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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Riverfront Redevelopment

225 West Center Street v Kingsport, TN 37660 v 423-229-9413 v 423-229-9350 fax

BMA to receive Kingsport Landing Master Plan at Monday Work Session

KINGSPORT -- Consultants from Kennedy, Coulter, Rushing and Watson will provide the Board of Mayor and Aldermen with their first look at the full master plan developed for the riverfront at its Monday work session.

KCRW, instrumental in designing river front districts in Chattanooga and elsewhere, has created a master plan defining design, potential land uses, implementation, anticipated economic impacts and funding strategies.

"Kingsport Landing will be uniquely attractive, vibrant, and varied place where history meets the present and makes the future happen," said Tom Parham, who chairs the project’s community advisory board. "The consulting firm has done an excellent job incorporating the community’s vision into an achievable and affordable plan."

Highlights of the 15-year master plan include more than 100 acres of new and refurbished river front parks, with a one mile walking loop traversing three pedestrian bridges over the Holston River.

Anticipated to cost $26 million over 15 years, funding for the project will be sought from federal, state and local sources, as well as the private sector.

"It’s important to remember that we don’t expect this all to happen overnight," Development Services Manager Chris McCartt said. "This is really just the road map to move us forward. We do anticipate that much of the cost will be paid by private sector developers."

The walking route would complete the Greenbelt from Cloud Park all the way to the confluence of the North and South forks of the Holston River.

The plan also envisions 340,000 square feet of mixed use private development, including restaurants, shops, offices, retail, condominiums and town homes.

And, wharves, playgrounds, interactive water features, performance venues, fishing sports, gardens, historic interpretation and public art all combine to help complete the master plan.

More than 350 interested members of the public participated in three visioning sessions, with all of that information taken into account as the master plan was developed.


Meeting date: Monday, Aug 20, 4:30 pm
Location: City Hall, 2nd Floor



Contact: Chris McCartt 423.224.2704

Tim Whaley
Community & Government Relations Officer
City of

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Fort Henry Mall

An old friend gets a new name,
Fort Henry Mall
changing to
Kingsport Town Center

Kevin Harmon, General Manager
Fort Henry Mall


Kingsport, TN: The redevelopment plans for Fort Henry Mall in Kingsport, Tennessee will include changing the name of the property to Kingsport Town Center.

"We are changing the name of the mall to reflect our pride in the Kingsport community," said Tom Falatko, senior vice president for Somera Capital Management. "We feel strongly the new name and significant changes through redevelopment will maintain and strengthen the malls position as the dominant retail property in the market."

Somera Capital Management, LLC purchased Fort Henry Mall in January 2007. The mall is managed by General Growth Properties, Inc.

"Our goal is to provide only the best in retail, entertainment, and dining," said Kevin Harmon, General Manager. "The mall name change is part of our commitment to the shoppers and residents of Kingsport and the surrounding areas."

The new name of the mall will be official closer to the completion of the redevelopment. Currently, the center is being marketed for leasing purposes as Kingsport Town Center. A new website was recently launched for leasing information:

Our shoppers will see an exciting transformation as Fort Henry Mall becomes Kingsport Town Center," said Harmon. "We want to make sure the mall is exactly what our shoppers want and deserve."

Kingsport Town Center is managed by General Growth Properties, Inc., the second largest U.S. based publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). General Growth currently has an ownership interest in or management responsibility for a portfolio of more than 200 shopping malls in 44 states, as well as ownership in planned community developments and commercial office buildings. The portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space and includes more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide. General Growth Properties, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP. For more information, please visit the Company Web site at



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kingsport-Bristol named a Top 100 Retirement Location in America


February 2007

Where the hottest retirement spots are in Tennessee, Kentucky, Carolinas, Virginias & Georgia:

Crossville, TN
Brevard, NC
Georgetown, SC
St. Mary's, GA
Hilton Head, SC
Campbellsville, KY
Myrtle Beach, SC
54. Southern
Pines-Pinehurst, NC
Martinsville, VA
Sevierville, TN
Somerset, KY
64. La
Follette, TN
70. Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
76. Morehead City, NC
Harriman, TN
Paris, TN
Morristown, TN
Wilmington, NC
Greeneville, TN
Point Pleasant, WV
Bluefield, WV-VA
New Bern, NC
95. North
Wilkesboro, NC
Washington, NC




Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Newcomers Perspective

A newcomers perspective on Kingsport

...excerpted from a blog found on Google by a couple from the West Coast who recently moved to Kingsport.

