Meade Tractor breaks ground in Kingsport; city leaders hopeful for more development

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – For the first time in more than a decade, progress is finally underway at a Tri-Cities site expected to be a regional center for development.

City and county leaders broke ground Monday morning on the first business in the Tri-Cities Crossing area. Kingsport’s city manager Jeff Fleming said land was first purchased in the Tri-Cities crossing area for economic development in 1988.

Meade Tractor will build a new corporate headquarters and a construction store at the site located at the intersection of Interstate 26 and Interstate 81.

“From day one when the facility opens there will probably be a net add of about 10 employees, but over the 6 to 12 months that could double or triple,” said Meade Tractor President Chuck Meade.

The $4 million investment, Meade said is located at a prime location.

“No better place than right here in this where I-81 and I-26 meet,” Meade said. “We hope that we’re the catalyst to have continued growth.”

It’s something Kingsport city leaders are hopeful for, too, because right now Fleming said Meade Tractor being here isn’t enough.

“This is just the beginning. And we need to obviously see more,” Fleming said.

Fleming said there are no deals in the works that he’s currently aware of, aside from an auto mall planned nearby.

“Our main focus is just making sure that we can develop the property in a way that provides jobs and investment and long term income for our community,” Fleming said. “Having a corporate headquarters of this caliber is a great start.”

Meade’s president said construction should start next week. A potential move-in date is set for February 2018.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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