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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kingsport logs record commercial development in October

Kingsport logs record commercial development in October

Nearly $42 million in construction permits were recorded in Kingsport for the month of October, with the city set to nearly double the 2006 pace for new construction and investment.
On a yearly basis through October, Kingsport has logged $140.6 million in new construction across residential, commercial and industrial sectors compared to a total of $88.5 million for all of 2006.

According to city building officials, October registered a single-month record of $37.6 million in new commercial/retail development in Kingsport. Construction of Holston Medical Group’s new Stone Drive facility accounted for $31.8 million worth of work in October.

Another $5.83 million in commercial permits covered everything from Six Sheridan Square in the MeadowView district to a new TVA Credit Union building, two restaurants, a dental arts building, spa and continued build-out of the Kingsport Pavilion on East Stone Drive.

Meanwhile, residential development continued at steady pace, with $1.88 million recorded for single family and condominium development.

In all, there have been 109 single family housing starts through 10 months of 2007 with an average value of $156,533. For all of 2006, there were 135 new single family homes constructed.
“We are realizing strong economic expansion in Kingsport, but the success we are seeing today would not be happening without the support of a slew of community partners,” Assistant City Manager Jeff Fleming said. “While we can’t predict future outcomes, there are positive signs of continued expansion and economic growth in Kingsport.”

In part, optimism is to be found in the fact that only four industrial construction permits valued at $7 million have been issued so far in 2007, the leading edge of Eastman Chemical’s five year $1.3 billion Project Reinvest.

At the same time, Fleming said the full impact of city investments in the downtown Higher Education Center and Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center’s $110 million Project Platinum have yet to be realized.

However, Kingsport’s strong construction results are clearly showing up in regional economic data.

The third quarter job report authored by East Tennessee State University’s Dr. Steb Hipple indicates that “the local construction boom is focused in non-residential construction, especially in Kingsport and Bristol.”

According to Hipple’s report, unemployment was only 3.76 percent in Kingsport during the third quarter, the lowest in the region. New job growth in the Tri-Cities was led by the construction sector, with service sector job growth also posting solid gains.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Groundbreaking for Kingsport's new elementary school

Groundbreaking for John Adams Elementary To Be Held

KINGSPORT – Kingsport City Schools, in partnership with the city of Kingsport, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new John Adams Elementary School on Monday, November 26 at noon.

The groundbreaking will be held at the school site, located near 2346 Rock Springs Rd. Members of the Kingsport Board of Education and the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen are expected attend and members of the public are invited to participate in this special event.

Scheduled to open in the Fall of 2009, John Adams Elementary School is a 500-student PreK-5 facility located in the Rock Springs community. Plans to build a new elementary school at the site were launched in the Spring of 2006 following a donation of property in the Edinburg development. The Kingsport Board of Education selected the architectural firms of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon and the DLR Group to design the school, which will feature a full-size community gymnasium and an environmentally-friendly geothermal heating and cooling system.

For more information regarding the groundbreaking ceremony, please contact the Kingsport City Schools Office of Community Relations at (423) 378-2123.

Kingsport has a long tradition of naming its elementary schools after presidents. Other schools include:

George Washington - West Kingsport
Thomas Jefferson - Northeast Kingsport
Andrew Jackson - North Central Kingsport
Abraham Lincoln - South Central Kingsport
Andrew Johnson - Southeast Kingsport
Theodore Roosevelt - (Northwest Kingsport annexation, formerly West View)
John F. Kennedy - (North Kingsport annexation, formerly Lynn Garden)
John Adams - South Kingsport

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

13 Dobyns-Bennett football players named to All Big East Team

KINGSPORT — The 2007 All-Big East football team announced this week features Bearden’s Torey Works (running back) as Offensive Player of the Year and Jefferson County’s Jonathan Yeary (linebacker) as Defensive Player of the Year.

In his debut season, Jefferson County’s Justin Anderson was recognized as Coach of the Year. Nine Dobyns-Bennett players were included on the first team. Honored were running back Chris Sensabaugh, offensive guard Alan Hinson, defensive/offensive tackle Daniel Preston, defensive ends Zack Fleming and Will Bateman, defensive back Robert Hogg, Justin Sylvester (athlete), Casey Halsey (academic) and Austin Morrison (character).

Sensabaugh, a freshman, played only the last two-thirds of the season and was D-B’s leading rusher with 854 yards on 112 carries. Hogg, an all-state candidate, led D-B in tackles with 122. Preston threw 15 blocks that resulted in touchdowns. Hinson delivered 20 pancake blocks. Fleming had 71 tackles and Bateman 62.

Science Hill players earned two spots on the first team — defensive back Javan Joslin and punter Aaron Trent.

D-B landed four players on the second team — center Ryan Church, linebacker Lane Taylor, defensive back Lane Dukart and Sylvester as a defensive back. Science Hill placed one — wide receiver Tomas Hill on this unit.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here's a thought....

They say nothing is certainbut death and taxes

I just received my City of Kingsport Property Tax bill for 2007.Here's something to think about....

My city property tax bill is 35% LESS than my annual cell phone bill for a family of 3

....and I get internationally-accredited police & fire protection

...garbage, trash and recycling pick-up at no extra charge

...parks, recreation, library, and archives

...a 3,500 acre nature preserve

...nationally-ranked public schools

...and much more!

All in all, that's one bill I'm happy to pay!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

How important is healthcare to the local economy?

How important are healthcare jobs to the Tri-Cities economy?

Kingsport is currently building an Allied Health Building as part of the Academic Village that will bring 2,100 students to Downtown Kingsport by 2009.This begs the question, "How important are healthcare jobs to the local economy?".Let's see what the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says:

The Kingsport-Bristol MSA grew from 12,900 to 17,100 healthcare employees over a 10 year period (420 new jobs per year).

The Johnson City MSA grew from 8,800 to 11,400 over the same period (or 260 new jobs per year)For a potential glimpse of our future potential, let's look at surrounding states and metros for the average number of new healthcare jobs per year during the past 10 years.

Winston-Salem metro (NC) = 1,690
Greensboro metro (NC) = 1,450
Greenville metro (SC) = 1,260
Knoxville metro (TN) = 1,210
Asheville metro (NC) = 1,050
Chattanooga metro (TN) = 740
Hickory metro (NC) = 540
Kingsport-Bristol metro (TN-VA) = 420
Roanoke metro (VA) = 390
Cleveland metro (TN) = 270
Johnson City metro (TN) = 260
Morristown metro (TN) = 160

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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.