JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Johnson City Commission passed an ordinance on first reading that will kick start development in the Boones Creek area.
“There’s no cost to us, the state pays 100% of the incentive and what we gain from that will be increased sales and property taxes,” says City Manager Pete Peterson.
This comes from the Regional Retail Tourism Development District Act passed in the state legislature to increase tourism and competitiveness of the state through advancing shopping, entertainment, and economic growth.
The site also had to meet certain criteria:
- Being within a half-mile of a federally designated interstate exchange
- Be 950 acres or less
- Be within 20 miles of two state lines as measured in a straight line
The Boones Creek area right by the exit 17 interchange is the only spot in Johnson City that meets these standards.
Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock also made sure this would bring new and bigger developments to the area through certain agreements.
“We did write some things into the agreements on the incentives. If a current business that’s in town moves out there- it has to increase its footprint by 35%, to try to discourage people from just moving around,” said Brock.
But- this incentive paves way for more than just new shops and dining options.
“It really is a flexible tool and what it allows us and the development community to do together is to stimulate the local economy and hopefully generate some additional residents in Johnson City,” said Peterson.
This incentive sends a portion of the state sales tax back to the developers for continuing growth.
“They are taking five cents of the seven cents that goes to the state that’s collecting sales tax and they’re returning it to the developer,” said Brock.
So far- there has only been one confirmation of who will be taking advantage.
Mark Larkey and Bryan Sangid plan to bring a hotel, multi-family units, retail, and restaurants as well as indoor and outdoor recreation to the area.
I’ts also too soon to tell who else will be joining the area but the city manager says several developers are interested in Boones Creek.
The commission will need to vote on this ordinance two more times then send it off to the state’s revenue commissioner for approval before any construction can begin.