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Ford dealership may be on move to Kingston site

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By Cindy Simpson and Damon Lawrence

Jerry Duncan Ford may be moving to Kingston.

“I have heard about this possibility, but as far as I know, this is not a done deal,” said Leslie Henderson, president and CEO of The Roane Alliance.

The Ford dealership, a downtown Harriman fixture, was bought by Jerry Duncan in 1975.

Duncan’s son, Marty Duncan, has operated the dealership since 2009.

Though Marty Duncan declined comment, Harriman Mayor Chris Mason wished the dealership well if the move comes to fruition.

“We have enjoyed them being downtown all this time,” Mason said. “As we move into different times when businesses migrate toward the interstate, we wish them well.”

Jerry Duncan, his wife Judy and business partner Steve Kirkham own 46 acres of vacant land on Davis Drive in Kingston.

They acquired the land via quit-claim deed from DK Properties LLC, one of their business entities, on Aug. 2, 2010.

The property is described in the deed as, “Located within the limits of the city of Kingston, on the north side of Interstate 40, and being a parcel of land near triangular in shape bounded on the south by Interstate 40, on the north by Lakewood Heights subdivision, and on the east by Woodhaven Addition subdivision.”

The Duncans and Kirkham acquired two lots in Woodhaven subdivision in January.

George C. Warlick Jr. sold one to them for $159,500. Linda J. Braddock, Daniel L. Johnson and Rhonda J. Cooley sold them the other Woodhaven lot for $150,000.

Braddock, Johnson and Cooley are the sole heirs of Lloyd Johnson, who passed away in 2009.

The Woodhaven lots are on Dogwood Drive, which is near Davis Drive and Interstate 40.

Interstate accessibility has been a big draw for the county’s most recent businesses, including Bojangles’ in Midtown and an incoming Zaxby’s Restaurant.

Mason pointed out A1 Tactical recently moved from Kingston to Harriman, picking the new location because of proximity to the interstate.

While sad to see Jerry Duncan Ford possibly leave the city, the mayor doesn’t think the lost tax revenue will create a hardship.

The city continues to sell downtown buildings acquired after the sale of Roane Medical Center by Covenant Health.

The former hospital building on Roane Street will be toured soon by representatives of Bethel University.

“We enjoy being the retail leader of the county in terms of sales tax collections, and I don’t anticipate that changing,” Mason said.