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Kingsport officials report $43.8 million in new construciton, investment in Sept. and Oct.

Staff report • Nov 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Kingsport city officials are reporting that the city realized $43.8 million in new construction and investment in September and October, highlighted by the addition of 110 rooms at the MeadowView Marriott Hotel and continued work at Eastman Chemical Company.

Eastman Chemical applied for a $20 million building permit for the construction of a new production facility in Kingsport in late September, while single family housing construction also remains steady.

Eastman is spending $1.3 billion to upgrade its Kingsport facility over the next five years, and according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, is clearly helping the East Tennessee region through strong exports despite the difficult economic climate nationally.

“We know Kingsport is not completely immune to the major economic struggles we’re seeing in other parts of the country,” City Manager John Campbell said Thursday. “We know that the regional development environment is challenging.

“Still, the investments in the community that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen have made over the last couple of years have laid a solid foundation for continued growth here in Kingsport.”

Since the end of 2007, Kingsport has seen the opening of seven new restaurants. And during the past two months, Best Buy, Decorators Warehouse and East Shops, a small strip center, have taken out $8.3 million in building permits at the Kingsport Pavilion on East Stone Drive.

Meanwhile, 96 new single family homes have been built in Kingsport through October, at a total value of $17.65 million. Kingsport has averaged 108 new housing starts over the last eight years. Average construction permit value on the new homes this year is $183,920.

Kingsport’s Building division issued nine single-family home permits with a value of $300,000 or more. Developers also added 108 apartment units and 19 condominiums to the housing stock so far this year. In all, $25.31 million in construction permits for housing have been issued in 2008.

“Growth in available housing options in Kingsport continues to attract new and returning residents to town,” Campbell said. “Downtown dining adds to the quality of life in the city, while retail expansion adds significant new dollars to the tax base.

“This is exactly the kind of growth we need to see -- housing, dining and amenities, as well as retail expansion -- to continue providing high-quality services at the lowest possible cost. At the same time, we need to continue making key investments to ensure we remain attractive as new business opportunities arise.”

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