“Clearly, Kingsport’s economic engine was hitting on all cylinders as fiscal 2007 eclipsed the previous high mark of $101.3 million set in FY 2001-2002, with an increase of 57 building permits and $44 million over the previous fiscal year,” according to a Thursday news release from the city.
On the new commercial construction side of the ledger, 56 new permits were issued for $66.15 million, an increase of $35.85 million over the previous year. Commercial permits cover retail and office construction.
Of the record $123.35 million, the under-construction Kingsport Pavilion retail center at 2626 E. Stone Drive accounted for more than $22.4 million.
It was followed by Crown Point shopping center redevelopment at 1205, 1207, 1225, 1229 and 1233 N. Eastman Road at more than $4.7 million, the new Lowe’s at 2324 W. Stone Drive at almost $9 million, Goose Creek Plaza at 116 Jack White Drive at more than $630,000, and Reedy Creek Place at 1860 N. Eastman Road at $40,000.
According to information from Tereas Johnson of the city’s Building Division, the top 10 individual new building permits — not counting grading — were led by Holston Medical Group’s $8 million medical building at 105 W. Stone Drive, the more than $5.7 million Boys & Girls Club at 1227 E. Stone Drive, the $5.4 million Target (part of Kingsport Pavilion), a $5.1 million Broad Street United Methodist Church addition at 100 E. Church Circle, and the almost $4.9 million Lowe’s building.
Others were Clark & Co.s’ $4.8 million 7 Sheridan Square building, Eastman’s $4.1 million industrial building at 1750 Lincoln St., Wellmont Health System’s $3.3 million power house addition at 130 Ravine St., Food City’s $3 million store at 1205 N. Eastman Road in Crown Point, and a $2.95 million Michael’s at 2626 Stone Drive (part of Kingsport Pavilion).
In addition to new residential construction, another $22.14 million in building permits was issued for commercial and residential alterations.
The top 10 alterations and renovations were led by a more than $5.1 million Broad Street Methodist project, a $3.3 million Wellmont power house addition, and a $1 million renovation at the Wal-Mart at 3200 Fort Henry Drive.
Single-family housing posted an increase for the fifth straight year, with 132 new homes constructed at a total value of $20.9 million.
The average cost of a newly constructed home was $157,774. At least 32 new homes were constructed at a value of $200,000 to $499,000.
Seventy-nine new condominiums and patio homes valued at $6.4 million were also constructed at Pinebrook Place, Skyland Falls, Timbers Edge Trace and Cooks Pointe.
The leading edge of the $1.3 billion Project Reinvest at Eastman Chemical Co. began late in the fiscal year with two permits issued for $4.59 million for construction of a new laboratory and other items.
“Discounting the beginning of Project Reinvest, Kingsport clearly eclipsed the previous record for new investment in the community,” City Manager John Campbell said. “When you look across the board, every sector is growing, and this proves a strong foundation as the Eastman investments begin to show up.”