Kingsport fire investigation continues; plans to build apartment complex moves forward

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – An investigation into what caused a massive fire in downtown Kingsport continues.

The fire happened last Thursday on West Sullivan Street at the old IGA building, in what used to be known as “Supermarket Row”.

Two juveniles are accused of starting that fire. But it’s unclear right now if they are facing charges.

Last week, Kingsport Fire Department’s Public Education and Information Officer, Barry Brickey, says witnesses saw the two male teens in the area around the time the fire started.

“Those two people were identified as possible suspects,” Brickey said.

The Kingsport Police Department, Fire Department, the District Attorney, and the arson investigator said the investigation continues and that the case has been turned over to the juvenile court system and no further details can be released at this time.

Meanwhile, the city says there are still plans to build a new apartment complex in that location.

Back in February, the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved final incentives to move forward with building upscale apartments, called “Town Park Lofts” at this location.

City Manager, Jeff Fleming, released this statement saying: “We have been in close contact with the developer and are assessing the potential implications. The building was already scheduled for demolition, so it’s loss does not impact the development plans.”

The developer is Crossgate Partners. Operations Manager, Marty Dougan, said the $31 million dollar project will have 263 units, averaging 950 square feet each.

He said it will be located from West Sullivan Street to Press and Clinchfield Streets.

Dougan said he’s excited for the project and hopes to see construction begin as soon as possible.

Once it does, he says the first phase will take about 12 months to complete.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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