City Commission to get appraisals, discuss new location for Boys & Girls Club property

Gary B. Gray • Nov 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Johnson City has a buyer lined up for the Boys & Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County.

Just seconds before a vote to approve the consent agenda — an agenda that included a proposal from Johnson City’s Brumit Co. to buy the 6.3-acre lot — the City Commission deferred further discussion.

Commissioners voted to wait until updated appraisals are available on the city-owned site and a possible alternative location at the old Traco manufacturing property on Silverdale Drive.

“Based on the fact that this proposal has not been finalized to the point of discussion, we should wait until Dec. 6 (next scheduled meeting) to take this up,” said City Manager Pete Peterson. “Based on my meeting with the Boys and Girls Club — they’ve asked that we get an appraisal. Both the club and Brumit have agreed.”

The site at 2210 W. Market St. is in the path of the Lark Street Extension Project, which will connect roads to the other side of West Market Street. The city wants to facilitate infrastructure needed to develop the area and help open an economic door in and around 30 acres of city-owned land at the former National Guard Armory site.

The organization, which has called West Market home since 1969, has, since the Lark Street project’s inception, been considered a probable casualty. The same is true for the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter, which already has found a new location and is in fundraising mode to build a new facility.

Robin Crumley, the club’s director, confirmed before Thursday’s meeting that she had talked with city officials Wednesday.

A deadline for proposals on the Boys & Girls Club property rolled by on Nov. 2. The city’s Request for Proposal mandates that the buyer locate and purchase an alternative site for the club’s continued operations. The Boys & Girls Club board of directors will determine whether the new site is suitable as a replacement, but the city will have the final say on whether the alternative site is equal to or better than the current facility.

Two, two-lane roads are planned. The first two-lane road will run through the now-rundown Optimist Park and across the current animal shelter property on Sells Avenue. Once the animal shelter is able to relocate to its new location, Guy Wilson plans to construct Clinical Management Concepts just off the new road. The owner of the coming 11,000-square-foot pharmaceutical distribution and compounding facility in Franklin Medical Park requested that a new access road be built from West Market to North State of Franklin Road via Lark Street to facilitate truck traffic as the facility comes online.

Wilson has said the company is set to begin production soon, bringing with it 76 jobs and an annual payroll of about $4.5 million. Expansion is expected, and the company has reported an additional 25 employees will be hired over the subsequent three years.

Both roads will be located on city-owned property. Right-of-way for the roads will be cut out of existing tracts to construct the complete build-out. This will include the addition of through lanes and turning lanes to both Lark Street and Optimist Street. The remaining property will be subdivided as needed to make viable tracts for development of commercial property.

TDOT will fund the grading, paving and drainage on the project. The city will fund the curb, gutter, sidewalk and trail. It also is paying for the environmental clearance and documentation required by TDOT.

Meanwhile, commissioners approved a request by Charlotte’s Monarch Ventures to build a 176-unit apartment complex where the empty Mullican Flooring building stands along University Parkway.

Commissioners passed a second reading of a request to rezone 11 acres of heavy industrial area (I-2) and the surrounding medium density residential area (R-3), to high density residential (R-6).

On Nov. 1, consideration of a concept plan for the site was deferred and the developer was asked to produce more specific details and clarifications for the project. Monarch Ventures representatives were on hand to present renderings answer questions, as was C.W. Parker with Ken Ross Architects.

Commissioners also unanimously passed the concept plan. A third reading is still needed to rezone the property.

Mullican Flooring announced late last year it was moving Johnson City operations and 130 employees to a new location in the former Superior Industries building on Woodlyn Road. The company’s president, Neil Poland, said at the time the building had about 180,000 square feet of usable space.

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