That is a question being asked at the Carter County Courthouse after the old Betsytowne Shopping Center was acquired by a real estate corporation connected with the K-VA-T supermarket chain. The property is located on U.S. Highways 19E and 321.
A deed filed in the register of deed's office on June 8 indicates that the shopping center and 8.766 acres of land was purchased by Marathon Realty Corp. for $1.3 million. The seller was SAND, LLC.
Marathon Realty is the same realtor used when K-VA-T purchased the former Racetrac property on Broad Street which was converted into a Food City Gas 'N Go convenience store in 2014. Dun and Bradstreet lists Marathon as a business with two employees and Steven C. Smith is listed as contact. K-VA-T is headquartered in Abingdon and Steven C. Smith is president and chief executive officer of the company.
SAND LLC is an Elizabethton limited liability company and members David Bass and his brother-in-law, First Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street, signed the deed as sellers.
Betsytowne Shopping Center is now nearly unoccupied, but throughout the 1980's and 1990's Betstytowne Shopping Center was a very busy location, with a Winn-Dixie supermarket, a Mayflower seafood restaurant, a coin laundry and several other stores. Winn-Dixie left the shopping center, but the store was picked up by White's Foods and then by IGA.
It is not known whether K-VA-T has immediate plans to develop the property. The company already operates a very busy Food City just a few blocks north at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19E and U.S. Highway 321. It draws from a large customer base that includes Hampton, Stoney Creek and Roan Mountain.
The store is small by Food City standards and the parking lot is often near capacity.
Telephone calls made Thursday afternoon to K-VA-T's offices were not returned before press time on Thursday.