Task force leaning on public for ideas on West Walnut Street revitalization

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – In its hey day, it was a bustling Industrial giant. Now the West Walnut street corridor looks more like a ghost town. Abandoned empty buildings have sat dormant for years are now eyes sores.

Thanks to a community forum put on by the West Walnut street task force, people who live in this area like Rebecca Boutwell will have a chance to be involved in the planning process to spruce things up.

Her first bit of advice, redevelop the old General Mills building.

“Take this, this building right back here and make it into a community center somewhere for children and teenagers to go to play,” Rebecca Boutwell.

The chamber of commerce, which owns the property, is talking to a developer about that property the details of those negotiations remain unknown.

Task force chairman Joe Wise say they are open to ideas for the mill property but they have to focus on the overall re-development.

“The mill is a property within the corridor but the mill is not the focus of our intention,” Wise said.

Wise says Monday night’s meeting will be centered on starting the process of re-development. Task force members will take ideas from the community to draft an overall plan.

WEB EXTRA: See what children who live in the Tree Streets would like to see on Walnut Street.

Tom Seaton, owner of the firehouse restaurant on west walnut street, says the corridor has lot of potential and people in the community will simply have to speak up and let their voices be heard.

“Walnut street has a lot of really great property that can be developed and we think it’s the next big step in this revitalization effort in the downtown area.” Seaton said.

An area that Rebecca Boutwell says will soon be an even brighter gateway to the city.

Copyright WJHL 2016. All rights reserved.

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