Living Downtown: Kingsport, Tennessee from TimesDigital on Vimeo.

Last year, we wrapped up a video documentary of some of the great stories in Downtown Kingsport.

There’s a new spirit of creativity and determination that are inspiring to me and Jared Bentley did a great job capturing the elements that make this story intriguing.

It’s easy for me to say that we’ve got a long way to go.

Downtown Kingsport was modeled as the “Industrial City” or “The Model City” and was planned a long time ago to accomodate the boom town surrounding Eastman and the Paper Mills.

Over the years though, manufacturing continues to redefine itself in the era of the connected age and it’s time to rethink our conventional thoughts.

John and Angela Vachon are two of the most inspiring voices. They’ve renovated several of the old buildings crafting a loft experience with a unique urban feel. Our offices on Broad Street are an example of this modern new approach they have forged into our world and it’s a terrific creative space.

Together with the City of Kingsport, The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and several other like-minded entrepreneurs, there’s a whole going on. Things move slowly sometimes and setbacks are part of the progress.

However, we can honestly look around and see plenty going on in Downtown Kingsport. Here in the New Year, here are some of the stand outs.

• New Parking Garage
• New Food City
• New Beef O Brady’s
• New Burger King
• New College Campuses
• New Sculpture Art
• Loft Apartments
• Stir Fry Restaurant
• Several Art Galleries
• Downtown Summer Concerts

On the way…

• A Macados restaurant
• Italian Village is rumored to relocate
• The Kingsport Carousel project

It’s hard to see this re-imaging of downtown over short periods of time, but looking back over the past couple of years, there’s a lot going. Plenty to come too as they welcome a new executive director for the Downtown Kingsport Association.

Recently Stacy Mullins has been rumored to step in as the new chair of this organization. I met her earlier this evening at a ribbon cutting for Star Trails Gallery and her enthusiasm and spirit may very well be another asset to the new creative class blooming in our unique place in the heart of the city.