Aquatic Center boosts Kingsport's construction numbers

Matthew Lane • Mar 2, 2013 at 11:27 AM

KINGSPORT - The amount of construction taking place in the Model City last year grew by more than $18 million, from $52.6 million to $70.7 million. However, this increase can be attributed to one government-led project - the Kingsport aquatic center, coming in with an estimated construction cost of nearly $21.3 million.

Kingsport’s Building Division recently issued its yearly report, which includes information and statistics on building permits, housing and commercial starts and inspections performed within the city over the past year.

According to the report, Kingsport issued a total of 792 building permits last year with an estimated construction cost of $70.7 million. In 2011, Kingsport issued 772 building permits worth nearly $52.6 million.

The top five building permits issued during 2012 include the aquatic center ($21.28 million), the Lynn View Ridge Apartments ($5.4 million), the Tri-City Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership ($2 million), the First Assist Urgent Care center on Fort Henry Drive ($1 million) and the new downtown Burger King ($900,000).

Kingsport issued 16 permits for new commercial development during 2012. In addition to those previously mentioned, permits were issued for the new amphitheater at Allandale ($281,000), the Murphy Oil Express ($628,000), the new Subway on East Stone Drive ($142,000) and Kendall Electric’s new facility on Jan Way ($580,000).

On the housing side of the yearly building report, Kingsport had 77 new single-family dwelling permits issued in 2012 - up 11 from 2001 - with an estimated construction cost of $13.8 million, an increase of nearly $1.3 million over the previous year.

The report states the most active residential developments were in Edinburgh (14 permits) and Autumn Woods and Polo Fields (each with seven permits). The most expensive house built in 2012 was a home in the Old Island subdivision at just over $1 million.

With multi-family housing, Kingsport saw 66 apartments added to its rolls, mostly coming from the Lynn View Ridge Apartments. This apartment complex consists of six buildings, 52 units and had a construction cost of $5.4 million.

Lynn View Ridge Apartments was built using low income housing tax credits through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, where a certain percentage of the units have to be at 60 percent of the median income and another portion at or below 50 percent of the median income. Terry Cunningham, executive director of the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, said the apartments are not considered Section 8 housing, but Section 8 vouchers can be used there.

The building report also outlined major remodeling projects that took place in the Model City last year. Residential projects totaled nearly $3.2 million while commercial projects topped $10.7 million, the most notable ones being the sixth floor of the Holston Medical Group building on West Stone Drive ($1.77 million), the Eastman Credit Union data center on Regional Park ($1.45 million) and the Wal-mart Supercenter on Fort Henry Drive ($1.38 million).

School construction permits came in at $2.5 million during 2012, an increase of $2 million over the previous year; Jefferson Elementary built a new library ($852,000), Dobyns-Bennett had two projects totaling $891,500 while Sullivan County renovated Sullivan North High School ($756,800).

Kingsport’s building department issued 2,383 permits during the year - 792 building, 925 electrical, 456 mechanical and 510 for plumbing - all generating $351,379 in revenue for the city. Inspectors performed 4,784 on-site construction inspections during the year, an increase of over 500 from the previous year.

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