In one of the central business district’s largest privately financed projects in years, a developer today is set to announce plans to build new housing and commercial space on a downtown Chattanooga block.
The Mayfair on Market development in the 700 block of Market Street is expected to cost between $10 million and $20 million, said Trey Stanley, president of Smyrna, Ga.-based Trafalgar Development Corp.
“It will be a big shot in the arm for the area,” Mr. Stanley said.
The project would go up on the site of old buildings between 710 and 728 Market St. purchased last month from the nonprofit downtown development group RiverCity Co.
Plans call for 50 apartments above three floors of commercial space fronting Market Street, according to the developer. In addition, a 100-space parking deck would be built for residents, tenants and customers.
Mayor Ron Littlefield said the 700 block of Market is “the last ugly tooth in downtown’s otherwise beautiful mouth.”
Mayfair on Market is “an exciting redevelopment,” he said.
Paul Brock, RiverCity’s president, said the work will bring new life to an area that has held dilapidated buildings for a number of years.
“It brings new energy to the central business district,” he said.
Rob Mason of Rone-Regency Jewelers at Market and Eighth streets said he hopes the new development brings more business to that portion of downtown. In addition, he said, the reuse of vacant storefronts will boost the area as will more parking spaces.
“That will be a big help,” Mr. Mason said.
Mr. Stanley, who grew up in Chattanooga, said construction is set to start this spring with completion in the summer of 2007.
The project’s name comes from the Mayfair area of London, where Mr. Stanley said he worked in development and business consulting before returning to the United States and starting his business outside Atlanta. Mayfair is an upscale part of London near Hyde Park.
Mr. Stanley said the 700 block has been in need for decades.
“That area was neglected,” he said.
RiverCity Co. purchased much of the east side of the 700 block of Market nearly five years ago. However, redeveloping the site proved more difficult than planned, and the storefronts remained empty.
Mr. Brock said a lack of parking and the deteriorating condition of the buildings hindered redevelopment efforts.
Last month, the site was purchased with the intention of developing the property. The $400,000 purchase price was much less than the $1.3 million RiverCity paid to assemble the tract. Mr. Brock said RiverCity sold the property for less because it wanted to see “a quality development” more than financial gain.
While much of downtown has prospered over the past decade, the central business district has lagged.
However, power distributor EPB is building a new office and parking complex that is scheduled to open later this year at M.L. King Boulevard and Market.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...