Kingsport revising downtown master plan; still seeking public input

A visual of the downtown master plan. City developers will continue to revise it. (Thomas Gray/WCYB)

Kingsport will release a new version of its revised Downtown Master Plan, which will determine how the city grows over the next several years.

Kingsport has operated under its old plan for the past 20 years. In November, Kingsport officials held a two day public input event to talk about revising the downtown master plan.

"One thing that we heard definitely was a desire for more retail and restaurants downtown," Development Planner Nathan Woods said.

Local shop owners want more foot traffic, and expressed strong interest in more restaurants.

"The more restaurants, the more bar type areas, the more traffic flow you're going to get,” Turquoise Boutique owner Keta Hawley said. “We have quite a few, and I just want us to see more."

"I think we could definitely use some more restaurants in the area,” art gallery owner Cindy Saadeh said. “That always brings people in."

Kingsport development planner Nathan Woods said the city will also bring more amenities to the Academic Village - a higher ed center in the heart of downtown.

"Some of the things that we've heard are a desire for a student center,” Woods said.

He added that developers were considering adding in-house food options for students.

Shop owners also said parks are important to them.

"You know, somebody comes to the centennial park, you know just to enjoy the history,” Hawley said. “That may make them walk over and come by here and go up and hit the rest of the boutiques."

The revised plan calls for several parks and residential areas.

The new plan will be available for people to see at the public input meeting that will be held on Thursday at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

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