Meade Tractor plans $2.5 million headquarters next to Tri-Cities Crossing development

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – After years of delays – there’s new hope for growth in the heart of the Tri-Cities.

A Tri-Cities tractor company, Meade Tractor,  says it’s moving in next to the Tri-Cities Crossing development.

Many people pass by the Tri-Cities Crossing development site every day. It’s right where Interstates 26 and 81 meet in Kingsport but despite its prime location, progress has been slow.

On the development’s website, there are plans on the northbound side of I-81 including retail stores, restaurants, hotels and a gas station. On the southbound side, the developer hopes to have an auto mall for several car dealerships.

Kingsport economic development officials tell News Channel 11 Meade Tractor wants to move in next to a planned auto mall at the Tri-Cities Crossing, bringing in new jobs along with them. While it won’t be part of the crossing development, the company hopes it can help attract retailers to this site.

Meade recently purchased land, from a private developer, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Crossing development for a new corporate headquarters and retail space. The construction costs estimate $2.5 million for a nearly 25,000 square foot building and landscaping.

Meade has been working with the city of Kingsport on plans for this development for the past eight months.

“We expect that there will be over $1.7 million dollars generated over 20 years in additional sales tax and additional property tax,” Kingsport Development Services Director Lynn Tully said.

Tully said they hope this development will kick off some of the rest of the Tri-Cities Crossing development. She added that all of the existing jobs will remain as Meade consolidates from other locations and expands into this new one.

The city has set up a payment in lieu of taxes incentive program with Meade and both the city and county will get portions of taxes collected through the development.

Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable tells News Channel 11 he remembers when development at the Interstate 26/81 crossing first became a priority. “At least 10 years, 12 years,” Mayor Venable said. He’s thrilled to see progress in the area.

We told you back in February that Rick Hill of Rick Hill Imports has plans to move into the auto mall at Tri-Cities Crossing. Hill owns several car dealerships in our region.

He told us Wednesday plans are still moving forward for him to move his dealerships on Stone Drive in Kingsport into the auto mall. Hill said it could still be a few months before he breaks ground.

Groundbreaking for the Meade development is scheduled for the end of July. They’re also hoping their development will help grow the Tri-Cities Crossing development.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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