BRISTOL, Tenn. — Demolition work is expected to begin soon for a redevelopment project along Shelby Street in downtown Bristol that, once completed, is expected to add new businesses, apartments and parking.

At its Tuesday meeting, Bristol Tennessee City Council voted to award a bid to Taff & Frye Co. of Blountville for demolition of the former Bristol Products and Coyne Textile buildings at a cost of $499,000 to make way for a mixed-use commercial and residential building. The project will be completed through a private and public partnership between the city and A.G. Commercial.

Under the agreement for the project — made between the city, its Industrial Development Board and 714 Shelby St. G.P., a company owned by A.G. Commercial — the city will be responsible for demolition and construction of a 170-space parking lot, and A.G. Commercial will handle construction of the building and filling it with tenants.

Tim Beavers, the city’s director of developmental services, said funds were allocated in the city’s 2020 budget for the city’s share of the project, and the bid from Taff & Frye was about what the city expected to pay for demolition.

Beavers said contractors from Taff & Frye have already been in the buildings to do preliminary inspection work, and he expects the actual demolition to begin by the end of the month. Under the terms of the contract, the city must turn over a plat of land with a buildable pad for construction to A.G. Commercial by March 31, 2020.

When completed, the building will total a minimum of 60,000 square feet and have three floors, with businesses on the first floor and 63 loft apartments on the second and third floors. Amenities will include a courtyard dog park, fitness center, outdoor fireplaces and kitchens.

J.J. Gillenwater, a partner with A.G. Commercial, said at a called City Council meeting in October that talks have already started with potential tenants for the first floor, and the current plans are for a bank, grocery store, insurance agency, restaurants, bars and retail. 

Additionally, 85 of the parking spaces in the city-built lot will be retained by the city for public parking, and the other half will be leased to the developer for use by the building’s tenants at $16,008 per year for 10 years.

City Manager Bill Sorah previously said the project is expected to be completed with new tenants moving in around spring 2022.

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