It’s still unclear what’s next for a development site in the Tri-Cities region, but we now know the clock is ticking.
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey says the “Border Region Retail Tourism Development District Act” passed back in 2011.
That law was specifically created for the Tri-Cities Crossing development located at the intersection of interstates 26 and 81.
The legislation encourages the development of retail and tourism facilities in Tennessee.
The local community would also benefit from special distribution of state sales and tax revenue.
Sullivan County currently is not getting rewarded for the empty development at the Tri-Cities crossing.
There are three sites total across the state of Tennessee that meet the criteria for this legislation.
Two of them are in our region, but so far only the Pinnacle in Bristol, Tennessee has been able to physically see what this bill can do.
Everywhere you turn, there is something new to see at The Pinnacle development site in Bristol, Tennessee.
“The spring of 2016 this new phase behind me the Crescent Tower Shops. 12 screens, luxury seating package,” said Steve Johnson.
But developer Steve Johnson says none of it would be possible without the help of a bill passed in 2011 called the Border Region Retail Tourism Development District Act.
“Tennessee has had a very difficult time competing for a variety of reasons, so the law is intended to be a field leveler, if you will, so that a project like this could occur,” said Johnson.
One of the people behind the legislation was Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey.
“It really originally was designed for the crossings out there at 81 and 26, but it applied to any piece of property that met the criteria and that’s the reason the Pinnacle was within the 12 miles inside the state line and met all the other criteria it just seemed to take off just a little faster than the crossing did but again the crossing is certified,” said Ramsey.
There is a catch, as there is a time limit on this legislation.
“Stewart Taylor, a very good friend of mine, will have until 2022 to get something in there and be able to keep a portion of sales tax to help get that infrastructure up,” said Ramsey.
Worst case scenario if the Tri-Cities Crossing development can’t meet that deadline, “The development they are on their own, the city puts in sewer, they are on their own and they don’t get to keep a portion of that tax,” said Ramsey.
But its something Ramsey says he’s confident will work out for the best.
“They do have a lot of leads out there the Pinnacle got a jump start but at the same time I look for in the next few years, hopefully the next eight years it will develop into something that will rival the Pinnacle on this,” said Ramsey.
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