Business View Civil and Municipal | March 2021

163 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL MARCH 2021 BR I STOL , V I RGINI A live in the area can expect a choice of housing options from new subdivisions, as well as mixed- use developments. The city’s historic commercial district downtown is undergoing a redevelopment that’s 20 years in the making. In many cases, the availability of a historic property tax credit has helped make renovation more popular than demolition. This has led to creative reuse projects, such as the Hotel Bristol that was built in a converted office building next to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. And the Sessions Hotel repurposed an old flower mill and incorporated that history into its decor with pillows that resemble old flower sacks. As with most projects in Bristol, the city has had numerous partnerships to facilitate this redevelopment. “Interstate Realty has worked on development here in Bristol for a number of years,” recalls When it comes to post-secondary education, Virginia Highlands Community College is located about 15 minutes from downtown Bristol. King University, a private Presbyterian- affiliated institution, is just over the state line in Bristol, Tennessee. At the four-year level, East Tennessee State University is about 40 minutes away in Johnson City, Tennessee and University of Virginia-Wise is about 75 minutes to the north. Several of those institutions have heeded Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s call to address the state’s need for information technology professionals. “At the high school level they have classes and certifications in cyber security,” reports Hartley. “You can go on to the community college and get a two-year degree, an associate degree, in that. Then you can go up to the University of Virginia-Wise and get one of the four-year degrees that they currently have in cyber security. So you can stay right here in this region and get that kind of training.” Those who want to