The first part of a new selfcontained development will become operational this week where an old neighborhood once stood in East Brainerd.
Appliance store hhgregg opens Thursday, said Barry Ray, one of the developers of Waterside Lifestyle Center, a community that will have retail, office, hotels, restaurants and residential units once it’s completed. Mr. Ray is developing the site with Ken and Byron DeFoor.
“The goal is to have a highend development,” Mr. Ray said.
The site is on Gunbarrel Road next to the Interstate 75 North entrance ramp, behind the old National Knife Museum. DeFoor Brothers Development LLC started assembling Waterside Lifestyle Center’s 45 acres at least seven years ago, Mr. Ray said, buying individual residential properties and laboriously rezoning the land. The developers had to overcome resistance to further development, he said. The total development will cost at least $150 million, Mr. Ray said.
Waterside Lifestyle Center is a community within a community, Ken DeFoor said, part of a new trend in Tennessee — such projects have been built elsewhere.
A similar concept is under construction in Cleveland, Tenn.
Greenbriar Cove in Collegedale has mixed uses but isn’t comparable to Mr. DeFoor’s project, said Greg Vital, Greenbriar Cove’s developer. The Collegedale community has an assisted living center, housing for people 55 and older, and eventually will have medical offices.
Waterside Lifestyle Center is different, Mr. DeFoor said, because it will have residential and office uses mixed with retail.
And, Waterside will eventually have a public library
branch, said Chattanooga City
Councilman Jack Benson. The project draws its name from a spring-fed lake.
Waterside’s developers have signed a letter of intent from a leading hotel chain and are in negotiations with a second chain and fine restaurant, Mr. DeFoor said. The developers hope to announce the names of the hotels and restaurant within two months, Mr. Ray said. Site work on the hotels could begin this summer, Mr. Ray said.
Indianapolis-based hhgregg sells consumer electronics and home appliances. The company is similar to a mixture of Best Buy, Circuit City and appliances from Sears, said Jeff Pearson, vice president of marketing.
Hhgregg is occupying a 35,000-square-foot building, Mr. Ray said, and a 20,000-square-foot strip center is being built next to the retailer. The building has Tuscan colors and a facade with a European flair, the developers said, and the color palate will be carried over into other buildings on the site.
Additional retail tenants have not yet been signed up, Mr. DeFoor said. The developers have been in discussion with several restaurants, and they envision leasing space in the building next to hhgregg to a high-end restaurant with patio seating.
One section of the property will have a lifestyle center, Mr. Ray said, while another section will have offices. Residential condos will be above the lifestyle shops and offices, he said.