Believe it or not, the term OneKingsport has been around a really, really long time. The earliest recorded memory of OneKingsport was back in 1949 as it was the cover of a Kingsport Chamber Annual Report. The title across the cover of the book said “There’s only OneKingsport”. This is true…there’s literally only ONE Kingsport in the entire United States. Several Bristol’s, Johnson City’s, Knoxville’s and Nashville’s exist, but there’s only OneKingsport.
The most recent association with ONEKingsport is the ONEKingsport Summit, ONEKingsport Post-Summit Workgroups and now the ONEKingsport Advisory Commission. The last visioning process occurred under Mayor Jeanette Blazier in 1999 where projects like the Kingsport Academic Village and MeadowView transpired to further the city’s vision.
Mayor Clark campaigned on the fact it was time for another visioning effort within our community. In October 2015, hundreds of citizens gathered, in person and via livestreaming, for a two-day summit to discuss a population growth issue in Kingsport. The purpose of the ONEKingsport Summit was to create a five-year roadmap to become a vibrant 24/7 city.
Seven workgroups were created that addressed the major areas for the visioning effort: Arts & Entertainment, Destination City Investments, Downtown Revitalization, Health & Wellness, Higher Education Innovation, Housing, and Job Creation and Entrepreneurship.
Laying the foundation for the next 100 years: Top Five Projects
Bays Mountain: The Trail Forward
Bays Mountain is working towards a National Recreation Trails certification. A new venue will be located at Lily Pad Cove to be utilized for weddings, parties and other events.
• Update the Nature Center to include a world-class area with new animal habitats.
• Create a new entrance for a grand first impression.
• Add new amenities that enhance the overall customer experience.
• The average annual attendance is 220,000 visitors, and there is room for increased capacity.
Bays Mountain has a desperate need for improvements noted in a strategic master plan that was developed in 2010.
The General Shale Complex has the potential to become a premier destination for Kingsport. In addition to Brickyard Park that brings in regional and national youth sports tournaments, the next phase will be to create a multipurpose outdoor venue. Potential use include adventure racing, festivals, major concerts, benefit walk/runs, car shows, cross country races, cyclocross course, boat shows, tractor/farm equipment shows, to name a few. The outdoor venue has the potential to exceed economic impact.
Innovate Kingsport: The Creation Center
From industry to innovation, Kingsport has been a maker city since inception. In an effort to capture the best and brightest, the product creation center would be the hub serving as a makerspace, a product creation arena and a hub for those wanting to “make” things and careers.
Neighborhood Commission: Love Where You Live
Neighborhoods are the core of a city, and Kingsport’s are rich with character and tradition. People who live in a city want to see it flourish and are willing to be engaged in positive quality-of-life improvements. Through the neighborhood commission, the city and its citizens can build stronger neighborhoods and increase engagement at the city.
The Riverfront: Rediscover the Riverfront
The Riverfront has been a long desired area for development. The natural beauty of the river is a great location for outdoor activities, the greenbelt, and retail and restaurant establishments. As one of Kingsport’s main assets, the river is a unique feature because most cities do not have the natural beauty of a river running through their downtown. This KOHO District (Kingsport On the Holston) has much potential.
Information provided from kingsporttn.gov and ONEKingsport.