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Old 07-01-2017, 12:55 PM
 
24 posts, read 20,791 times
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Does anyone have information on the status of this project ? Crossgate was to close on the purchase of the property on June 2, and nothing has been announced regarding this. The fire that destroyed the old IGA grocery building on the site was not expected to impact the project. Maybe Crossgate's assessment of the situation has stalled or cancelled their plans for the project ?
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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I also heard about it in the news and wondered what happened. I wasn't able to find anything on the Times-News of by Googling it with a date after 6/2.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,926 posts, read 10,229,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Morrison View Post
Does anyone have information on the status of this project ? Crossgate was to close on the purchase of the property on June 2, and nothing has been announced regarding this. The fire that destroyed the old IGA grocery building on the site was not expected to impact the project. Maybe Crossgate's assessment of the situation has stalled or cancelled their plans for the project ?
I hope it's still on track. I would imagine the fire damage would ease demolition costs. But, there's always the chance that environmental concerns and costs were increased due to the fire. My guess is that the closing was extended for like 90-120 days maybe for further due diligence....
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:12 AM
 
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^^ This may be true, but you would think an update would be released in order to inform the public.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,926 posts, read 10,229,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Morrison View Post
^^ This may be true, but you would think an update would be released in order to inform the public.
Yeah, you'd like to think so. But, from the developer's perspective, if there is a chance they can renegotiate the deal for a lower purchase price due to some type of environmental damage due to the fire (dunno what they could find...), then they may not want to publicize that.

You would think Kpt Times News would run a story on it and dig in to see what the update is though...
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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One thing I'm wondering about is how viable three higher end apartment complexes in Kingsport will be.

You have "The Villas at River Bend" at the Fort Henry Drive Walmart. Their 1BRs start at $635 or so, which is reasonable and probably the best value, but 2BR townhomes start in the mid $800s. "The Overlook" development behind K-Mart is even more expensive - 1BRs starting in the $800 range, 2BR in the $900 range. It's a bit nicer than The Villas, but most of the additional expense seems to go toward the nice pool and clubhouse area. I've been to both of these.

I work near this development and frequently go to McAllister's for lunch - there are people there, but it's nowhere near capacity. The Crossgate project appears to be a lot more ambitious.

These are nice apartment complexes, but do not seem to be anywhere near full. The Villas is still being built out - there may be some work still being on the far end units at Overlook as well. The higher end rental market in Kingsport is likely to get oversaturated.

I'm in the demographic the developers are wanting to catch (fairly high income younger person). While nice units in and of themselves, these higher end units are in a squeeze. Many Kingsport renters simply don't make enough to afford the rent at these places. For the monthly rent these units (especially the 2BR/3BR units) are going for, you can be "all in" owning a similar 2BR/3BR condo or townhome, even with the COA dues, low downpayment, and PMI, often for hundreds per month less than the rent. Many prospective renters will choose owning for this reason. For that (probably) small subset of people who want to rent and can afford the rent, they're likely to choose Johnson City for its increased amenities anyway, even if they work in Kingsport.

I work in Kingsport and the few people under 35 I work with almost all live in Johnson City or even Bristol. Other than me (and I live outside of KCL), no one on my immediate team has a Kingsport address. I just missed a condo in south JC a couple months back to an all cash buyer. Still, as it stands now, it's Johnson City for me or bust in this area, and I think the small, younger professional class earning the wages that can support these rents and who the developers are ostensibly targeting are probably of like mind. The younger people I know in Kingsport are often going to "dig in" here, aren't as affluent, and wouldn't be in the market for these units anyway. Those I know who would be in the market are going to choose Johnson City. It seems these projects were built in the wrong town.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
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^I'm totally with you on this. I still just cannot figure out Kingsport's vision. The incentives on this project are outrageous and the prospects of long-term success are slim. I applaud the effort to capture the Eastman young professional but housing is just one small piece of the overall structure of a vibrant city and Kingsport lacks much of what has allowed Johnson City to grow into the regional leader. Namely, these are a university, diverse economy, and transient population.

Kingsport is making a lot of noise with the One Kingsport campaign, which includes building new higher-end housing, but current trends don't paint a pretty picture. Since 2010 the city's population has been essentially stagnant if not in decline buoyed only by annexation. All throughout this time, however, Kingsport has undertaken numerous projects such as Greenbelt extensions, renovations to Meadowview and Bays Mountain Park, building the aquatic center, carousel, and farmers market, and new retail such as the Kingsport Pavilion. None of it has let to an increase in the city's population.

