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Old 01-01-2015, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Kingsport
182 posts, read 213,982 times
Reputation: 144

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I'm looking at this from a different perspective. I can't help but wonder if the marketing tactic used by the Pinnacle is working. The development is marketing itself on a regional basis instead of using city demographics. It uses the half-million population number and high disposable income data to attract clients. This approach is also slowly being used in the background in economic development. The region's demographic is a lot more appealing that what cities offer in their recruitment efforts. I realize one of the primary city revenue sources in sales tax but I'm not convinced the shop local movement has all that much power over consumers' decision on where to shop and what to buy. It will be interesting to see how the shopping patters wash out over time.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Jonesborough, TN
690 posts, read 1,273,405 times
Reputation: 705
Feankly, i dont think the marketing has as much to do with it as the fact that bass pro basically got a free store. Bristol residents paid $9 million to help construct it, and $25 million to help offset the cost of the developer. And i dont think bass pro pays sales tax for a year.

When you reduce the risks, they will come. Even if bass pro never makes a dime off the place, they can shut down and leave and it will be the taxpayers who have lost money, not bass pro.

Governments should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. That is exactly what is happening when you subsidize the costs of Bass Pro without doing the same to the smaller, local business selling the same type of thing. We force the smaller stores out of business so that the bigger stores can make risk free money at the taxpayer's expense. It does not make economic or moral sense to me.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Kingsport
182 posts, read 213,982 times
Reputation: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jchometeam View Post
Feankly, i dont think the marketing has as much to do with it as the fact that bass pro basically got a free store. Bristol residents paid $9 million to help construct it, and $25 million to help offset the cost of the developer. And i dont think bass pro pays sales tax for a year.

When you reduce the risks, they will come. Even if bass pro never makes a dime off the place, they can shut down and leave and it will be the taxpayers who have lost money, not bass pro.

Governments should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. That is exactly what is happening when you subsidize the costs of Bass Pro without doing the same to the smaller, local business selling the same type of thing. We force the smaller stores out of business so that the bigger stores can make risk free money at the taxpayer's expense. It does not make economic or moral sense to me.

I don't have all the ins and outs of their subsidies, but I think you're spot on with the governments increasing involvement in retail. I understand why it's being done, but I do know there are fewer retail jobs in the Tri-Cities than there were before the recession. Incentives for industrial development has a long history of being expensive to taxpayers who often never see the benefits they paid for and since the new mft. being creating are paying less this is becoming of a losing proposition. The same is likely true of retail recruitment. Basically it's increasing the supply for retail while the demand - in the form of jobs and better wages - have declined. I'd prefer to see tax dollars used to improve infrastructure rather than enticing retail relocation and replacement.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 822,197 times
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I just don't think the idea of a regional retail center will work. It was tried years ago near the airport and never prospered. Plus with The Pinnacle, Tri Cities Crossing, and The Falls, there will be three separate "regional" shopping complexes all within 20 miles of each other. It just isn't sustainable.

If I was a mid to higher end retailer like J Crew or Ann Taylor, why would I want to locate at The Pinnacle where my target customer base will have to travel 40 minutes to shop? If you look at nearby areas with similar development/store selection, Turkey Creek is in the wealthiest area of the Knoxville region and Biltmore Village/Park the same for Asheville. Even a cursory glance at the existing retail/grocery/restaurant scene of the Tri Cities shows Johnson City as the city with the money. With the region's only "Apple Store" (CityMac in Bristol closed due to lack of business), a higher-end Belk, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Bonefish, etc. and the JC mall and surrounding area every weekend attracts shoppers from Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of existing traffic where those with disposable income want to not only shop but enjoy an evening out at a nice restaurant, JC's soon to be booming downtown, or see a play at the new ETSU Performing Arts Center. I'm not going to drive all that way to shop at J Crew and eat at Steak n' Shake.

This could really come back to bite Bristol in a few years. At least JC is being productive with their tax dollars by investing in downtown and the ETSU corridor along with cultural amenities such as artwork and a performing arts center. The retail will come as evidenced by the TREK store. Really Kingsport should be the really upset as this development was stolen out from under them and they expect Tri Cities Crossing to save them (lol).
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:34 AM
 
6,526 posts, read 7,510,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
... The retail will come as evidenced by the TREK store.
Not to cherry pick from your post, but I think your thinking in this regard is spot on.

