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Old 09-10-2019, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,157 posts, read 3,950,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post

Years ago, Kingsport had a Sam's Club out at exit 63. I think that closed around 2005 or 2006. That left and moved to Bristol. I think that was the start of the slide. Kingsport then missed on landing Bass Pro at The Crossings, which led to The Pinnacle. That was a once in a generation miss. Malls are struggling nationally, but a lot of the stuff at The Pavilion would have helped keep the mall going. The mall was basically run into the ground by the previous owner, and now it's no longer even on the radar of younger people. Short of something innovative like a Publix in the Sears spot, I don't think much can be done to save the mall. Kingsport leadership really needs to figure out why any new retailer to the area is almost always landing in Bristol or Johnson City and basically bypassing Kingsport altogether. Is it an income problem? Is it a cultural issue? What's so different between Kingsport and Bristol that would see all these stores locate to Bristol and exit Kingsport?
That is some high-quality nutshellling. I had forgotten the Sam's relocation. Sam's basically decided that one central location wasn't going to cut it. JC was an obvious spot for a location, but at the time, Kpt should have looked better than Bristol. It wouldn't surprise me if it came down to incentives - Bristol offering them incentives and Kpt resting on their laurels. If that's what happened, it makes the Bass Pro proposal even more boneheaded.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,282 posts, read 21,198,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccrain View Post
That is some high-quality nutshellling. I had forgotten the Sam's relocation. Sam's basically decided that one central location wasn't going to cut it. JC was an obvious spot for a location, but at the time, Kpt should have looked better than Bristol. It wouldn't surprise me if it came down to incentives - Bristol offering them incentives and Kpt resting on their laurels. If that's what happened, it makes the Bass Pro proposal even more boneheaded.
At the time, the City of Kingsport strip annexed going up the interstate to get Sam's Club and a now mostly empty outlet mall at exit 66 within the KCL, presumably for any share of the property/sales tax revenue these stores were generating.

Below is a map of the current KCL and also specifies what year certain tracts were annexed. I think this is actually quite revealing if you think about it.

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/wp-conte...8wo11027-1.pdf

The "city of Kingsport" stretches from probably a football field from where Sullivan Central High School is on the east side, a bit south of the I-26/I-81 interchange on the south side, all the way out to Carter's Valley bordering Virginia on the north side, and the old ETSU at Kingsport facility on the western end.

The "city limits" make little functional sense. There's a place near Indian Springs that was annexed in 2007/2008 off Island Road - my guess is that's the Crockett Ridge Golf Course area. The city has also annexed some higher end housing developments off Fall Creek (Sugarwood, Park Ridge, maybe Fox Chase). None of these places are contiguous with any other part of the city and are completely surrounded by the county. That area near Central High to ETSU at Kingsport is a 30-40 minute drive if Stone Drive is slow.

I don't remember exactly when Sam's moved or why, but its relocation was obviously a big loss for Kingsport and a big win for Bristol, VA and the Exit 7 development.

Also, if you look at C-D's own numbers for crime, Kingsport had 440.1 crimes per 100,000 in 2017. Bristol, TN had 288.7. Bristol, VA was 280. Johnson City was 309. The national average is 280. Bristol and Johnson City are right around national averages. Kingsport's is way higher. Kingsport also doesn't have a college or the big retail developments like The Pinnacle and The Johnson City Mall (more theft/property crime) that may skew crime levels higher. This isn't a good look at all for Kingsport.

I was looking for something a few months ago and noticed this. The estimated population of Johnson City is about 67,000 with a total of 43.3 sq. mi with a density of about 1,534 ppl/sq. mi. Kingsport has an estimated 54,000 residents over 50.8 sq. mi for a density of about 1,060 ppl/sq. mi. Johnson City is pushing close to twice the density of Kingsport.

I think that additional density just makes JC "feel" nicer. Kingsport is much more spread out.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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In spite of the density you mentioned, I think traffic flows much better in JC and there seem to be fewer wrecks.

My commute is from Gray to the JC mall area on 36 and I honestly can't remember a wreck in the last 3 years.

