KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The city of Kingsport has issued over 220 building permits for single-family homes for the 2023 fiscal year, which is already more than the 203 permits issued in 2022.
Kingsport Assistant City Manager, Jessica Harmon, sees the city growing steadily and doesn’t expect it to slow down.
“Where we see 220 permits being issued, we’ve got about 2000 locked in some form of an approval process with us,” Harmon said. “So, while we have 220 permits, there’s 2,000 coming.”
77 homes have been built in the West Gate Community in Kingsport, with 14 townhomes currently under construction. The sub-division was developed by Land Star Group with D.R. Horton constructing the homes.
“I think we’ve put in added to the tax rolls about $70 million worth of taxable property with D.R. Horton over the last 3 and a half years,” said Daniel Karst, Developer with Land Star Group.
Both Harmon and Karst said the growth in Kingsport is widespread, and not just targeted to one area.
“We’ve seen a couple infill developments that are in the pre-approval stage, which has been great for us to see closer to the heart of the city,” Harmon said. “We are seeing a lot of development out on the outskirts of town in areas that traditionally haven’t been developed.”
Harmon says the city of Kingsport tries to make sure the infrastructure adequately supports the growth.
“We do pre-development meetings,” Harmon said. “We get involved early on in the discussion of new developments to make sure that we have the adequate infrastructure or analyze what kind of infrastructure would be needed so that we don’t have homes coming that are going to be a drain that is a struggle for us to fulfill.”
Harmon said the city also has a threshold that requires a traffic impact study.
“To make sure that any development that comes in, ‘is it causing a bottleneck in our infrastructure, ‘”Harmon said. “And then if the demand is there, what needed improvements would be necessary as a result of that development.”
Both Harmon and Karst believe the quality of life is what is bringing people to the Model City.
“The ability for people to work from home now is causing people to look at a lower cost of living in other cities,” Harmon said. “Our cost of living here is excellent, and I would put it up among lots of people across the country.”
Karst said the Tri-Cities has a lot of good resources. He said Land Star Group already has plans for more sub-division developments in Kingsport.
“All things equal, pretty good place, good health care, good education and we have good resources here, water resources, which is wonderful for us to continue to grow and other companies to grow as well,” Karst said.