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Construction ends for $2 million pavilion

Nathan Baker • Dec 18, 2015 at 5:49 PM

A long-awaited downtown revitalization project is complete, giving a permanent home to the Johnson City Farmers Market, a venue for other events and more than 100 parking spaces where they’re at a premium.

The last brick has been laid and the last parking space striped at the Pavilion at Founders Park, a $2 million endeavor by the Johnson City Development Authority. Grading of the vacant lot where it now stands began in February, and the finishing touches were applied this week.

“We’re looking at sometime in late January to do a grand opening of the Pavilion,” Washington County Economic Development Council Downtown Development Manager Dianna Cantler said Friday. “We’re meeting week after next to do some planning for the event.”

Like the two venues in the neighboring Founders Park, the Johnson City Public Works Department will maintain the Pavilion and the Development Authority will manage bookings through the forthcoming Downtown Johnson City website.

A management agreement approved by the JCDA and proposed to the City Commission, likely to be enacted next month, sets reservation fees for the structure at $300 per half-day and $450 per full day.

Cantler said the farmers market organization, the original catalyst for the construction of the facility, will have guaranteed reservations on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the growing and harvesting season.

Interest in the Pavilion has been strong, Cantler said, with five events already asking for holds on calendar days even before construction was completed.

“It’s a great facility,” she said. “I think people will realize that when they see how it’s set up.”

The funding for the project came mostly from tax increment financing, with $350,000 from the city’s general fund for parking and streetscaping.

Originally intended to be completed in mid-October, construction delays pushed the finish date to near Christmas.

Email Nathan Baker at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jcpressbaker or on Facebook at facebook.com/jcpressbaker.

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