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Area’s proclaimed “eyesore” begins renovation

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

People around Johnson County have asked local government officials to demolish the old Army Surplus building at the corner of West Main and South Church Streets in Mountain City, TN for years, calling it an “eyesore” in the community. In a previous interview, City Mayor Jerry Jordan explained that the building was “very structurally sound” according to recent inspections, and several interested parties were viewing the property. He believes it could be a wealth of opportunity with the right benefactor. As of Thursday, May 6, Jordan confirmed that the property sold.

Reporters at The Tomahawk reached out to Jordan after noticing changes to the building. He confirmed the sale and that the new owner was still making plans for its future. Jordan reports that plans are still in the brainstorming stage, but the owner has hopes for the building.

“The new owner is hoping to put a deli shop/coffee type and is undecided on the other part,” said Jordan. “It will be late this year before opening.”

Renovations started at the end of last week, but updating the long-neglected building could be the first step to jumpstart community revitalization. When The Tomahawk asked about what the area needs in March, more than 250 locals responded with ideas. One spark of innovation could inspire others to take the metaphorical plunge to start something new or join forces to make improvements. One example of this is the recent surge in litter conscientiousness and organized cleanups.

Opportunities continue to grow as new people flock to Johnson County. With them, they bring new resources, ideas, and points of view. For example, take the neighboring town of Damascus, Virginia. The area blossomed after capitalizing on its bike trails, and now is going through a series of new construction funded by someone who took a recent interest in the community.

Johnson County has the people and the resources to move forward with several projects through the help of grants and other funding. As it has shown in the past, hard work and dedication are all it takes to jumpstart a positive change in the community. Stay tuned for more information on the building renovations and eventual business opening.