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Board organizes Sevier Center efforts

Nathan Baker • Oct 11, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Now the owner of an apartment building, the Johnson City Development Authority is sorting out its role as a landlord.

On Friday, the entity’s board of directors outlined the new committees organized to oversee the current and future uses of the John Sevier Center and the relocation of its current residents.

At the top level is the John Sevier Task Force, which will hear from three committees.

The Operations/Resident Relations Committee will work with the John Sevier’s contracted management company, M&M Properties, to direct day-to-day operations and to make immediate repairs to the building to bring it up to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards.

The Disposition Committee is responsible for finding a developer to build new housing units for the residents who now live in the Sevier Center’s 150 units, moving those residents and transferring the HUD contracts for their subsidized rent.

The Future Development Committee will seek out a developer to rehabilitate the historic hotel building and bring new business in, ideally a mix of retail and commercial uses.

Development Authority Chair Robert Williams said the new committee structure will help organize the complicated process ahead for the property and better delegate responsibilities.

The authority bought the Sevier Center in September for $4.1 million. Its board hopes its redevelopment will create a major anchor for downtown business and spur more development of vacant and underused buildings in the city’s core.

Hank Carr, Chair of the Operations Committee, said members met with property managers and are preparing for an upcoming inspection for HUD standards compliance.

Williams said the Disposition Committee, led by Brent Long, hasn’t officially met yet, but the task force expects to soon release requirements and a scope of work for the new housing units.

The Future Development Committee, also has not yet met, but Williams said developers have expressed interest in the property.

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