Hardware retailer submits site plan for local store

By Thomas Wilson
A home improvement store is looking to build some room of its own in Elizabethton. Elizabethton Planning Director David Ornduff confirmed Thursday that a "very preliminary" site plan has been submitted to the city by a local engineering firm on behalf of a home improvement chain retailer. Ornduff declined to name the home improvement company looking to locate in Elizabethton, citing ongoing negotiations and a review of the development by the company's top executives.
"The city staff has been in discussions with a development and engineering company regarding the possible development of a home improvement store," said Ornduff.
Ornduff said the site plan submitted covers a development of roughly 16 acres of property located at the end of Wallace Avenue on a portion of the former North American Rayon Corp. property. The land is adjacent to a tract of NARC property that was purchased by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in May for $2.8 million to develop a Wal-Mart Supercenter store. Home improvement stores with an established presence in the Tri-Cities and around the nation include Home Depot, Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware, Northern Tool and Equipment, and Lowe's.
When the Wal-Mart Supercenter development was being discussed, city planners noted the development of an access road system constructed parallel to West Elk Avenue. The access road system would provide traffic flow around the supercenter and the city's Cherokee Industrial Park while providing access points to West Elk at Wallace Avenue and Bemberg Road, according to the city's preliminary access road plans.
The city is also petitioning the Tennessee Department of Transportation to construct a bridge over the Watauga River linking the industrial park with the 5-lane Northern Connector highway.
After the company submits a detailed site and subdivision plan, the development will be presented for approval to the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission and the Elizabethton City Council.
"So far, no variances have been requested," said Ornduff. "The engineering work that we've seen so far has looked good."
Ornduff said a detailed site plan specifying square footage, parking space and other building specifications meeting city building codes must be submitted to the city along with a subdivision plat of the development. He said water and sewer service were available near the property.