Tennessee, My New Home!

07/15/2007 -17 °C

We Found It!

Well, the last time I wrote, we were struggling to figure out where it was that we were supposed to live. Guess what? We found it! But first, let me give you some background...

As we came to realize that Knoxville wasn't it, and neither was Nashville, we realized that the Lord was going to have a surprise for us somewhere -- something we were not expecting. When we went to Chattanooga and Cleveland, we thought that might be it -- but it wasn't. We were getting a bit confused, wondering where else we could go. Were we supposed to go to North Carolina? Kentucky? Was there anywhere else in Tennessee to go?

One thing that concerned us was that in all those other places, it was pretty hot and muggy! (surprise!) But the one thing we liked about Asheville, North Carolina when we visited there was the weather. It's at a higher elevation and has more moderate weather. But we didn't really care for Asheville overall, so that wasn't the answer either.

If you have an atlas like ours, Tennessee takes four pages -- the western half on two pages, and the eastern half on the next two pages. The eastern edge of the eastern two pages kinda ends with Knoxville. But on the bottom of those pages, they show a little box with the northeastern triangle in it.

Anyway, <name removed> looked at the map and saw that northeast corner -- the
Kingsport, Johnson City, Bristol area. It's in the Appalachians and is at a higher elevation like Asheville -- after all, it's only about an hour north of there. So we decided to drive up to the northeast corner and check out the Tri-Cities Area (that's what they call the Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol triangle).

This area is beautiful -- very hilly, trees everywhere, and a river runs through it. And the weather is very moderate. Over the last couple of weeks, the temperature has usually gotten up to the mid-80's, while the rest of the country is experiencing temperatures over 100. But the winters are also mild -- it rarely snows here and usually just gets down to the high 20's. A thunderstorm will occasionally develop in the afternoons, but it comes and goes, and it doesn't get too muggy.

Each of the three cities are just about 10-15 miles from each other, so they're really like one big metropolitan area. Actually, the larger metro area contains about 500,000 people, so there's a lot going on around here.

Search for a House

We started looking for a house in
Johnson City, the largest of the three cities. But we were having trouble finding the kind of place we were looking for, so we started looking in Kingsport. Kingsport is right on the Virginia border. We found a great house there and so we bought it! Actually, we're closing on the house at the end of July, so right now we're just waiting.

OK, so let me tell you about the house. It's over 4000 square feet, with 3200 of that on the main floor (the other 800 is in a finished basement). And it's on about 1.2 acre, consisting of a large hilly yard, and lots of trees. It was an executive custom home built in the early 70's. It has a contemporary "California" look to it, which is in contrast to many of the brick colonials in this area. But it doesn't have a California or Oregon price -- we bought it for probably a third of what we would have had to pay for it in Medford. It's very well-built, but just needs some updating. Of course, that's what <name removed> likes to do, and we like to make our houses look like us, so that works out well. But right now, we're just waiting, and in between, making trips to Home Depot and Lowe's to figure out what we're going to do to the place.

Search for a Church

This is a little out of sequence, but an important part of our decision to purchase this particular house was whether or not we would find the right church. We looked at this house on a Friday, and immediately fell in love with it. But before we would make an offer on it, we had to identify a church that we would go to. We asked our realtor what church in the area is the most dynamic large church around, and he told us <name removed> Church, so that's where we went that Sunday. When we walked in, we formed the usual uninformed first impressions in our minds, although we didn't talk to each other about our thoughts. But as soon as the service started, and the choir started out with this incredibly powerful anthem, we instantly knew that we were in the right place. And as the service continued, it was confirmed minute by minute. The funny thing was, the pastor was on vacation that day, so we didn't even get to hear him speak! But it didn't matter. The Lord was very clear that this was the place, and gave us total peace that we were supposed to put an offer on that house and go to that church. So we made the offer on Monday. It was so exciting to see how the Lord led us to exactly where He wanted us, and that He made it joyfully obvious to us. We were wondering during the more frustrating moments whether or not we would clearly "get the message", but He didn't let us down!

