Eugene H. “Buck” Schimpf III
A Chattanooga developer said Thursday he’s ready to move ahead on an $80 million mixed-use project along the city’s waterfront.
Cameron Harbor, which would be the biggest development of its kind along downtown’s riverfront, is to hold high-end housing, a hotel, a restaurant and marina space, said developer Eugene H. “Buck” Schimpf III.
“I’m really trying to develop this into a showplace for Chattanooga,” he said after finalizing a $7.2 million deal to buy the Riverfront Parkway property out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Mr. Schimpf said the site, just downriver from the Ross’s Landing marina, is slated to hold a 124-room hotel.
Hiren Desai, chief executive of locally based Three H Group, said work on the upscale hotel is expected to start in November and take about a year, Mr. Desai said.
Mr. Schimpf said he is talking with four restaurant companies — two in the city — about that piece of the development. Public docking facilities will round out the first phase of the three-part project, he said.
Townhouse construction makes up Phase 2. About 16 units at 3,500 square feet are planned, Mr. Schimpf said. He didn’t indicate asking prices, but Real Estate Partners will market the properties, he said.
The second phase will include about 30 private boat slips, Mr. Schimpf said.
About two years from now, depending on the economy, a condo phase with 25 to 30 units ranging from 1,700 to 4,500 square feet will go up, the developer said.
Paul Brock, president of the private, nonprofit downtown redevelopment group RiverCity Co., said Mr. Schimpf’s plan builds on the momentum of the 21st Century Waterfront Project.
“People have great faith in the continued growth and development of downtown,” he said.
Mr. Schimpf, who developed the Lovemans on Market condos in the central business district, said he is undertaking Cameron Harbor for a similar reason.
“It just needed to be done,” he said. “It just seemed to be a natural fit. The timing is right.”
The 6-acre waterfront site was bought about two years ago by a Florida development group, but it filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy before work could begin on a similarly sized project.
Mr. Schimpf cited cooperation from Mayor Ron Littlefield and the City Council in accessing land for about 160 nearby parking spaces, along with the work of state regulators.
He said he is working to get permits for the marina part of the project. Financing has been by First Tennessee Bank, he said. River Street Architecture is designing the development, and Kuebler Builders is its contractor.
He also plans to extend the Tennessee Riverwalk through his property.
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 ...