15 buildings rehabbed in and around downtown Johnson City during 2018

Zach Vance • Mar 2, 2019 at 11:24 PM

Once again, developers continued to reshape downtown Johnson City in 2018 through private investment in building renovation and development projects, both commercial and residential. 

Throughout the calendar year, 15 building rehabilitation permits were pulled for projects in the city’s downtown district, according to Dianna Cantler, the Johnson City Development Authority’s liaison to the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership.

Work has continued into 2019 on one of downtown’s larger projects, developer Grant Summers’ Model Mill renovation. Meanwhile, the Authority continues to navigate the political process of getting the 10-story John Sevier Center redeveloped using tax-increment financing, otherwise known as a TIF. 

The following is a list of 15 building rehabilitation projects that received permits during 2018: 

TownView Senior Living Community, 114 W. Fairview Ave.

The former site of the old Johnson City Memorial Hospital, the facility has served as a senior living center in recent years under different iterations. However, in the last year or so, the new owner, CityView, LLC, has nearly completed significant interior and exterior renovations to the building.

Dillard Construction Inc., filed at least three permits with the city for improvements totaling $211,000. Those improvements entailed enclosing an exposed portion of the building’s rear structure, where previous demolition work had been left unfinished.

“A new owner came in who is really committed and has the experience in senior living. (The new owner) has done it before and was willing to put money into it to take care of what is now the back side of the building,” Cantler said.

“They came in and tore half of it out. So they’ve renovated it to add larger suite apartments. They are bringing and creating a gated parking area for the residents, which is really important.”

Approximately 23 residents currently live at TownView Senior Living, and a grand opening ribbon-cutting event is planned for March 28.

Red Meze, a Mediterranean restaurant, 109 Buffalo Street. 

The former location of the Buffalo Street Deli, the owners of the Mediterranean Garden on McKinley Road decided to expand their business into downtown and chose the deli’s former site on Buffalo Street. 

“This is one of those cases where this is the second restaurant that these people own. So they have Mediterranean Garden, and it’s doing really well down off Walnut Street. So, they’ve added a second restaurant and moved into a space downtown. That was a major renovation to that building. And it’s a great place to eat,” Cantler said. 

“They came in, and that kitchen needed some work and they invested quite a bit in there.” 

The old Liberty Theatre, 116 E. Market St.: Owner Brett Long received a $7,500 facade grant from the JCDA in March 2017. Long plans to put retail space on the ground floor on the Main Street side, and offices on the Market Street side. Above, he plans to build four apartments.

Swirled, an ice cream/frozen yogurt establishment, 113 Cherry St., opened in May. 
Building beside Boomtown on Spring Street
Into the Fire, a “paint-your-own-pottery studio, located at 109 Cherry St., Suite 30. 
The former location of Alta Cucina’s restaurant has been renovated into office space at 1200 N. Roan St. 
The Model Mill project
Yellow Door Apartments, renovation of apartments and shell on first floor, 121 Spring St.
Interior renovation for office space, 208 W. Fairview Avenue. 
Wonderland Bar & Grill, opened in July, 121 Spring St., No. 100. 
Interior renovations of Timber on West Walnut Street, which will become a camping and outdoor-themed restaurant operated by Nathan Brand once complete. 
Kress Building, Allied Dispatch Solutions corporate headquarters, 243 E. Main St. In 2016, Allied Dispatch CEO Anthony Royer said his company planned to invest $1.4 million in renovations.
Spark Plaza, a business that offers shared work and office space, 201 E. Main St., above Freiberg’s restaurant. In August 2018, Spark Plaza purchased a building at 404 S. Roan St. and moved its operations there. 
Overmountain Outdoors, once renovations were complete, the business moved from its former location, 142 W. Market St., to 106 Tipton St. 
Editor’s note: This story was changed from its original form to correct the date of TownView Senior Living Community’s open house.

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