BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — After about three years untouched, Bristol, Tennessee City officials are taking steps towards the demolition of a partially constructed hotel near the heart of downtown.
The structure at 933 Shelby Street was slated to be a Holiday Inn, until part of the structure collapsed in Sept. 2020.
According to a letter from the City to developers Tenneva, LLC, the structure was deemed unsafe in January 2023. The correction order demanded that Tenneva “correct or abate” violations of the city code.
Last month, the city followed up with a demolition order, which said Tenneva did provide plans to correct its violations, “but was unable to provide a timeline for the repairs contemplated.”
“No progress or remediation of the partially collapsed abandoned construction of a structure has been made,” the letter reads.
The fallout from the collapse has been complicated for the city–and company–as Tenneva and its insurance company filed conflicting lawsuits over how much the insurance payout for the collapse should be.
“Certainly we have been aware of the challenges related to this project and there being a lot of different entities involved in trying to figure out what their path forward is going to be,” Bristol Tennessee Director of Community Relations Jon Luttrell told News Channel 11.
Luttrell said despite excitement for the project, the city had to do something about the structure, which has sat partially constructed and untouched since the debris from the collapse was cleared.
“As a city, our primary concern has to be for the health and safety of the community and the surrounding properties,” said Luttrell. “That’s why we’re following these steps at this point. “
Lutrell said Tenneva LLC has notified the city of its intent to appeal the demolition order, and that they’re still working to schedule a hearing.
News Channel 11 reached out to Tenneva’s lawyers for comment but has not yet received a response.
For neighbors and community leaders at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, the potential end of the project brings up mixed emotions.
“When the project started, we were incredibly excited to see something good happening back there,” President and CEO Beth Rhinehart told News Channel 11. “We were disappointed when it did not continue to move forward and the unfortunate collapse happened, but we know that something good will happen there eventually.”
Both lawsuits involving Tenneva are scheduled for trial on Dec. 4.