Chattanooga City Council — Dec. 09, 2008 a
Chattanooga City Council — Dec. 09, 2008 b
The Chattanooga City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday night to rezone an area on Broad and Fourth streets to allow development of a downtown movie theater.
But one official with RiverCity Co. said developers and architects still were working with concerns of one neighbor — the Creative Discovery Museum — whose officials questioned how the aesthetics of the property would match with the children’s museum.
“One thing we looked at is how to use those storefronts as murals,” Jeff Pfitzer of RiverCity said. “Possibly educational.”
Mr. Pfitzer said the questions arose two weeks ago at a planning commission meeting. The 12-screen Carmike Cinemas is scheduled to open in November 2009, and the $12 million building will include commercial and retail space, he said.
BY THE NUMBERS
* 2,500: Seats at new downtown theater
* 1,100: Seats at Bijou Theater
* 12: Number of screens at new theater
Source: RiverCity Co.
Children possibly could do artwork on some of the building’s walls and storefronts, he said.
Mr. Pfitzer said the building will be environmentally friendly and possibly the only Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs, or LEED, movie theater in the United States. LEED is a program by the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies environmentally friendly buildings.
He said developers could use that certification to provide educational programs for children showing how the building operates.
Councilwoman Linda Bennett said she had concerns about the Bijou Theater building not having a tenant.
“Will there be any lapse in the Bijou?” she asked.
Mr. Pfitzer said developers were working on getting a “high-quality tenant” into the old theater.
Council members also voted 8-0 Tuesday night on a tax abatement for Chattem Inc. The abatement would be for three years, and Chattem Inc. would pay the education portion of taxes, city officials said. Chattem Inc. is investing $7 million for an expansion that would create 33 jobs, company officials said.
In other news, the city postponed going to market with more than $50 million in bonds. Chief Financial Officer Daisy Madison said the city would go to market in January. Not obtaining the bonds would not affect any current projects, and the city would rely on its reserves in the meantime, she said.
“The market was such that the interest rate would have been more than we liked,” she said.