BRISTOL, Tenn. — Waiting for the Tennessee Department of Transportation to approve the relocation of a section of Island Road is keeping developers of a new Friendship Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep dealership from moving forward.
Center Pointe 74 is a collaboration between Friendship Enterprises and JA Street & Associates to build a $48.9 million commercial development along West State Street across from the new Friendship Ford dealership.
When completed, it will feature a relocated Friendship dealership, office, retail space and a hotel, though the dealership is the only committed business at present.
The development was approved for a tax incentive through the Border Region Retail Tourism Development District Act by Bristol, Tennessee, officials last August, and the developers originally planned to break ground in the spring.
Instead, Friendship and Street hit two speed bumps. The Sullivan County Commission declined to allow the development to get a PILOT property tax incentive, and it has taken longer than expected to get TDOT approval to relocate part of Island Road, which needs to occur for the dealership to be built.
Jim Street, owner of JA Street & Associates, said it looks as if TDOT will likely eventually approve the relocation, but he does not know when that will happen.
Site plans that were submitted to Bristol, Tennessee, officials in June have since been approved. They show the dealership building will be 40,511 square feet in size and have 576 parking spaces, 427 of them for displays.
Street said they still plan to secure other tenants for the development because it is the only way to make the project work financially, but the first priority is to get the dealership built.
He added that once they get the green light from TDOT, it would take about 11 months to build the dealership.