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Old 07-17-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,699 posts, read 10,132,210 times
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I drove by there today again, curious to check it out again.

The banner for "Towne Park Lofts" is up and they are accepting rental applications. The north side of the complex has most of the windows in and the exterior is coming together and looks really good.
The west side and south side of the complex are building up as well, and the "U shaped section should come together and bridge the entire building in another month or so, I'd estimate. So at that point, the interior of the complex will no longer be visible from passers by on the street.

They are targeting Oct 1st for the first tenants to move in. This seems pretty aggressive to me, but my guess would be the most finished portion, the north side along Sullivan Street, will be the section where tenants move into first, since it would be finished first.

I'm hoping this will spur more new development in downtown Kingsport. I read an article a couple of months ago that said the city of Kingsport was doing a study to determine the feasibility of building a new hotel downtown. I think that's a great idea, and much needed for downtown.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Everything seems to be going along well. I was in a hurry yesterday and didn't get a chance to post pics. There was also a new apartment complex out by Meadowview called "The Retreat at Meadowview." There is also a new townhome complex going up on Center Street in Highland.

This makes at least four recent apartment complexes that are either now leasing or under construction - The Villas behind Walmart, Overlook at Indian Trail behind Walmart, The Retreat, and Crossgate.

With all the talk about Kingsport's historically poor housing options, could the tide be turning?
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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I really do think the tide is turning for Kingsport in terms of "young professional" housing options, at least in the nice, newer apartment rental sector. With those 4 complexes you mentioned, it definitely adds a nice bit of options for higher end to luxury rentals in the Kingsport city limits.

Since the most recent population estimates (released in the spring of this year for 2017) show Kingsport gaining almost 1,100 new residents, it appears most folks moving to the Tri-Cities are turning to Kingsport to live. Could be a case of "if you build it they will come." If these rent reasonably quickly, I would project additional luxury complexes will be built in Kingsport.

How many can the market absorb? Well, that remains to be seen--but for many decades, the only nice apartment complex in Kingsport was Brandy Mill off of Stone Drive (and they are still nice, but older), so I suppose the demand could be there, at least in the developers' eyes.

I may actually go view a unit at The Retreat at Meadowview. Those look to have really great floor layouts.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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I stopped by the office for these yesterday, and got some information on the apartments.

They are opening the first phase for move-ins, on the Sullivan Street side, on November 15th now, unless there are more construction delays. The other 2 buildings will open in phases as well, later on in 2018/early 2019.

Rents for 1 bedrooms start @ $845/month. The bulk of the apartments though are 2 and 3 bedrooms. The leasing agent mentioned an Aubrey's is considering locating in downtown Kingsport, near the apartment building--she didn't give a timeframe. Also, she mentioned that the owner of the large Dobbins brick warehouse next door is looking for buyers, apparently due to the "buzz and construction build up" happening in downtown Kingsport now.

That building is a beautiful historic piece of downtown Kingsport, and is primed for redevelopment into lofts, bar/restaurant, or other office space.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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I’m still not confident that this project will succeed.

$845/month is high for this area, especially for Kingsport. 2 BR will push a grand. 37660 has THDA housing assistance grants. Kingsport-Bristol wages are the lowest in the state by about 10%.

When I went out to the Retreat at Meadowview, the 1BR were $750 and they were really, really nice, and the place seemed maybe half occupied. Being downtown in Kingsport is actually a problem, not a benefit.

These aren’t targeted to seniors. They may attract a handful of Eastman yuppies and some couples with decent incomes, maybe some transplants, but this is a big project and Kingsport is just not attractive to this demographic.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I’m still not confident that this project will succeed.

$845/month is high for this area, especially for Kingsport. 2 BR will push a grand. 37660 has THDA housing assistance grants. Kingsport-Bristol wages are the lowest in the state by about 10%.

When I went out to the Retreat at Meadowview, the 1BR were $750 and they were really, really nice, and the place seemed maybe half occupied. Being downtown in Kingsport is actually a problem, not a benefit.

These aren’t targeted to seniors. They may attract a handful of Eastman yuppies and some couples with decent incomes, maybe some transplants, but this is a big project and Kingsport is just not attractive to this demographic.
You know what, after further thought, and looking at the apartment layouts here at this complex, I tend to agree with you. The 1 bedroom floorplans are lacking windows, and seem a bit cavernous and claustrophobic. There's a floorplan for a 1 bedroom with a den, but the den has no windows. It's an unattractive floorplan, to be honest.

Also, the marketing is a bit off. They are planning on opening them "November 15" but I received a "thank you" email from them last night, and it read "December 1." The email also mentioned "free stays at a location in Kingsport for people moving here before the apartments are ready." Ehh, I don't think that's a great plan.

Anyway, the debut and move-ins aside, the per-month rent is higher than most apartment complexes, and downtown Kingsport has some amenities, but downtown Kingsport does not have Johnson City type amenities. I prefer the density and layout and aesthetic of downtown Kingsport to Johnson City personally, but downtown Kingsport is mostly quiet and dead compared to Johnson City's bar/restaurant offerings. Other than a nice new grocery store downtown with Food City, and the Burger King/Barberitos/Beef O'Brady's, downtown has a couple more spread out bar/restaurants and not a ton else.

The downtown amenities really need to beef up in order for people to want to move there.

I am currently looking to rent an apartment in the area for when I'm up here, and I actually looked at the Retreat at Meadowview, and I agree with you, they are amazing apartments for the price.

I think Town Center Lofts may have relied on the "downtown draw factor" too much when designing the layouts of the apartments. They will have to drop the rents, I bet.
I could be wrong, but as compared to the Retreat's layouts, Town Center's are smaller and less light, less good flow in the layout as a whole.

