Concept plans and public survey pushes Johnson City West Walnut development forward

JOHNSON CITY, TN - Revitalization plans to grow the West Walnut corridor in Johnson City are catching some longtime business owners off guard.

That concern is centered on renderings made public by the city that show a complete re-working of West Walnut Street.The preliminary designs even show some businesses will no longer be present or will be relocated. 

Logan McMeans co-owns Slammin' Sammy's Sandwich Shop on West Walnut Street, he is looking forward to the changes and progress that the project will bring to the corridor.

"We really hope that it amps up the amount of traffic in this area," Logan McMeans said. 

An online survey put up by the city shows renderings with on street parking and even a bike lane. City leaders say they want to get input from people in the community before moving forward." 

"I think the neighborhoods have weighed, the business owners have weighed in we've heard what they have had to say," David Tomita said. 

Now, city leaders want to here from everyone in Johnson City mayor David Tomita says while the concept designs shows some businesses relocated or gone completely there are no solid plans to move or relocate businesses at this point.

"We are still trying to figure out what kind of cake we are going to bake before we write the recipe for it and this is conceptual, totally conceptual."  

Meanwhile McMeans is looking forward to the results of the public survey, hoping that the issue of parking on West Walnut street is resolved. 

"I know like right now our overflow parking is across the street and if they could kind of keep that as a public parking area that would really help," McMeans said. 

The consulting firm that worked on these renderings are expected to have a written plan made up from the results of that survey to city leaders by the  end of June.  

The plan is to present a final draft to city leaders in August.  

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