JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Johnson City Public Works crews are continuing to redevelop the West Walnut Street corridor. While the project has a slated timeline of two years to completion, new businesses are wasting no time getting in on the ground level.

The multi-phase development plan is estimated to be completed in Fall 2024, but has seen a few delays along the way so far. Rick Kilgore, the design and construction coordinator for Johnson City Public Works told News Channel 11 that due to active weather, there has been some push back in terms of the overall completion date.

Snow and rain have caused work to slow, and Kilgore said the rain has been especially difficult. He estimates there have been about 20 to 30 days worth of delays that will be factored into the overall project development.

However, Kilgore said his crews have made significant progress despite the delays. The crews aren’t the only ones making progress, but also local entrepreneurs.

While the goal of redeveloping the West Walnut Street Corridor is to bring it up to date and pull in new business, people are seeing the potential in the area now. Just last week, Rollin Smoke BBQ officially opened its own brick-and-mortar shop in the corridor.

“The construction has been a pain but all the customers laugh about it and it hasn’t stopped them. I can’t wait until they’re done but customers are okay, they still get to us. We see great potential in this location. There’s so much that’s going to be going on here. The parks, the buildings, it’s a safe place and I think it’s just a blessing,” said the Owner of Rollin Smoke, Shanna Henderson.

Over the weekend, Peerless properties announced their development of the former Tupelo Honey location.

“I just felt like this was a perfect time to kind of get involved in that location and when I found out that it was available for sale, we decided to pursue it,” said Peerless Properties Owner, Gary Kalogeros.

The property has sat vacant for a few years and will serve the public once again as a restaurant but this time under a new name and concept called ‘BURG’r & BARREL’ along with an outdoor gathering space.

“We’re just trying to bring all the age groups into Johnson City and appeal to them and make a positive impact in this community,” said Constantine Kalogeros.

The Kalogeros family said they purchased the property not only for its history but its terrific location. Gary Kalogeros said he sees the potential for the entire corridor once the city’s project is complete.

While the project will take years to see an end, they plan to open in May pending issues due to supply chain shortages.

“It’s been a struggle but we’ve been working really hard. We’re close to our vendors and they’re supplying us with some great products still and decent lead times considering the times we’re in when it comes to supply chain issues,” said Constantine Kalogeros.

They hope to keep the history of the building in their new concept, bring in a great new local spot to eat and gather and provide more hospitality jobs in the Downtown Johnson City area.

Kilgore said seeing these businesses already come in is encouraging. “They’re getting ahead of it and I’m excited to see it. There are at least two businesses I can think of that just came in and maybe that’s just the start,” he said.