“I'm thrilled to be downtown,” said Alderwoman Colette George, president of BRP, at a Tuesday afternoon groundbreaking ceremony for BRP's newest office.
The new 1½-story structure will be built at 321 Broad St. on the site of the old Woolworth's building. BRP purchased the building earlier this year, demolished it and in recent weeks started site work and the pouring of footers for the new 9,000-square-foot office.
The new $1.2 million office building will combine the staffs of the company's Lynn Garden and Center Street locations. George said on Tuesday about 55 agents would be located in the new office.
BRP originally started on Center Streets in the 1970s, then moved to its current office on Lynn Garden Drive. The company opened a Colonial Heights office in 1992 and a Center Street office in 1998. George said BRP plans to keep the Colonial Heights office open.
“As a company, I feel so blessed to have the best agents in town,” George told the more than 100 people who showed up for the groundbreaking. “With this move, we're happy to be able to continue in Kingsport. As a local company, we like to stay local.”
Former Mayor Dennis Phillips described BRP as one of Kingsport's great success stories.
“A family owned business ... to watch it grow with your children who've come into the businesses and be successful,” Phillips said. “I am so proud of your commitment to downtown Kingsport. Your building will be beautiful, be an asset and will make the community proud.”
Due to space issues at the Center Street and Lynn Garden offices, BRP began looking for a solution more than a year ago, coming up with the idea of merging the two crowded offices into one central location in downtown Kingsport.
In October, George informed her agents and staff the plan was to purchase the old Woolworth’s building on Broad Street, demolish the structure (and a small, adjacent building) and replace both with a 9,000-square-foot brick office building. The office will have space for 40 agents and staff and have a turn-in off Broad with landscaping and 24 parking spaces.
George said she hopes to have the new office open by January.