KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Local leaders and developers gathered on a hill overlooking downtown Kingsport on Wednesday to break ground on the Brickyard Village development.

Plans to build a residential community at the former General Shale property first emerged in 2020.

The Kingsport Economic Development Board chose Durham-based Edens Investments as the developer in November 2021.

Nearly two years later, Edens Investments has shared a master plan for the neighborhood, which is set to add 464 residential units to the city, including 83 single-family homes.

President Jarrod Edens told News Channel 11 he was on the lookout for development opportunities in Kingsport, near his hometown of Gate City.

“When this project popped up, I thought, it’s just a great opportunity,” Edens said.

Edens isn’t just getting a chance to invest near his hometown, he’s also getting in on the growth in Kingsport.

“We see the data and we know how fast the area is growing,” Edens said. “You can see it. You can see it in downtown. You can see all the city’s investment in the park space and everything around.”

Kingsport’s economic development leaders are celebrating the results of their work to redevelop the 39-acre parcel.

“I don’t know of a project in my lifetime that is more exciting than this one,” Kingsport Economic Development Board Chair Craig Dennison told News Channel 11.

The neighborhood will be located just behind the train tracks that create a boundary along Main Street and near Scott Adams Memorial State Park and Brickyard Park.

Public works staff told News Channel 11 that a planned pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and the neighborhood is currently in the environmental review stage.

Once complete, it will allow visitors downtown to cross over the train tracks for events at Brickyard Park or the planned outdoor events space behind Brickyard Village.