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Contract for partial demolition of former Pet Dairy property approved

March 10th, 2014 11:34 pm by Matthew Lane

Contract for partial demolition of former Pet Dairy property approved

A portion of the old Pet Dairy building will be demolished as part of a land swap agreement between the city of Kingsport and Tennessee Electric Co. David Grace photo.

KINGSPORT - The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a $309,000 bid for some targeted demolition on the old Pet Dairy property, with the work being done as a condition of a land swap deal between Kingsport and Tennessee Electric Co.

Kingsport purchased the Pet Dairy property just over two years ago for $250,000 and in that time has been working to find a suitable business to locate in the building. The five-acre property includes the main, three-story office-type building, warehouse space, a sales office (recently demolished), and a maintenance area (where Kingsport's traffic division recently relocated).

Last year, Kingsport officials began talking with TEC officials about obtaining an easement under the property for a water tunnel. This discussion led to the idea of a land swap, where TEC would receive 2.7 acres of the Pet Dairy property and Kingsport would receive TEC's current property on the John B. Dennis Highway.

TEC's portion will include the warehouse, the property where a recently demolished sales office was located and the large parking lot behind the sales office.

A condition of the deal is some targeted demolition work on the three-story building, to essentially separate the city's portion from TEC's portion. The work involves just over 16,000 square feet of the building - the section between the three-story office and the warehouse section - along with a number of concrete pads, tanks and other equipment along the back of the building. The contract also includes the demolition of the interior of the three-story building.

During its regular meeting Tuesday night, the BMA approved the $309,519 low bid from Armstrong Construction for the demolition work. To meet the requirements of the land swap will cost $185,600 with the remainder of the funds going towards the interior demolition work.

The portion of the Pet Dairy property TEC will receive was appraised at $190,000. TEC's existing property was appraised at $385,000. Kingsport plans to market and sell the TEC property.

As for the existing three-story Pet Dairy building, the city originally planned to continue marketing it and ultimately put it back on the tax rolls. However, that plan has changed and the city intends to keep the building for the water department, using two floors for warehouse and storage space and a maintenance shop.

Kingsport hopes to have the demolition work completed around the first of May and then close on the deal with TEC. TEC intends to relocate its operations to the property and expand its work force to over 500 employees in 2014.

When all is said and done, Kingsport will have spent nearly $835,000 on the Pet Dairy property - the purchase price, the cost of the demolition work and two rounds of renovations ($275,000) to the old maintenance building, which now houses the city's traffic division.

In other business Tuesday night, the BMA approved a change to the city's zoning code for apartment districts, specifically on the number of apartment units can be built on a property. Previously, the number of units a developer could build in a particular zone had to be calculated by its floor area ratio.

Now, the maximum number is based on units per acre.

For R-3 zones (low density apartment district) the number is 15 units per acre; for R-4 (medium density) the number is 20 while in R-5 (high density) the number is 40.

Other changes include removing the minimum dimension requirements for the development, such as lot area, frontage space and building height.

The change will go into effect in 15 days.

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