near Hyden runs through his property and he wants Somerset to extend water and sewer lines from Valley Oak Commerce Complex easterly through the wilderness to his proposed development.

Del Spina told the Commonwealth Journal he will suggest to Somerset officials that the city annex the Ky.80 corridor to his property and take the development area into the city limits. "The city could develop the entire area along the way," Del Spina said.

The proposed development will be divided into two parcels: Phase One, 300 acres on the north side of Ky. 80, and Phase two, 125 acres on the south side, (intended for future expansion). Each tract contains 2,000 feet of Ky. 80 frontage. Both parcels are centrally located, 19 miles from the heart of Somerset and 13 miles to London's I-75 interchange. Del Spina said much of the area has been cleared with heavy equipment that mulched the trees leaving the area completely flat for the development.

The front 100 acres will accommodate retail stores and lodging accommodations. The remaining 200 acres will provide residents and tourist entertainment and park attractions such as amphitheater events, nature trails, petting zoo, observation tower with chair lifts, zip lines, horseback riding through the adjacent Daniel Boone National Forest, among numerous additional activities, Del Spina's plan notes.

A mile of roadways will circle though 1 million square feet of commercial-retail buildings, Del Spina said. The remaining 200-acres behind the center will house a multitude of amenities planned to entice the public to visit what is intended to provide an altogether different shopping experience. Educational guided tours of attractions within the Daniel Boone National Forest will be incorporated in the master plan.

An outdoor, 25-acre amphitheater area will offer special entertainment events throughout four seasons, Del Spina said. Heavy emphasis on Somernites Cruise, festivals, arts and craft shows, Christmas Wonderland, New Year's extravaganzas, Easter hunts, traditional Thanksgiving events and laser light Fourth of July shows will surely attract and over book on-site hotel/motel and restaurant accommodations, Del Spina suggested.

Del Spina made the original announcement about the lavish development in March 2017. The State Transportation Cabinet at the time would not make necessary road improvements. Former Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler wanted what Del Spina considered an excessive $20 million to extend water and sewer lines to the project. Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley declined to float a bond and a public meeting planned at The Center for Rural Development to discuss the project never materialized.

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