Johnson City Commissioners have approved a $346,500 contract with engineering consultant S&ME Inc. to provide design services for infrastructure on an empty, 30-acre tract that is part of the dormant “Innovation Park” project. The city-owned property is adjacent to another 30-acre track owned by East Tennessee State University and currently home to medical clinics and the ETSU Innovation Lab.
According to this article from the Johnson City Press, S&ME will be responsible for developing preliminary plans and final construction documents for a road, utilities and stormwater management. The consultant will work with Realty Trust Group (RTG) which is under contract with the PBA, during the design process and management of the construction phase. RTG is an affiliate of PYA, the power behind teknovation.biz.
In the 1980s, city leaders started developing a plan for an economic corridor that would foster medical technology, research and development, and job growth. The project included a north, middle and south anchor. Today, the northern anchor is “Med-Tech Park,” the southern anchor is “Millennium Park,” and the middle anchor is “Innovation Park.”
The master planning process will shake out the ultimate vision for “Innovation Park.” As quoted in the article, RTG Senior Vice President Hank Carr said that the land could conceivably support the university’s education initiatives, start-up companies looking for places to expand, or health care uses.