The orange barrels are out, the chain-link fencing is up and, more than two years after the buildings were bought, work has started on the revamp of the 700 block of Market Street.
“I’m ready to see dust fly,” said David Unruh of the downtown Chattanooga redevelopment group RiverCity Co., about the long-promised Mayfair on Market project.
Developer Trey Stanley said a “surgical demolition” has started on the interior of the half dozen or so empty, rundown structures on the east side of the street.
The first entry hole likely will be punched into the outside of the 700 block buildings next week as demolition continues, said developer Trey Stanley.
Likely next week, the first entry hole will be punched into the outside of the buildings by Stein Construction Co., he said.
Within three months, the nearly 100-year-old buildings will be dismantled, readying the site for a $16 million mixed-used structure holding 58 condominiums, parking and commercial space, Mr. Stanley said.
“The action speaks for itself,” he said on Thursday.
Mr. Unruh said the project will become a linchpin for the continued renewal of downtown’s central business district.
Staff Photo by Patrick Smith -- Fencing has gone up along the 700 block of Market Street closing one lane of traffic. The buildings in the block will be demolished for new commercial space and condominiums.
“It’s an important component of the CBD’s further development,” he said.
Mr. Stanley said the demolition process won’t be like what was done with the old EPB building a few blocks away on Market. The developer said while that building was razed into a heap of rubble, he is removing large wooden beams, planks, limestone blocks and other pieces which can be reused or resold.
“We’ve got 100-year-old beams that are 25 feet long,” Mr. Stanley said.
RiverCity bought the buildings nearly eight years ago with the aim of seeing the 700 block redeveloped, but the effort proved tougher than expected.
In January 2006, Mr. Stanley purchased the structures with the aim of putting up apartments. But that plan wasn’t financially feasible, he said.
In August 2007, Mr. Stanley joined with the Chattanooga Housing Authority to move the project ahead, though that deal took longer than expected to close. The authority became an equity partner with 18 units earmarked for more affordably priced units in the range of $150,000 and up.
Eddie Holmes, a CHA board member, said Mayfair on Market is a chance for people on the lower end of the income scale to live downtown. He said they can take part in a renaissance downtown.
Mr. Stanley said T.U. Parks Construction Co. will build the nine-story building with condos designed to sell for up to $330,000.
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 ...