KINGSPORT - Dave Clark's vision for a coherent professional office park in Kingsport is coming into view.
City officials and community leaders joined Clark Thursday in a "Topping Out the Steel" ceremony to celebrate the construction of the latest and largest building in the Sheridan Square complex, located at the intersection of Wilcox Drive and Meadowview Parkway.
A steel beam was signed by those in attendance and then hoisted by crane to the top of the new four-story building.
The 46,000-square-foot structure, dubbed building No. 7, represents a $9 million investment in the community. Oil and gas company Penn Virginia will anchor the facility, occupying about 40,000 square feet. The remaining office space will go to Gilbert Advanced Asset Management, a Johnson City firm making its first physical move into Kingsport.
Clark has already completed several other buildings at the site. And in addition to building No. 7, two more - buildings No. 6 and No. 8 - are on the way.
"This has been a very pleasant surprise - the demand for office space out here," Clark said.
Clark started construction on the first building at Sheridan Square in 1999, before the new South Wilcox Drive was built next to the property.
Clark negotiated with three separate property owners to purchase the entire corner of land for the development.
The first building constructed houses a plastic surgery center, two medical labs, a law office, and the Madagascar Coffee Co. Building No. 2 houses Blue Ridge Neuroscience, and building No. 3 holds Arthritis Associates. The fourth building houses ETSU Physician Associates. And building No. 5 is home to Ear Nose and Throat Associates.
Clark said building No. 6 is now under design. He's received a letter of intent from a women's oncology center in Asheville, N.C., to anchor the building.
Building No. 7, expected to be completed early next year, will hold Penn Virginia and Gilbert Advanced Asset Management.
And building No. 8 - the final addition to the office complex - is in the planning stages. Clark says he envisions a mixed-use office tower, including penthouse condominiums at the top. He's already gotten interest from a "high-end restaurant" for the structure, he said.
In all, the office park will include approximately 165,000 square feet, representing an investment of $30 million, Clark said.
The complex also means more jobs. Clark's research shows that two new jobs have been created for every 1,000 square feet of space in the development.
And, he said, the office park isn't just "shuffling the deck" by moving one company from another location within the city. Clark said that nearly 11,000 square feet of the complex represents new businesses to the Kingsport market.
"We're pulling businesses here from outside the area," he said.
"There really wasn't any coherent professional office park in Kingsport, and that's what we wanted to develop," Clark said.