Downtown Johnson City seeing growth and property value increase despite stalled projects in city


While downtown Johnson City continues to grow, projects in other parts of the city have seemingly stalled.

One of those projects that many have reached out to News Channel 11 about is the Publix Supermarket slated to go at the corner of State of Franklin and West Market street. 

Over the last three years downtown Johnson city has changed, from a new sign to new businesses like Wild Wing Cafe. There are even future developments in the works at the site of the old General Mills property. 

This growth is changing the face of downtown and also helping to increase property value. 

“We have had an amazing number of buildings that have been purchased and not just purchased but restored, that is what we really want in downtown revitalization,” Downtown Development Manager Dianna Cantler said. 

According to Cantler, in the last few years there has been an eight percent property value increase in the redevelopment district in Johnson City compared to about a one percent increase in other parts of Washington County, Tennessee. 

While that momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down there are other projects in the city like the Publix Supermarket that has seemingly stalled that many want to see become a reality. 

 “We love Publix, we are ready for Publix to come in, but thankfully we are not in a food desert where we don’t have other options,” Cantler said. 

It  been more than a year now since this sign was first put up and now city leaders say they have no update on when Publix will open.

Another project planned at this shopping center on South Roan street has been abandoned. Major retailer Wal-Mart pulled plans to bring a neighborhood market to the city.

Recently, Tupelo Honey closed its doors but Cantler says these setbacks aren’t stopping growth downtown. 

“You hate it when a business leaves and Tupelo was one of our first big restaurants that came in but we know that building is not going to stay empty and it won’t be long and somebody is going to be coming in.” 

A spokesperson with Publix told News Channel 11 at the current time there is no update to share on the project. In May of this year, a spokesperson said plans were plotted and Publix was still coming to Johnson City. 

Johnson City leaders say the last time they had correspondence with Publix was around the time we spoke with the company in May. 

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