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KEDB approves proposal to buy unnamed property

April 8th, 2014 9:19 pm by Hank Hayes

KEDB approves proposal to buy unnamed property

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Economic Development Board, at the urging of city aldermen, approved a proposal Tuesday to buy an unnamed property under consideration to develop a business incubator.

The possible purchase is for a 14.5-acre site at $60,000 per year over a 10-year period — money the city would contribute to KEDB to close the deal.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the purchase action last week.

"We have some reason to believe (the seller) is willing to sell at a reasonable price," City Manager John Campbell told KEDB members. "... We do feel the property has a lot of potential for economic development. We've already got some interest."

At the end of the meeting, city officials indicated they did not want the location and building revealed to the public at this time because it might hurt the city's competitive edge to acquire the site.

Kingsport's current main business incubator is the Holston Business Developer Center (HBDC) located on the Holston Army Ammunition Plant site.

Business incubators typically offer entrepreneurs incentives to start businesses from scratch. If the business succeeds after a start-up period, it usually relocates to other space.

HBDC, for example, offers Internet service, utilities, mail/package service, a conference room, presentation equipment, and fax/copier services, according to its website (http://www.hbdc.org).

KEDB acquires and sells property on the city's behalf, in addition to managing small industrial parks. HBDC was created following a 1999 Kingsport economic summit.

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