Other Fun Stuff

We started learning about the Tri-Cities area, and the first order of business was figuring out where we would go for the July 4th festivities. We found out that THE place to go for the 4th was a little town down the road called Rogersville [by the way, that's pronounced Rahjs-vuhl ;-) ]. They had various musical groups all day, along with the usual food and kids activities. The temperature was in the mid-80's. We took our camping chairs and kicked back -- it was a great day. One of the guests was some state senator (?), but what was cool was that he started out by quoting scripture and talking about our freedom in this country and in the Lord. Then one of the musical groups was the praise band from one of the local churches. Ah, the Bible Belt!! :-) The headliner that evening was the country singer John Michael Montgomery. He put on a good show. The fireworks was probably one of the best we've ever seen, rivaling even the fireworks in Portland. And Rogersville is a very small town. Cool, huh?

MORE Fun Stuff

I have to admit, this last year I was totally hooked on American Idol, and followed those kids' progress faithfully. I had mentioned to Michael that during our travels we ought to follow where they were doing their summer show, and see if we could go to one. Frankly, I had forgotten about that, but something came to my mind last week, so I looked up their schedule. This was on Monday, and I saw that they were going to be in Nashville on Wednesday. I was amazed to find out that there were still good tickets left, so we decided to go. Since we were going to Nashville anyway, we decided to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (CMHFM) too.

We went directly to the CMHFM -- it was very interesting to see the history of country music (the founding of which they attribute to Bristol, part of the Tri-Cities). I didn't take a lot of pictures because I realized I was low on battery power -- so I just took a picture of one of the more interesting items in there -- the inside of Elvis's gold cadillac. 

I would recommend that everyone go to the CMHFM some day. I'm not really a huge country music fan, but I found it very much a part of all of our American heritage.

Part of the tour also consisted of riding a bus over to Music Row and going to RCA Studio B. It's not really a working studio any more, but they do tours there. That's where hundreds of the old recording stars recorded their music, including Elvis, of course (he recorded over 200 of his songs there), Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, etc. It was very interesting, and the history just reeked out of the walls.

After we left the facility, we walked around downtown Nashville, along Broadway. We saw a lot of famous bars and saloons, like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Coyote Ugly, BB Kings, Wildhorse Saloon, and more. Of course, it was during the day, so there wasn't a lot of activity, but it was interesting seeing them -- and frankly, it was probably just as well. We also saw Roy Acuff's Record Store. I had to go inside to see if, in fact, they still had records -- and they did! Then finally we had a pulled pork dinner at Jack's BBQ. Yum!

The MOST Fun Stuff!!

So it's time to go to the Arena. I could tell by the ticket designation that we had some decent seats, but I had no idea how good until we went in. Ohmigosh! Our seats were in the center, the 4th row from the stage!! We had a fantastic view of the whole thing. How cool is that??

The show was awesome, and it was so fun to see those 10 AI kids. It lasted over 3 hours (with an intermission in there), and they all did an outstanding job. I took a lot of pictures (I bought new batteries downtown!), and you can go to my photosite to see just a few of them. (See the important note about my photosite at the bottom of the page).

Our Plans Going Forward

Some of you may be wondering -- is the travelling over now that you have a house? No way! We're still going to continue with our travel plans. As I said, we'll get into the house August 1st, and we'll start prepping the house for the remodel. However, we'll just be a couple of weeks there, then we're going to fly out to <the west coast> to get our stuff. Actually, <name removed> wanted to go out to our storage facility to get his tools and tile saw and stuff to do the house. Then we thought, well we might as well bring a truckful of stuff back (we have a good two truckfuls out there), and tow my VW back here. One thing led to another, and our son volunteered to fly up to <the west coast> and help us drive a second truck out. Our other son wanted to get in on the fun too, but he's occupied that week. It will be fun, though, to spend the week travelling with <our son>. When we get here, <our other son> is going to drive over (we're only about 4 hours away from him), and he will help us unpack.