I used to commute from Gray to DT KPT on 36 and I once navigated past 3 wrecks in one 12 mile trip - 2 with ambulances. There were a few wrecks over those 5 years that included fatalities.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccrain View Post
In spite of the density you mentioned, I think traffic flows much better in JC and there seem to be fewer wrecks.

My commute is from Gray to the JC mall area on 36 and I honestly can't remember a wreck in the last 3 years.

I used to commute from Gray to DT KPT on 36 and I once navigated past 3 wrecks in one 12 mile trip - 2 with ambulances. There were a few wrecks over those 5 years that included fatalities.
Totally agree about the traffic. That's another problem in Kingsport.

I work near Indian Path and it often takes me as long to get from my office onto I-26 as it does to drive at least to Gray, sometimes north JC. When I worked in JC, I could get about anywhere in town for lunch in ten minutes. In Kingsport, my choices within that same ten minutes are a lot more limited and Stone Drive seems a lot more congested than Roan or State of Franklin.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
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Even though Kingsport and Johnson City show similar household incomes and family incomes, one thing that is significantly different is the educational attainment of each city's population. When looking at the percentage of the population over 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher, it's 26% in Kingsport vs. 40% in Johnson City. I believe this is the primary factor in why JC has the restaurant scene it does along with grocery stores like Earth Fare and Fresh Market in addition to the better retail offerings.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
Even though Kingsport and Johnson City show similar household incomes and family incomes, one thing that is significantly different is the educational attainment of each city's population. When looking at the percentage of the population over 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher, it's 26% in Kingsport vs. 40% in Johnson City. I believe this is the primary factor in why JC has the restaurant scene it does along with grocery stores like Earth Fare and Fresh Market in addition to the better retail offerings.
Agreed and these things kind of feed off themselves.

Kingsport has always had a reputation of being a blue collar company/mill town. That was true even decades ago. Today, the best jobs generally aren't blue collar - they're white collar office jobs. Sure, some tradesmen and skilled blue collar fields do earn well, but overall, the economy has shifted away from the "strong back" jobs to "mental" jobs.

Johnson City was just in a far better position to deal with the changes with the university, VA, more diversity, and less heavy industry dependence. The "more diversity" and university led to more experimentation with things like better/ethnic restaurants and the better grocery and retail offerings. Bristol is beginning to get a piece of that.

Once towns start changing like that, they really have to came up with a good campaign to stop the existing trends from becoming a feedback loop.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:36 AM
 
Location: CT
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As a person who is considering the Tri-City for my last and final move the more I read about Kingsport as a negative is actually Eastman Kodak. Otherwise across the nation stores like JCPenney Best Buy Kmart see yours and even some Walmarts are closing doors and operating in a more efficient manner often times stores like Walmart will flood the market word stores and then close one because now they captured that zone if you will
To me looking at it from Connecticut almost anything is better priced housing etc. and that would be one thing that might be an attractive point for Kingsport

My main concern would be having access to a clean stream river lake so if anyone here can point that out that’s very near Kingsport that to me that’s a big plus
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Sullivan County, Tennessee
486 posts, read 1,145,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnchap View Post
As a person who is considering the Tri-City for my last and final move the more I read about Kingsport as a negative is actually Eastman Kodak. Otherwise across the nation stores like JCPenney Best Buy Kmart see yours and even some Walmarts are closing doors and operating in a more efficient manner often times stores like Walmart will flood the market word stores and then close one because now they captured that zone if you will
To me looking at it from Connecticut almost anything is better priced housing etc. and that would be one thing that might be an attractive point for Kingsport

My main concern would be having access to a clean stream river lake so if anyone here can point that out that’s very near Kingsport that to me that’s a big plus

Take some of the anti-Kingsport bias from some of the regulars on this site with a "grain of salt".

The Eastman Chemical Company is no longer part of Eastman Kodak. It was spun off as an independent company about 1996 and has performed quite well in spite of the bad fortunes of the parent Kodak. They try very hard to keep the downstream water well treated and clean.

