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Old 07-12-2017, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,757 posts, read 10,157,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Kingsport is just in a tricky situation. I don't think the leadership has been great, but I also understand they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Probably hundreds of formerly manufacturing dependent towns around the country are struggling with transitioning into the modern economy.

Some of the largest employers in the city (Domtar, Eastman) are heavy industry types that cause unpleasant odors about the city from time to time. If you're a prospective Eastman candidate and "smell around town," are you going to be encouraged to move to core Kingsport, especially with smell-free and less polluted alternatives (not to mention JC and even Bristol's other advantages) a relatively short drive away? At the same time, the Kingsport government cannot antagonize the employers too heavily about cleaning things up, as they really don't have a lot of alternate ways to keep the city afloat.

The actual SFHs around downtown, even around where this Crossgate project is supposed to be, are generally small and rather dated, aside from those Tudors. I think a lot of prospective renters at Crossgate are going to be turned off by Domtar being so close, especially if they're from out of the area or are not used to living near heavy industry. My guess is Crossgate will be more expensive than the other complexes.

College towns like Johnson City are almost always going to have an edge in vibrancy and amenities over similarly sized cities. College towns have a lot of resident turnover with people starting and graduating university. You're generally going to get more educated people working at ETSU and Milligan than you will with the blue collar work Kingsport has traditionally been known for. Some of the graduates will stay in the college town, perhaps bringing with them fresh culture and ways of doing things not common to locals. Some may start businesses, and the students then become customers. There's a lot at play there that, while I think Kingsport may be mismanaging what they can control, is ultimately out of their control.
Yeah, the smell is definitely a turn-off for some. Oddly though, you do get used to the smell, after a few times smelling it. I grew up here, and it's been around since I can remember. It definitely screams "manufacturing city USA," and is a deterrent, but it's something the city has to contend with, as you mentioned, because they can't curtail the plants too heavily in terms of the pollution output, for fear of having them potentially look elsewhere for location in the future.

Crossgate could be potentially in trouble in terms of construction kick-off timeline, due to this latest fire snag anyhow. I would like to see that whole lot developed, as it is a big eyesore to downtown and the whole area.
We will see if it progresses or not, if nothing happens on the site as fall rolls around.

I drove out by the apartments behind Walmart towards Colonial Heights yesterday, and something tells me those *may* be a mixed apartment complex with market rate renters and lower income. It's not necessarily a nice spot, especially to be directly behind Walmart and Bojangles--at least I wouldn't want to pay luxury or higher end prices for that particular location....

In-city infill development should be the focus, as opposed to all of this sprawling development--in an ideal world.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
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Quote:
In-city infill development should be the focus, as opposed to all of this sprawling development--in an ideal world.
This^ 100%. Kingsport is horribly sprawled and Stone Dr. is an absolute nightmare. Some terrible development practices took place from the 1960's on and continue to happen. Building the aquatic center at Meadowview was asinine as a summer amenity was essentially eliminated for kids in the neighborhoods surrounding the old pool, and instead of continually trying to revive a dead mall, develop a neighborhood on the site with quality affordable single family homes which the entire region seems to lack.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
This^ 100%. Kingsport is horribly sprawled and Stone Dr. is an absolute nightmare. Some terrible development practices took place from the 1960's on and continue to happen. Building the aquatic center at Meadowview was asinine as a summer amenity was essentially eliminated for kids in the neighborhoods surrounding the old pool, and instead of continually trying to revive a dead mall, develop a neighborhood on the site with quality affordable single family homes which the entire region seems to lack.
Yeah, completely agree here. Most US cities follow this same pattern of growth, unfortunately. Which of course has contributed to the downtowns in most cities--in the 70s/80s/90s--experiencing rapid declines.

Kingsport did do a good job downtown of rehabbing the old Kingsport Press Site and building medical offices, city offices and the Food City Shopping Center, downtown Farmer's Market there--good example of infill development, but much more needs to be done for future development.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Well, it looks like it was slowed down by the fire, but they intend to move ahead. With rents from $900-$1,300, I'm not sure how well they'll do, but we'll see.

Kingsport Times-News: Supermarket Row apartment project is still moving ahead
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,757 posts, read 10,157,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Well, it looks like it was slowed down by the fire, but they intend to move ahead. With rents from $900-$1,300, I'm not sure how well they'll do, but we'll see.

Kingsport Times-News: Supermarket Row apartment project is still moving ahead
I read that this morning as well. Good news, but still won't be super confident until it actually closes and construction fencing is put around the site.

I think this will be a huge momentum-builder for downtown, and I can see it as a successful project. As Kingsport's downtown "Academic Village" continues to expand and grow, this apartment complex will compliment the development in that area of downtown.

Sure, it's a radical development for a city like Kingsport and its downtown, but sometimes risks like these are what allow cities to "turn the corner" towards reinvigorating and re-energizing their downtowns....we will see for sure.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:56 AM
 
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^^^ I agree, and good post. This project will carry the momentum of downtown development forward and would surely spur other developments there. However, I am cautiously optimistic about it coming to fruition.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:30 PM
 
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The Times-News is reporting that its a done deal now. The property was sold to the developers for "about" $1.9 million less "debits" of $190,000 = $1.71 million. The KEDB had bought the property via loan for $1.77 million, so money was lost on the deal, plus significant interest on the loan from 2012, and the cost of the apartment "feasibility study". Although money was lost, maybe it is a good deal long term. Certainly, it cleaned up a blighted area of downtown. Lets hope the developer follows up with the plans.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Yes, I saw that yesterday. It's positive if for no other reason than to clean up the mess left behind by the fire.

On a related note, the city is looking into purchasing the Regions building downtown. They may consolidate offices into that building. There was also some rumors that this building could be turned into condominiums.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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Eastman moving to the glass building has caused a glut of empty office space in Kpt.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,757 posts, read 10,157,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Morrison View Post
The Times-News is reporting that its a done deal now. The property was sold to the developers for "about" $1.9 million less "debits" of $190,000 = $1.71 million. The KEDB had bought the property via loan for $1.77 million, so money was lost on the deal, plus significant interest on the loan from 2012, and the cost of the apartment "feasibility study". Although money was lost, maybe it is a good deal long term. Certainly, it cleaned up a blighted area of downtown. Lets hope the developer follows up with the plans.
Yeah, this is awesome news--moving forward! Let's hope it gets built now. I would imagine unless a recession kicks in soon that they would start construction in the first quarter of 2018. It will be a huge boom to downtown Kingsport. I think they'll rent out easier than a lot of folks are predicting.

Good stuff all in all and happy to see movement forward.
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