The City of Kingsport has a long-standing reputation as a planned community, and in recent years, community leaders have set a goal to attract and retain businesses, visitors, residents, and developers. To achieve this goal, the City retained TSW in 2017 to lead a team to develop a master plan for improvements to the downtown area. The master plan builds upon previous planning efforts to create a unified vision for physical improvements, policy updates, and redevelopment potential in the downtown area.
The plan includes traditional components of downtown master planning, with a strong emphasis on developing a vision to reinforce and magnify Kingsport’s downtown role as the economic and cultural heart of the community. Building consensus among different groups, including property owners, business owners, public agencies, City advisory groups, Chamber of Commerce, students, educational institutions, and residents was also a key focus of the plan.
The plan also focuses on developing and prioritizing public improvements and streetscape enhancements, as well as demonstrating a path forward for the existing Academic Village, analyzing student demand for expansion and amenities. Furthermore, the plan facilitates the direction, type, location, and scale of new development and associated downtown improvements for the next 10 years.
The master planning process involved an intensive community input process, which included Visioning Workshops, an involved Steering Committee, stakeholder interviews, Community Education Sessions, and online surveys. These opportunities for input allowed citizens to have their voices heard in a variety of settings and formats. The result is a comprehensive plan that addresses the needs and wants of the community, and sets the stage for a vibrant and thriving downtown for years to come.