The Holston River upstream of Kingsport is really only impacted ground water entry, limited agricultural runoff, and city waste water treatment plants from Bristol, Johnson City and Elizabethton. Mountain City is upstream of Watauga lake and Abingdon is upstream of South Holston lake. I don't think the water quality is seriously affected by these sources. I don't live in Kingsport system but our water is supplied by the Kingsport and I have no complaints on the taste or service (do pay 2x the cost of city residents). Kingsport water is drawn from the Holston River above Eastman and just below the Patrick Henry dam.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,282 posts, read 21,198,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnchap View Post
As a person who is considering the Tri-City for my last and final move the more I read about Kingsport as a negative is actually Eastman Kodak. Otherwise across the nation stores like JCPenney Best Buy Kmart see yours and even some Walmarts are closing doors and operating in a more efficient manner often times stores like Walmart will flood the market word stores and then close one because now they captured that zone if you will
To me looking at it from Connecticut almost anything is better priced housing etc. and that would be one thing that might be an attractive point for Kingsport

My main concern would be having access to a clean stream river lake so if anyone here can point that out that’s very near Kingsport that to me that’s a big plus
Eastman is a bit of a double-edged sword.

Eastman obviously provides a lot of jobs with the city, but also has considerable influence over city government and its decisions. This leads to the "company town" thing where Eastman basically runs the show. Kingsport also has issues with "the smell" between Eastman, Domtar, and a wastewater treatment plant. Kingsport's crime rate has been notably higher than surrounding communities for years.

I agree with Jim that the water quality is not an issue.

I've lived in Kingsport most of my life. Kingsport was in a much stronger position a decade or two ago, but recent development has largely bypassed Kingsport in favor of Johnson City and, more recently, Bristol. I lived in Town Park Lofts, a large apartment complex in downtown Kingsport, for about six months. I didn't like it - the units were very nice, but poorly laid out and there isn't much going on in downtown Kingsport. I moved to Bristol Saturday, and like it better so far. I also lived in Johnson City for about two years.

Kingsport caters to a conservative, older demographic, but there have been recent issues, service downgrades, and complaints with Kingsport's larger hospital (Holston Valley) and many medical services that were once available in Kingsport are being consolidated in Johnson City.

Personally, I'd look to Johnson City if budget allows. Bristol has nice areas, is generally trending upward, and has less traffic/less busy than Johnson City.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,714 posts, read 10,135,281 times
Reputation: 5511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnchap View Post
As a person who is considering the Tri-City for my last and final move the more I read about Kingsport as a negative is actually Eastman Kodak. Otherwise across the nation stores like JCPenney Best Buy Kmart see yours and even some Walmarts are closing doors and operating in a more efficient manner often times stores like Walmart will flood the market word stores and then close one because now they captured that zone if you will
To me looking at it from Connecticut almost anything is better priced housing etc. and that would be one thing that might be an attractive point for Kingsport

My main concern would be having access to a clean stream river lake so if anyone here can point that out that’s very near Kingsport that to me that’s a big plus
Kingsport area draws in a lot of folks looking for a milder 4 season climate, much lower costs and access to the outdoors.

The Eastman, as a couple others have mentioned, is no longer part of the decimated Kodak company. Eastman spun off in the early 1990s and is a very successful Fortune 500 company today. The company pledged several years back to invest billions of dollars long term in Kingsport, so they are not going anywhere, anytime soon.

As-a-result, Eastman runs the show in Kingsport, and Kingsport basically caters to their every whim and desire, since they pay extremely well, employ thousands, and pay taxes.

The areas around Kingsport have plenty of access to beautiful and stunning mountain ranges, lakes, rivers and streams have plenty of fishing and recreational opportunities, and the area is extremely laid back.

Kingsport typically has cheaper housing options than Johnson City on the whole, so that is a draw with Kingsport as well.

I would visit Kingsport before moving of course, and explore other tri-cities for consideration while visiting as well, like Bristol, Johnson City, Jonesborough, Greeneville, and Elizabethton.
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