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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:24 PM
Location: Tennessee
29,378 posts, read 22,251,592 times
Reputation: 36413


It's a new election season, and with that comes politicians looking for votes. The Times-News recently ran a couple of articles regarding the candidates' stances on attracting residents and regionalism, linked at the bottom.

Regarding the attracting residents, one of the biggest problems is that core of Kingsport, while building new apartments, isn't really building much in the way of SFHs. Most of the homes in the city core are older, dated, and often not well-kept. Combine the unimpressive housing stock with the factory look/odor, it's just unattractive.

The new apartments are nice, but unless you're working in Kingsport, there aren't enough entertainment/retail/nightlife/dining options that make it worth living in Kingsport for. Rents are relatively high compared to the town's incomes.

I'd like to see BMA candidates address these options in Kingsport. These types of things are crucial to making higher income and younger professionals at Eastman, Ballad, and other places want to reside in Kingsport. To some extent, the factory deal will run people off, but Kingsport has fallen behind even Bristol now.

The thing with regionalism is that whenever Washington County and JC politicians have tried partnering with Kingsport and Sullivan County, they've been relatively shut down with Kingsport trying to do its own thing. The article mentions tourism - what tourism does Kingsport attract? Some of these perspectives are decades behind the times.

What's your opinion on these issues?

Kingsport Times-News: Kingsport BMA hopefuls address attracting new residents

Kingsport Times-News: BMA Candidate Series Day Three: Regionalism
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:57 AM
Location: Brooklyn, NY
7,204 posts, read 10,517,420 times
Reputation: 6116
I think Kingsport leadership definitely has to move beyond the dated thinking of "Kingsport is the leading tri-city."

This was in fact the case that Kingsport was the leading city in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but beginning in the 80s, Johnson City started getting better restaurants/bars and retail than Kingsport. Then in the 1990s and early 2000s, JC just took off with its retail and restaurant/bar scene. With Kingsport still snoozing at the wheel, in the past 5 years, Bristol has passed Kingsport with its downtown vibrancy options.

Kingsport has the juggernaut Fortune 500 company with Eastman, and I think they let Eastman create a lot of Kingsport's identity, and this leads the city to mainly just prioritize and cater to Eastman's needs.

This is a big problem for Kingsport, since it seems to still have the false mindset of the "leading city" of the tri-cities. If it does not work with the other 2 cities to help bring in more diverse industry, diverse population and downtown vibrancy, Kingsport will continue to become known as a "manufacturing corporate and conservative town" that is resistant to any change.

This is not the key to any dynamic future growth for Kingsport. Kingsport needs a holistic growth mindset.

Last edited by jjbradleynyc; 05-01-2019 at 10:11 AM..
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