Developer still in discussion to bring boutique hotel to West Walnut corridor

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- News Channel 11 has learned the developer of the old General Mills site is also looking at the potential for a boutique hotel.

Grant Summers, President of Summers Taylor Inc., confirmed he is looking at developing a boutique hotel and is currently finalizing a purchase agreement.

While Summers told News Channel 11’s Kristen Gallant there were no plans drawn up, he did say they are thinking the hotel would be a five-story, 95 room hotel.

In October 2018, News Channel 11 toured the inside of the General Mills property to get a first look at the changes Summers was planning to make at the site.

Summers told us then that part of the plans for the General Mills Property included a bakery on the corner, a building that will house the Summers-Taylor office and, on the other side of the property, a hotel. 

Several business owners on West Walnut Street say having a hotel in the area would be good for bringing in more business to this growing community. 

Johnson City Deputy Building Official, Dave McClelland, said that all of West Walnut Street is zoned for commercial property which is what hotels fall under. 

Some business owners hope that the hotel will bring foot traffic to the area. 

MOJO International has been on West Walnut for almost 30 years. Owner Joey Booth is fond of the idea of a hotel. 

“I’ve been here almost 30 years since 1990. I’ve heard of a possible hotel going in. I think that will be great. It will bring in more people, more traffic,” says Booth. 

Holly Johnson is the property owner of One Acre Cafe across from the mills. She says she’s a little nervous about the possible plans, but that she trusts Summers Taylor Inc. knows what they’re doing. 

“It seems like it would be a little crowded. It doesn’t seem like there would be enough room for the parking and everything with the mill to put a hotel there. We love the mill being developed, and so whatever kind of goes with it is okay.”

The Chamber of Commerce of Johnson City officials say that tourism brings in a quarter of a billion dollars to the area and that a hotel in the West Walnut corridor would help with economic development. 

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