KINGSPORT — Kingsport has gone live with its Professional Housing Incentive Program, a move fast-tracked by city officials in an effort to address the apparent lack of high end housing in the Model City.
The program became official on Jan. 31 and, according to Lynn Tully, Kingsport planning director, one company has applied for $200,000 in incentives and the agreement is currently being reviewed by the city’s legal department. Once complete, the incentive will go before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for approval.
The applicant is Vic Davis for the Summit at Preston Park in the Orebank community. Tully said the project calls for 27 lots and is an expansion of an existing neighborhood. Davis had prior approval for fewer lots, but since the incentive package went live, Tully said he came back and added more lots.
“We’re hoping the momentum can get us some more,” Tully said.
The high end housing issue has been on the radar of Kingsport officials for the past six months and came to the forefront following a Times-News story that included a comment about how many relocated Eastman Chemical Co. employees were choosing to live outside the city limits.
Members of the BMA pointed out that Kingsport does not have as many new homes in the $500,000-plus range as Johnson City and that something needed to be done to address the disparity, especially given that Eastman plans to add 300 jobs to its rolls over the next seven years.
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