Tri-Cities Crossing website outlines development plans for auto mall, fashion lifestyle center

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Two years after the promise of a major retail development in Sullivan County we are learning the project could be heading in a new direction.

Tri-Cities Crossing sits right at the heart of major crossroads: the intersection of interstates 26 and 81.

On Thursday we discovered new master plan designs on the Tri-Cities Crossing website.

The description of one photo is an auto mall master plan and labels some of the buildings with big name car retailers like Toyota, and BMW.

We also found another development plan described as a 400 acre fashion lifestyle center, and while it didn’t name any retailers it did list hotels, restaurants, and an Imax cinema.

On Thursday we dug through our archives and found out more about how this project has evolved over the years, and where it could be headed next.

It may be hard to believe but it was March 2013 when officials broke ground on what was then called “The Heritage Point Towne Center.”

It was a multi-million dollar project that would become a Tri-Cities shopping destination with restaurants, a major wholesale club, and sporting goods retailer.

Today the development at the intersection of I-81 and I-26, now called Tri-Cities Crossing, still sits with no retailers in sight.

Even so local leaders like Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable still remains hopeful.

“I’m anxious about the future, I would like for it to happen tomorrow, but I know things can’t happen that way,” said Venable.

Mayor Venable says he checks in with the developer of the site, Stewart Taylor every so often, and while he couldn’t answer why the property hasn’t been developed, he did say this: “He’s been very deliberate in developing the site and not taking the first thing that came along.”

We’ve reached out to Stewart Taylor several times over the past few months, and so far he hasn’t been willing to go on camera.

Thursday we dug through our archives and found it seemed Taylor was hopeful back in 2013 when they first broke ground that retailers would soon be there.

“In a 20 mile radius of these two interstates we have over 20,000 people so we have letters of intent from some retailers and hopefully we soon should be able to announce a major tenant,” said Taylor.

That theme of hope still holds true today as people we spoke with continue to wait patiently.

“It will happen when it happens, but you know we are always hopeful that its going to be soon,” said Dianna Pipkin.

People we spoke with have even come up with their own ideas of what they want to see at the development site.

“Some of my friends especially would like to see a Macy’s,” said Helen Scheuerman.

“I would like to see a Costco,” said Pipkin.

Some of those dreams may not be too far off point if these master site plans on the Tri-Cities Crossing website are in fact what they have planned for the site.

For now Mayor Venable says we will just have to watch and wait.Copyright 2015 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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