Regarding the other travel, we're still going to head to Louisville in mid-September. From there we're going to Lancaster PA. Then we'll head up to Maine and work our way down through the northeastern states, seeing the fall colors. By the way, when we tell people around here that we're going up north to see the colors, they look at us like we're crazy. I guess they have tons of hardwood around here and the colors are dazzling here too. I guess we'll miss that this year, but we'll have many more years to see it. Whenever we get back from those travels, we'll continue to work on our house.



On the Trax

On The Trax Cafe at The Chamber
Main & Cherokee

Hi Jeff, I believe we are ready for a BLOG announcement for the new coffee shop / cafe at the Chamber of Commerce Building on Main Street! We call it "On the Trax"

The new owner is Steve Bailey, owner of DJ Express & A-Bell Media (sound company for the concert series).  Doug & I (Beatty-Lane Developments) are working with him to re-vamp the concept and get it started. He has done a lot in the last couple of weeks including an update to the menu and new furniture, sound system, merchandise, etc.  We are in the works now to build the large patio everyone is waiting for and expanding our hours into the evening for the after-work crowd! Currently we are open from 7am until 6pm and plan to be open later after the patio is complete.  Also, we are planning some live acoustic music, outdoor movies, and other great things.

Please encourage your audience to come by and try it out!


On the Trax - Cafe'
161 E. Main Street
In the
Chamber Building!

Jeff Lane / Beatty-Lane Developments



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Artist In Residence From Russia at Kingsport Ballet


Fall classes at Kingsport Ballet will feature several new professional instructors, including artist in residence, Rostislav Dzabraev.  Mr. Dzabraev arrived in Kingsport in April and has been performing, as well as teaching in the company’s summer workshop intensive.

Mr. Dzabraev began his training in Ufa, at the school where the famed Rudolph Nureyev began his career.  He was an apprentice with the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, prior to beginning his performing career.  He performed with the Ufa Ballet and the Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre of Marina Medvetskaya, and has toured extensively throughout Russia, Finland, Canada, North America, Egypt and Bermuda.  He has been recipient of numerous awards at national and international dance competitions including the Second International Festival of Moscow where he was awarded first place, and the Rudolph Nureyev Ballet Competition where he was a finalist.  He is also winner of the Pearl Krima prize.

Mr. Dzabraev will be teaching ballet and partnering, boys classes and outreach ballet classes at Kingsport Ballet this year.  He is also involved in community outreach education, including ETSU’s baroque music workshop and Arts 4 Kids workshops in September, and will be performing extensively in Kingsport Ballet productions during the 07-08 season.  Kingsport Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at th e Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville, November 30 and December 1, 2007, will feature Mr. Dzabraev in several lead roles.

In addition to Mr. Dzabraev, the company will be welcoming back to their teaching staff Tamlyn Bernshausen, who previously taught at KB for several years.  Other new teachers include Mary Lou Hensley and Rachel Copenhaver.  All of these instructors have extensive professional performance and teaching experience in various parts of the country.  Ms. Erika Ballard will begin her third year as ballet and modern teacher, Becky Hall as jazz teacher, Cara Harker as Ballroom teacher and Gigi Boggan as Pilates teacher. 

Kingsport Ballet is under the artistic direction of Valeria Sinyavskaya, and is funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission under an agreement with the National Endowment for Arts and outreach programs are funded by the City of Kingsport and the  Kingsport Community Foundation.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

It pays to shop in Kingsport

It's tax free weekend!

Two lucky shoppers were each rewarded with a $100 gift card and four movie passes to Marquee Cinema yesterday.

The first shopper hailed from
Gray, TN and was rewarded as she exited American Eagle.

