The Kingsport Economic Development Board (KEDB) on November 2 officially selected Edens Investments as the developer of a residential community at Brickyard Park.
Edens Investments was recommended for selection by the Brickyard Committee, a panel of local business and community leaders appointed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, following the issuance of a request for proposals earlier this year for residential development on a 39-acre site currently owned by the city.
The proposed residential community was selected because it exceeds standards set by the city and proposal requirements, features community-focused amenities and programs; and utilizes environmentally conscious design.
“Edens Investments proposal includes not only everything we required for the residential development, but also everything we dreamed this site could be,” KEDB Chair Craig Denison said. “I applaud the imagination and ingenuity that went into this plan and believe the Kingsport Economic Development Board will see the same potential.”
The proposed plan by Edens Investments can support 350 housing units, which will be a mix of rental and purchase units to provide flexibility for residents. The plan includes nearly three times the number of housing units originally envisioned for the site, and the increased density of professionals and families will help support current and future employers and businesses in Downtown Kingsport and beyond.
In addition to close proximity to downtown shops, restaurants and bars, residents in the proposed housing community will enjoy a pool, basketball court, clubhouse, tutoring programs, adult education and more onsite. The plan makes use of green space with almost one mile of walking paths, multiple pocket park spaces, dog parks, a community garden and greenhouse, and oversized detention ponds with water features. The development will include the use of solar energy.
The proposed site plan allows for future expansion that will complement the residential community. A road network will connect Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Cherokee Street and Brickyard Park Drive.
“This future neighborhood is sure to weave well into the fabric of Kingsport,” said John Rose, economic development director for the City of Kingsport. “Its amenities and economic opportunities will enhance living for residents in the area and greater Kingsport. I am excited about the Kingsport Economic Development Board’s decision and for construction to begin.”
Following this selection, next steps for the project include confirming site plans, negotiating contracts and the property purchase by the developer.
The city expects Edens Investments to break ground in early spring 2022.
After all residential units are built, which is anticipated to take up to six years, the combined property tax benefit of the housing units for Kingsport and Sullivan County is estimated at approximately $1 million per year.
Brickyard Park, a premier sports facility and community park, is located between downtown and the Holston River and includes:
- Four ballfields that opened in 2015 at a cost of $7 million, which accommodate baseball and softball, with restrooms, lighted parking lot, landscaping and concessions.
- Miracle Field Complex, which opened in July 2020 and provides youth and young adults with mental and physical disabilities a place to play baseball on a rubberized field. The $2.6 million complex also includes a BlueCross Healthy Place featuring inclusive play structures and multisensory playground components funded in part by a grant from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The complex is the first facility of its kind in northeast Tennessee and earned a 2021 Project of the Year award from the American Public Works Association.
- Planned pump track that allows bicyclists to ride a continuous loop of dirt berms and mounds without pedaling by generating momentum with up and down body movements; the track will include a parking lot and restrooms.
- Expanded Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park, which is being relocated from nearby Cloud Park. Ground was broken in September, and the park is expected to open in spring 2022. Paper manufacturer Domtar has contributed $500,000 toward construction of the $1.8 million project.
- Planned 175-foot pedestrian bridge to cross the railroad tracks, connecting Brickyard Park with Centennial Park and downtown Kingsport; the bridge will be partially funded by a $1.85 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
- Public greenspace, including an events lawn to accommodate concerts or gatherings.
- Cement Hill walking trails, overlooks and greenspace.
Brickyard Park is located on property formerly owned by General Shale, Inc.