Rick Hill discusses plan to relocate car dealerships to Tri-Cities Crossing development


KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)-  The dealer principal of several car dealerships in Kingsport told NewsChannel 11 on Wednesday he is moving forward with plans to relocate all of his business to the Tri-Cities Crossing site.

Tri-Cities Crossing is retail development site that has sat vacant since developers broke ground in 2013.

The land sits right at the intersection of I-26 and I-81 in Kingsport.

Rick Hill of Rick Hill Imports in Kingsport said his family has been selling cars at their location off of Stone Drive for decades.

“Since May 1st 1983, I bought the dealership from John Smith,” Hill said.

That is all about to change, as Hill said they are getting closer to final approval on a plan to move their dealerships out to the Tri-Cities Crossing development.

“You begin to draft out the building plans, and we are pretty far along in that process, we are at the point where we are ready to submit the plans to the manufacturers over the next few weeks,” Hill said.

Rick Hill said he hopes to make the move as soon as possible, and that the new location will bring more business.

“Well obviously it would be as soon as we possibly can, but if things go really, really well maybe by the end of this year, early next year. Interstate 81 is the busiest road in our entire market area, and we hope more people will see us and it will be easier for people in the region to come to us,” Hill said.

When Rick Hill Imports moves on, Kingsport’s Business Development Specialist, Corey Shepherd, said there is still plenty of opportunity for redevelopment on that end of Stone Drive.

“That’s one of our highest traffic count commercial corridors and it will continue to be that for the foreseeable future,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd explained that the zoning for the area where the car dealerships sit could allow for more dealerships, or ever what they described as highway oriented businesses.

“Just think of traditional commercial corridors around the region, a mix of sit down restaurants, national retail, national franchises,” Shepherd said.

We also reached out to the developer of the site, Stewart Taylor, who said at this time he is not ready to make any comment about the progress or development of Tri-Cities Crossing.

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