Chamber groundbreaking today

Groundbreaking for the new Anderson County Chamber of Commerce headquarters will be held at 9:30 a.m. today (Wednesday) at the site on North Main Street.

This same site also will hold the new offices of the Anderson County Tourism Agency, which will be adjacent to the chamber’s new home.

The chamber in June purchased a 1.17-acre lot at the corner of North Main and North Hicks streets for a new headquarters, directly across from Knight’s Florist. The vacant lot was purchased from Brenda Lou Hemphill for $199,900.

Mostly grass with a few trees now, the land has road frontage on North Main and North Hicks streets, with the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks at the rear.

Chamber President Rick Meredith said at the time that there will be two connecting buildings constructed on the site to accommodate the chamber and the tourism offices.

The chamber is relocating from its longtime offices at 245 N. Main St. There is no street address assigned to the new site yet, said chamber spokesman Jared Forgety. But Knight’s Florist has an address of 397 N. Main St.

Meredith said the chamber budget for its side of the building is a maximum of $2 million, and that Anderson County will be paying for the Tourism Department’s side of the structure.

The chamber wants a one-story design for the structure, but it could go to two levels if necessary, Meredith said.

“We’re hoping to go one story,” he said. “We have to squeeze some parking in there, too.”

The public is invited to the Wednesday groundbreaking event.