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Downtown Centre likely to be sold for $1 million

The long-awaited sale of Washington County’s Downtown Centre may take place sooner than expected.
During their April 14 meeting, Mayor Dan Eldridge told members of the Budget Committee the timeline for the sale has been moved up.
“It’s a good thing,” he said. “But we need to be prepared to change ownership.”
Eldridge said Northeast State Community College has received full approval to occupy the Downtown Centre, effective next month.
The Johnson City Development Authority is reviewing a contract to buy the building from Washington County for $1 million, according to Eldridge. Up to another $1 million will be spent making improvements for the college’s use.
“The JCDA will obtain a $2 million loan and provide debt service using TIF (tax incremental financing) funds,” he said.
The JCDA will then execute a lease agreement with the State of Tennessee for $10 per year for Northeast State to operate a teaching site at the location, Eldridge explained.
“We’re well ahead of schedule,” he said.
According to Eldridge, the new site for the Washington County Clerk and Trustee offices can be ready by June 15, which will provide enough time for the offices to be up and running when the new fiscal year begins July 1.
If approved by the County-Owned Property Committee and the full Commission, the JCDA will hold its final vote during May to purchase the Downtown Centre.
As it stands, the county will be paid outright by the JCDA for the building, with the county receiving a check for $1 million at closing.
“It’s important that we all keep in mind the goal of getting a Northeast State campus in Washington County,” Eldridge said. “This is the economic boost Johnson City has needed for a long time. It’s a win for everyone.”