The second shopper hailed from
Coeburn, VA and was rewarded as she exited JC Penney.

The shoppers were randomly selected by the "Shop Kingsport Patrol".

The shopper from Gray said she woke up and thought, "should I go to
Johnson City or Kingsport today".  Obviously, she made a wise choice!

You never know where the "Shop Kingsport Patrol" will turn up next, so keep shopping in


You might just be the next lucky winner!



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Best Regards,




Friday, August 03, 2007

USA Today Population Trends

Go to =>


Kingsport is "Just Right"

Kingsport is cited as Tennessee's 5th largest metro area with a 6 year growth rate of 1.3%

Kingsport's metro growth rate was more comparable to San Francisco, San Diego, Roanoke, Boston, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Eugene (OR), Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Greensboro, St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St Paul, Baltimore, Louisville, Chattanooga, Hartford, and Providence.

Some markets were
"too hot"  Metros with >20% growth included: Atlanta, Phoenix, Riverside, Austin, Myrtle Beach, Raleigh, Las Vegas, Orlando and Fayetteville (AR).  How long can they sustain this growth without implications on commutes, traffic, crime and erosion of quality of life? 

Some markets were
"too cold"  Metros with population decline include:  Rochester (NY), Cleveland (OH), Pittsburgh, Dayton, Huntington (WV), Charleston (WV), Wheeling (WV), Weirton (WV), Parkersburg (WV), Buffalo, Scranton (PA), Waterloo (IA), Manhattan (KS), Hutchinson (KS), New Orleans, Cumberland (MD), Pittsfield (MA), Ocean City (NJ), Gallup (NM), Lawton (OK), Aberdeen (SD), Brookings (SD).



Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Regional cooperation is one of a kind in Tennessee

Kingsport's Public Library and the Sullivan County Library tripled their online catalog holdings to more than 1.8 million titles this week thanks to four new Watauga Regional Library online catalog participants.

The Bristol Public Library, Sherrod Library at ETSU, Qullien College of Medicine Library at ETSU, and the Basler Library at Northeast State Community College all now offer their catalog of collections online through the Watauga Regional Library System.

The Watauga Regional Library System also includes libraries in Carter, Unicoi, Greene, Johnson, Sullivan and Washington Counties as well as Johnson City and Kingsport.

"So, if you need a book from any of these locations, you can place the hold request an a courier actually brings that book to your home library," Kingsport Library Manager Helen Whittaker said. "College students can pick up public library books at their college library, and public library patrons can pick up books from ETSU, Quillen, or Northeast State at their local library. This combined catalog consortia between public libraries and academia, including a courier system, is the only one like it in Tennessee."

Whittaker said the online catalog browser interface has become more "" like in appearance and usage.

The system can now send overdue notices via e-mail, saving the library postage and freeing-up staff to deliver better service at the desk.


Kingsport is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the Eastern U.S. This city of 50,000 in a metro of 308,000, was planned by renowned American planner John Nolen in his office at Harvard Square. Located in the lush green foothills of the Tennessee Valley, it is surrounded by the Southern Highlands and mountain lakes. Kingsport is home to Marriott’s and thousands of acres of unique, natural amenities at Bays Mountain and Warriors Path Parks. The natural geography provides a temperate, well-balanced climate with four seasons and a natural shelter from extreme weather. Population growth has also been well-balanced, ensuring you will not outgrow your decision to relocate. With no personal property taxes, special assessments, or state income taxes on salaries/wages, you’ll find that Kingsport has a very low cost of living coupled with an exceptionally high quality of life (see for yourself at The regional airport (TRI) has direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando and St. Pete/Clearwater with easy access, parking, and virtually no security lines. The public education system was planned by Columbia University and Newsweek has repeatedly recognized the local high school as one of the best in America. Year in and year out our graduates go on to the top colleges and universities (and without costly private school tuition fees). Harvard also recognized Kingsport in 2009 with the Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiative. What are you waiting for? It’s time to leave the high costs, traffic jams, and stress behind and discover this hidden gem.