Developing Kingsport: Roughly 2,200 lots in development phases across the city

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KINSGPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Data shows the city of Kingsport is experiencing a residential boom as hundreds of families have flocked to the Model City since the beginning of the pandemic.

Kingsport Chamber of Commerce department Move to Kingsport data shows 785 families have moved to Kingsport between March of 2020 and April of 2021.

The pandemic seems to have driven people to rural cities like Kingsport but has also caused significant issues for developers.

“The prices have risen in about all our material, and labor’s getting a little harder to find,” Bright Ridge Homes owner and developer Joe Begley said. “But luckily, my family’s been in the building business a long time and I’ve been in it a few years and we use the same subcontractors and they’ve done a great job keeping up.”

“The staffing hasn’t been near as bad for us as the material shortages and the cost of materials have gone really skyrocketed.”

City of Kingsport Economic Development Director John Rose told News Channel 11 that he estimated there are 13 to 17 ongoing developments within city limits.

“Right now there’s 2,200 lots. When I say ‘lot’ that’s a unit either apartment, townhome, duplex, or single-family residence being developed in the city limits, that does not include what’s going on inside the county,” Rose said.

Begley and his partners are developing two of the many projects.

The first is a nearly $10 million development called Caymus Yard and will house a road called Caymus Court to connect the over 20 homes.

“There’s going to be about 20 one-level or story-and-a-half main level living type stuff, two bedrooms on the main level and main level garage. There’s going to be eight townhouses,” Begley said.

Rose said city leaders are excited to see the development moving from the grazed phase to the construction phase.

“That’s going to be a development it’s going to be worth, you know, $7 or $8 million just developing on that small piece of property on Polk Street and so we’re really excited about it,” he said.

The units will range from 1,400 to 1,700 square feet and will likely cost over $279,000.

“It is graded is ready to go vertical. They’ve actually already staked some of the lots,” Rose said.

About a half-mile down the road from the Caymus Yard development, Begley is working on another development called Cherokee Bend.

He said the development will house 23 townhouses, and his company has started building 17, with some near completion.

“We have one unit available over there for sale and we’re starting two or three more as we speak. it’s been a great addition to Kingsport it was patio homes, one level living mainly and I think that we’ve really helped the street and the neighborhood over there. We tore down an old school there and redeveloped, so been very happy with it,” he said.

Rose said he feels the developments would benefit both current and new residents.

“This influx will drive the demand for services, for products, and for entertainment, restaurants. So we see the growth as very positive for the small business owners of our community,” he said.

He said that there is still a great need that must be met in terms of population growth and the housing shortage, but Kingsport has a plan.

He said from expansion projects, where developers build onto an existing subdivision, to graded projects like Caymus Yard, developers are taking the bull by the horns.

“Other subdivisions like Magnolia Ridge is a brand new subdivision by the developer that did Chase Meadows out on Glory Road and they’re getting ready to break ground, it passed Planning Commission Thursday night and they’re in the permit process to be able to break ground and start grading so it is just getting ready – dirt’s getting ready to move this fall,” he said.

Begley, a former Kingsport alderman, said it feels good to develop in Kingsport, but there are some challenges to mapping out his building timelines due to issues caused by the pandemic.

“Timing-wise, you have to give yourself an extra you know, I would give myself probably an extra 25% on time just because of materials and fortunately, you know, I could substitute some materials. Seems like my suppliers have done a good job of getting the material to me, but sometimes it’s a different faucet than I would usually use a different light than I would use,” he said.

Due to the timing issues, move-in dates are harder to calculate.

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