Kingsport plans for renovations to old General Shale property

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- The City of Kingsport is getting a first look at what could be built on a key piece of property.

A consultant report released Tuesday night suggests the city build a multi-use outdoor facility on the old General Shale property located near Industry Drive.

That property is next to the city’s popular Brickyard Park.

As of Tuesday night, there has been support for something that could serve as a multi-purpose gathering place in Kingsport and could cost upwards of 20 million dollars. However, that will depend on the next phase of this project.

The consultant report released Tuesday night includes a vision of what could be, everything from a multi-use venue for a public event, to a bike park, even a possible pedestrian bridge.

City Manager Chris McCartt says that could all change though, “[we’re also] looking at maybe going a completely different approach and say we’re going to use probably 50+ acres of this site for a light industrial park or a business park.”

While McCartt says taxpayers won’t see an increase, their money will be used to help fund this project. “We set aside money to go towards this,” says McCartt. “It would go towards capital projects, additional studies, or a variety of other things associated with some of those ideas. That’s where those dollars are coming from.”

Part of that money will be used on what was decided on Tuesday, and that is to spend $150,000 on a consulting firm to help determine the best use for the 115 acres.

Some of those funds will also come from money the city already has available.

“We’re using existing cash that’s been set aside to look at projects associated the One Kingsport Summit so that we can provide them with more information,” says McCart.

The current phase of the project is expected last over a month before more decisions are made. “We are anticipating executing that contract this week. I would like to think we’ll have some preliminary ideas and information back to us probably late October. “

WJHL also spoke to Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull. He was the only person against the development. The mayor says he’s against it because he believes Kingsport residents don’t fully understand what the property will be used for.

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