It is silly to build retail, and then expect that you are going to build demand around it.

Johnson City has more or less built the demand side out first with infrastructure and housing, and let the demand side of it (retail) take care of itself.

There is no way that the Falls, the Pinnacle, the Crossing, and that amalgamation of stuff near exit 7 in Bristol will all survive, let alone thrive. It is just common sense that when what you have is struggling, so you build another couple million square feet and that is going to be helpful???

Whoever thought that one up, and then got the taxpayers to foot the bill for a lot of it, should be stuck with it, and the payments. Maybe next time they will think a little harder about what the under the table kickbacks are really worth when, in the end, the core payments for debt/debt service have to come out of their own pockets.

But, it's always politics, isn't it? And the "little guy" gets stuck with the tax bill.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Kingsport
182 posts, read 213,982 times
Reputation: 144
Good points all. While history isn't a perfect guide to the future it's one of the better indicators we have. Some promising regional efforts died on the alter of parochialism and current efforts may suffer the same bloodletting. In the absence of some coordinated regional leadership I suspect the future we will see is the past happening over and over. Perhaps the best solution is to let consumers and markets do their work and chalk up the losses of hyper local retail and community development thinking to the taxpayers' bill.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,333 posts, read 21,240,855 times
Reputation: 34745
I drove by the Pinnacle and was just shocked at how little has been done other than the sign and leveling of the land. As was said, JC is the best thing the area has going, and it's where you want to attract the development. I remember growing up in the 1990s that JC was the destination for higher end dining, shopping, etc, - that gap has now widened substantially.

I am not as down on big box retail development as some of the folks here. It certainly has its place and has made a wide variety of goods available, at a much cheaper price than mom and pop small stores can deliver. Still, I don't see much in these developments that's encouraging. There isn't much that is new or interesting. Many of the stores at the Pinnacle are duplicates of existing stores in the area. All that is being done is changing where money is spent, not increasing demand.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 822,197 times
Reputation: 449
Quote:
I drove by the Pinnacle and was just shocked at how little has been done other than the sign and leveling of the land.
Are you sure that wasn't Tri Cities Crossing? It has absolutely nothing built but there are high hopes for a Costco and/or Macy's. Kingsport and Eastman are working hard to put something there to improve quality of life in Kingsport and get Eastman employees to live there instead of Johnson City. Good luck.

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my opinions of The Pinnacle. As was said earlier, you can't build a bunch of retail and then build demand around it. The demand should already be there and the demographics near this development don't show that.

I know the Washington County Economic Development Council is still working hard to attract retail to JC and build a high-end retail complex at the Boones Creek exit off I-26. TIF is being offered as an incentive which is a safer bet than what is being offered in Sullivan County. The median household income in the census tracts around the Boones Creek exit exceeds $100,000 and the traffic volume on 26 at this spot is the highest of any interstate in the Tri Cities. Kind of seems like a no-brainer to me.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 24,616,063 times
Reputation: 5499
I am not sure if the link has the latest map of the Pinnacle, but here is a list of some of the outlets. It also looks like a CarMax will be coming to the development. I think these are typically only in larger metro areas. I am looking forward to Steak & Shake. I think this is the first one in our immediate region. Also a new Chic-fil-a is moving in. I see a lot of places that are now in the Bristol mall. I am afraid the mall will soon be history. It is a shame in a way, I remember that was "THE" place to shop in Bristol when I was growing up in the 80s.

I don't know if this new development will work or not, but most of the restaurants/outlets going in I think will get good business from Bristol residents, as well as some from other cities in the region. Not sure about BPS though, especially with Cabellas going in at the Falls. Personally I haven't even been to BPS and I live in Bristol. I guess nothing there I need. There are many other places that I am sure I will be a frequent shopper though. Not sure what, but I heard there is a new supermarket going in at the Falls as well.

Reading some of the comments, I chuckled. There was a lady at work arguing with someone that lives in JC complaining about Bristol getting these shops... she screamed out to her that she was just jealous she had to drive 25 miles to shop there. She said heaven forbid that Bristol have some restaurants/outlets that JC didnt have yet. LOL. They were cracking me up.

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Old 01-04-2015, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
1,283 posts, read 2,017,633 times
Reputation: 1000
Carmax is a cool addition. Thanks for posting that!
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