This project just seems like another desperate jab at something but hey, at least they're trying. Time will ultimately tell if any of this was worth it but if I were a Kingsport taxpayer, I would be seriously questioning the city's leadership.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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At this point, I think they are basically out of ideas, trying different things to see if any of it sticks. The problem is that many of these projects haven't really tied into a cohesive vision of where they want to go.

The housing situation is, like you said, a piece of the puzzle, but it's not everything. I want to buy, not rent, but there is almost no newer (built within the last ten years or so) condo or townhome construction in Kingsport. Much of what is out there is from before 2000 and showing its age. Kingsport really isn't geared toward higher end, large apartment complexes for the reasons we mentioned above. I think The Villas will be fine, as they are a little more economical, the development is smaller, and it's more practical, but I don't have much confidence in the others.

While I know the markets do not exactly overlap, I have seen quite a few recently renovated homes in core Kingsport that are quite nicely done and oftentimes under $100,000. When I can go plop down $4,000-$5,000 and be "all in" in a move-in ready 2BR/3BR house with a fixed PITI + PMI payment for under $600, that makes renting a 1BR apartment $800 or 2BR/3BR pushing a grand seem absolutely stupid.

I think the "hard hit fund" downpayment assistance grants from the THDA could really help prop up Kingsport.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,926 posts, read 10,229,103 times
Reputation: 5722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
One thing I'm wondering about is how viable three higher end apartment complexes in Kingsport will be.

You have "The Villas at River Bend" at the Fort Henry Drive Walmart. Their 1BRs start at $635 or so, which is reasonable and probably the best value, but 2BR townhomes start in the mid $800s. "The Overlook" development behind K-Mart is even more expensive - 1BRs starting in the $800 range, 2BR in the $900 range. It's a bit nicer than The Villas, but most of the additional expense seems to go toward the nice pool and clubhouse area. I've been to both of these.

I work near this development and frequently go to McAllister's for lunch - there are people there, but it's nowhere near capacity. The Crossgate project appears to be a lot more ambitious.

These are nice apartment complexes, but do not seem to be anywhere near full. The Villas is still being built out - there may be some work still being on the far end units at Overlook as well. The higher end rental market in Kingsport is likely to get oversaturated.

I'm in the demographic the developers are wanting to catch (fairly high income younger person). While nice units in and of themselves, these higher end units are in a squeeze. Many Kingsport renters simply don't make enough to afford the rent at these places. For the monthly rent these units (especially the 2BR/3BR units) are going for, you can be "all in" owning a similar 2BR/3BR condo or townhome, even with the COA dues, low downpayment, and PMI, often for hundreds per month less than the rent. Many prospective renters will choose owning for this reason. For that (probably) small subset of people who want to rent and can afford the rent, they're likely to choose Johnson City for its increased amenities anyway, even if they work in Kingsport.

I work in Kingsport and the few people under 35 I work with almost all live in Johnson City or even Bristol. Other than me (and I live outside of KCL), no one on my immediate team has a Kingsport address. I just missed a condo in south JC a couple months back to an all cash buyer. Still, as it stands now, it's Johnson City for me or bust in this area, and I think the small, younger professional class earning the wages that can support these rents and who the developers are ostensibly targeting are probably of like mind. The younger people I know in Kingsport are often going to "dig in" here, aren't as affluent, and wouldn't be in the market for these units anyway. Those I know who would be in the market are going to choose Johnson City. It seems these projects were built in the wrong town.

Great points. It seems like Kingsport is jumping on the bandwagon a few years too late, for the higher-end apartment renting crowd. But, they may be thinking "if you build it, they will come." Downtown Kingsport has incredible potential still, and more housing and apartment units are needed. But these do seem pretty pricey for the Kingsport population, unless someone is in healthcare, a business owner or has a higher paying Eastman gig.

Part of Kingsport's long term plan needs to attract more diverse businesses and add good paying jobs (for the area).

Johnson City has an overall incredible edge over Kingsport with ETSU and the ETSU medical school. There's just so much more of a bustling energy in JC due to this.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,476 posts, read 21,358,210 times
Reputation: 34957
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Great points. It seems like Kingsport is jumping on the bandwagon a few years too late, for the higher-end apartment renting crowd. But, they may be thinking "if you build it, they will come." Downtown Kingsport has incredible potential still, and more housing and apartment units are needed. But these do seem pretty pricey for the Kingsport population, unless someone is in healthcare, a business owner or has a higher paying Eastman gig.

Part of Kingsport's long term plan needs to attract more diverse businesses and add good paying jobs (for the area).

Johnson City has an overall incredible edge over Kingsport with ETSU and the ETSU medical school. There's just so much more of a bustling energy in JC due to this.
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.
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