City leaders think the Tri-City Linen building can be used in connection with the Academic Village. Ned Jilton II photo.
KINGSPORT — The city of Kingsport is accepting bids for the renovation of the Tri-City Linen and Uniform Co. building, a move to keep the property from deteriorating any further and to prepare the building for future use.
The Tri-City Linen property is located on Shelby Street adjacent to the Model City Motors building, with a portion of the property located on Clay Street. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved purchasing the 53,000-square-foot building in September 2007 for $782,225 — $37,000 over the appraised value.
City leaders have said they envision the property to be used some way in connection to the proposed Academic Village downtown. Kingsport’s transit division is storing its buses in the Clay Street portion of the property, and City Manager John Campbell has said he would like to see the city’s engineering department relocate from the old Highway Patrol building on Fort Henry Drive to the Shelby Street side of the property.
Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds said the renovation work would be done to the Shelby Street side of the property and is being done to keep the building from deteriorating any further and to prepare the building for future use.
The estimated cost for the renovations is just under $100,000.
“There is no immediate plan for the use of the building, and we’re not doing anything that would be finished for an office space,” McReynolds said.
Some of the work being done includes leveling the floor, removing protruding bolts, upgrading the sprinkler system, and replacing the windows on the outside facade.
“Issues that would maintain the integrity of the building that would facilitate the use of it at a future date,” McReynolds said.
Kingsport should begin receiving bids over the next two weeks. Work should begin in about a month or two and take three to four months to complete, McReynolds said.
The request for the renovations came from Campbell, who said he asked the engineering department to make sure the Tri-City Linen building was properly maintained with no deterioration.
“There are some opportunities to do a few things to show the potential of the base core of the space,” Campbell said. “We still have educational groups and others asking about the potential to being in buildings along Shelby Street.”
Campbell has said to move engineering to the Tri-City Linen building would cost between $300,000 and $400,000. Campbell said while two sections of the property would be a great location for the engineering department, there are no plans under way to make the move.