Last edited by jjbradleynyc; 08-17-2018 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
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This apartment complex isn't really market-driven but rather heavily incentivized. The complex will pay no property tax for 20 years which totals $8 million in deferred taxes at current rates. That's a full 25% of the total investment of $32 million that the city effectively gave away. Is there really a high demand for apartment living in downtown Kingsport? It seems that if there were, such a large incentive would not be required.

I agree that downtown Kingsport's physical infrastructure is great, maybe the best in the Tri-Cities. The city just lacks the youthful energy and creative class that allow Johnson City to thrive. Kingsport is honestly just too conservative to develop the type of downtown scene that exists in Johnson City. The Little Chicago Festival last weekend had a body painting exhibition with practically nude, beautifully painted women parading down Main St. I doubt this would happen in Kingsport. And with downtown renaissances around the country being led by young, creative entrepreneurs, you have to cultivate a community in which these people want to invest. Chain restaurants and stores can't be relied on to revive a downtown.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
429 posts, read 357,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
This apartment complex isn't really market-driven but rather heavily incentivized. The complex will pay no property tax for 20 years which totals $8 million in deferred taxes at current rates. That's a full 25% of the total investment of $32 million that the city effectively gave away. Is there really a high demand for apartment living in downtown Kingsport? It seems that if there were, such a large incentive would not be required.
First, the project is called Town Park Lofts, and not Crossgate Condominiums. Perhaps a thread title change is in order.

Second, that subsidy is spread over 20 years and is not an upfront lump sum. The present value of that subsidy is much less than $8 million. The annual subsidy is $400K,

Third, I would doubt that the city was receiving much tax revenue from the empty buildings that had been there for years. If foregoing tax revenue that they weren't getting anyway is the only incentive that was required, that was pretty cheap.

An area that formerly contained dilapidated and burnt out buildings is being transformed into something much nicer and more inviting. The city gave up future tax revenue and got something they wanted to improve that part of downtown. Even if the rents need to come down to meet market demand, it's hard to see how this can be seen as a negative.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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I agree with cooldiver. And I'll add that Kpt has always been ahead of the other two cities in supporting its downtown; it only lacks the inherent advantage that JC has in ETSU.

I'm not sure nudity is the ideal picture I want for JC and it's festivals. Why would that be promoted as some great breakthrough?
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,278 posts, read 21,192,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
You know what, after further thought, and looking at the apartment layouts here at this complex, I tend to agree with you. The 1 bedroom floorplans are lacking windows, and seem a bit cavernous and claustrophobic. There's a floorplan for a 1 bedroom with a den, but the den has no windows. It's an unattractive floorplan, to be honest.

Also, the marketing is a bit off. They are planning on opening them "November 15" but I received a "thank you" email from them last night, and it read "December 1." The email also mentioned "free stays at a location in Kingsport for people moving here before the apartments are ready." Ehh, I don't think that's a great plan.

Anyway, the debut and move-ins aside, the per-month rent is higher than most apartment complexes, and downtown Kingsport has some amenities, but downtown Kingsport does not have Johnson City type amenities. I prefer the density and layout and aesthetic of downtown Kingsport to Johnson City personally, but downtown Kingsport is mostly quiet and dead compared to Johnson City's bar/restaurant offerings. Other than a nice new grocery store downtown with Food City, and the Burger King/Barberitos/Beef O'Brady's, downtown has a couple more spread out bar/restaurants and not a ton else.

The downtown amenities really need to beef up in order for people to want to move there.

I am currently looking to rent an apartment in the area for when I'm up here, and I actually looked at the Retreat at Meadowview, and I agree with you, they are amazing apartments for the price.

I think Town Center Lofts may have relied on the "downtown draw factor" too much when designing the layouts of the apartments. They will have to drop the rents, I bet.
I could be wrong, but as compared to the Retreat's layouts, Town Center's are smaller and less light, less good flow in the layout as a whole.
The problem with this concept is that no matter how nice the units themselves are, you're still basically across the street from Domtar and all its sights and smells. I don't see how that will appeal to anyone at all. If I was someone from outside the area looking for a place to stay, Domtar would immediately cross Town Park off my list unless it was substantially cheaper than the other complexes. I don't see how this works at all given that it's more expensive with layout issues on top of that.

Yeah, physically downtown Kingsport is shaped best, but the smell just overrides any other benefits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccrain View Post
I agree with cooldiver. And I'll add that Kpt has always been ahead of the other two cities in supporting its downtown; it only lacks the inherent advantage that JC has in ETSU.

I'm not sure nudity is the ideal picture I want for JC and it's festivals. Why would that be promoted as some great breakthrough?
It's not just ETSU itself - it's everything that kind of coalesces around that.

Honestly, there's little reason to be in downtown Kingsport afterhours. There aren't many good restaurants down there. Main St. Pizza is by far the best dinner option. Mustard Seed Cafe is a real gem, but it's lunch only. Sleepy Owl is primarily a concert place and not open all week. Model City Taphouse is the only thing other than Main St. that I find interesting downtown.

Contrast that with JC. JC doesn't smell bad. There's something going on Founders Park several times a week. DT KPT doesn't have an equivalent park. You don't have just one place to grab a drink in JC - there are many different places. Most of the best dining in JC is now downtown. More retail is opening up.

The biggest problems with downtown JC are parking, lack of housing, and issues with the homeless, but Kingsport also has homeless downtown. There's just substantially more energy and momentum in JC that Kingsport.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 08-20-2018 at 07:25 AM..
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