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New vision for Kingsport would divide downtown into three distinct districts

Hank Hayes • Jan 26, 2018 at 8:28 AM

KINGSPORT – Interested parties at the Kingsport Higher Education Center on Thursday night got to hear about a draft version of the Downtown Kingsport Master Plan that divides the area up into three distinct districts.

A “mill” district would be west of Broad Street with more residential units and restaurants. In that district is the planned 265-unit Town Park Lofts being built on the old Supermarket Row site.

Broad Street could be an “arts and entertainment” district filled with restaurants and retail — and with dwelling units above commercial spaces.

A “warehouse” district could be east of Broad Street and hold more than 400 dwelling units.

The background: The plan includes four downtown parks – at Town Park Lofts, at the Academic Village, at Five Points and in the “warehouse” district. It also has a hotel located at the Broad Street-Center Street intersection. It also lists the Region’s Bank property, which is being considered as the next City Hall, as a “civic/institutional” site.

What happened at the meeting: Presentations were given showing millennials want to live downtown in rental properties and that Kingsport is expected to develop 2,100 new family housing units in the next 20 years. The plan called for more than 700 new housing units.

What’s next: A final concept of the plan is expected by the end of February.

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