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Old 03-14-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Limestone,TN/Bucerias, Mexico
1,452 posts, read 2,936,632 times
Reputation: 496

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This is a wonderful group, accomplishing great things in downtown JC and elsewhere. They have a terrific site on Facebook - and *every day* there is a new positive story about happenings in the area. For anyone who has resisted the facebook fad, this site is a compelling reason to at least join FB, if only to read news about our area - from train depot updates to NE Community College's interest in coming downtown to auctions of DT buildings to the new 'Young Professionals' group, etc.. Oh, yes, also the new historic markers installed downtown. They are finally making things happen - and letting the community know about it!

Washington County Economic Development Council | Facebook
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,532 posts, read 14,932,920 times
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I think a major factor here is that the metro economic development gurus brought in a CEO from Atlanta that totally understood the importance of creating (and creating the image of) a nascent downtown district. I'm all for local hiring and local expertise but seems like very few peeps around here get sustainable development.

Also I believe that Dan Reese is behind the scenes there too and he's a brilliant guy.

I'm pretty excited about the future of our area. Kingsport is really in the ball with downtown; I think really good things could come from the center for advanced manufacturing. Eastman posted good earnings. Bristol is also doing very well with King Pharma being sold. Washington County under new leadership seems to be pursuing more land to grade, package and push for manufacturing relocations.

I heard Pete Peterson speak the other day, and he was under the impression that the "next wave" of retail is coming to the Tri-Cities. Though he was talking about Johnson City and Kingsport fighting for the tax dollars, I'm still not sure about that, though. Do you really think a Macys or specialty (Crate and Barrel, etc.) would locate here? ehhh....
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Limestone,TN/Bucerias, Mexico
1,452 posts, read 2,936,632 times
Reputation: 496
Besides Dan Reese, the other terrific (and very humble) guy who is defining these changes is Alan Bridwell of the JCEDC who was one of the first folks to do something wonderful on-line for JC with the johnsonsdepot website, focused on the history of the railroads but so much more. Then there's a guy who's written a lot about JC history in the Press and elsewhere (Bob something?). They seem like a pretty fantastic team - willing to push the envelope and the neat thing is I believe they're all from this area! They are smart, creative and sharp and willing to learn and listen! That latter not in great quantity in the past.. They were the spark downtown needed - and I don't think they're going away anytime soon!

(Didn't Reese and Bridwell go to Nashville to try to save some funding for the depot that the JCDA had given up on?) And, in fact some of those TDOT grants have been abandoned because apparently the restrictions did not conform with the JCDA's plans... (Hey, but didn't they KNOW that before they wrote the grants?)

Macy's??? Well, guess JC has come up in the world if *they* locate here. Maybe with the whole area as a customer base they might succeed - but [of course] I see downtown retail as such a logical place to push.. Do we not have an overload of corporate retail for this area's shoppers to support?
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Limestone,TN/Bucerias, Mexico
1,452 posts, read 2,936,632 times
Reputation: 496
I should have know this - that noted historian who has written may articles about JC's history is Bob Cox...
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