By Suzanne Kuehn, Executive Director, Johnson City Development Authority
When Henry Johnson built his railroad depot in what is now Downtown Johnson City he needed water for his water tower and naturally choose the place where two creeks diverged (Brush and King Creeks). Unfortunately the volume of water from these creeks has impacted the proper growth, preservation and development of Historic Downtown Johnson City. The solution has been to bring all the studies, ideas and plans from the past together by the Downtown Task Force appointed by the Johnson City Mayor and Commissioners, and to adpot a plan to control flooding downtown. Lamar Dunn & Associates of Johnson City in partnership with AMEC, lead consultant in water resources and flood plain analysis, has proposed a $30 million flood control plan. The major public and private projects that have begun or will commence this year are as follows:
First Park Design
The Warehouse Park project property has purchasing underway, design and permitting and demolition is completed. “This is an exciting time in development of this first phase of the Flood Control Plan,” said Johnson City Commissioner Marcy Walker. “The park will be under construction this summer and will include widening of the creek, and construction of walking ways, pavilion, plantings, a parking area and green area for recreational activities on the five-acre site.”
The Tipton Street Project is a Public –Private partnership using Historic Tax Credits combined with Tax Increment Financing to create 31 residential units, two new restaurants (Tipton Street Pub and One12 Downtown), Art Galleries and retail space of over 7,500 SF and a public parking lot. Additional information can be found at www.urallc.com
The Blue Moon Dinner Theatre is a family owned and operated dinner theatre located at 215 East Main Street and provides an intimate candle-lit 5 course meal in an elegant setting and an excellent live theater performance. The 2010 season can be found at www.bluemoondinnertheatre.com
CC & O Railroad Depot
The Johnson City Development Authority’s first major project using Tax Increment Funds will be the acquisition and restoration of the historic abandoned Railroad Depot originally built by George L. Carter. The adaptive reuse of the facility will accommodate a railroad history museum, recreational trail head, a railroad themed café, public restrooms, a bicycle rental store, space for 23 local year-round craft vendors, offices on the second floor and a farmer’s market under the platform from May until October.