Company closes Lowe's land for $1.6 million

By Thomas Wilson

   The North Carolina property development firm representing Lowe's, Inc., paid $1,600,001 to close on property near West Elk Avenue where the home improvement superstore will be constructed this year.
   A warranty deed filed May 6 transferred ownership of the 16.6 acres including portions of three parcels from North American Fibers and North American Research and Development companies to Jemsite Development, LLC of Jefferson, N.C., according to deed documents filed in the Carter County Register of Deeds office.
   Elizabethton's Regional Planning Commission granted final subdivision approval to the development in April. The property is located on the former North American Rayon Corp. campus behind the Elizabethton Post Office. City government officials have been doggedly pursuing the installation of a traffic signal at the Wallace Avenue/West Elk Avenue intersection to control traffic flow along the development area.
   The plan calls for the construction of a 116,000 square-foot building on approximately 16.7 acres east of the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter and north of West Elk Avenue. The development is also expected to include the construction of a four-lane access road connecting the future Wal-Mart Supercenter with Tony Fuller Drive near the existing Wal-Mart store. Wal-Mart's real estate division is shopping the soon-to-be-vacant store to developers.
   Developers also secured a Brownfields Agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The term "Brownfields" pertains to the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of real property that may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous pollutant or contaminant.
   Based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's Companies, Inc., is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world and the 14th largest retailer in the nation. With fiscal year 2002 sales exceeding $26 billion, Lowe's generates approximately nine million customers a week at more than 925 home improvement stores in 45 states, according to company information.
   The new Elizabethton superstore is expected to generate up to 175 jobs in the community according to the company.