Like other areas of the economy these days, the housing market in Chattanooga’s Southside has lagged for the past year, according to some real estate agents who work in the area.
“It’s just slower getting sales,” said Julie Chamberlain, an agent with ReMax Renaissance Realtors. “People are being more careful about what they’re doing with their money, and the banks are being more careful about who they’re lending money to.”
Mrs. Chamberlain has been selling property in the Southside for eight years, and she said the problems in the area are no different than elsewhere in Chattanooga and the rest of the country.
Staff Photo by D. Patrick Harding
The interiors of the Adamstown townhouses vary from unit to unit, some with wood floors and othes with finished concrete.
Mrs. Chamberlain, along with other real estate agents and developers, said the area is making a comeback, but problems in the national economy are causing sales in the Southside’s real estate market to slow.
Chattanooga developer Deb Royal, along with Terry Parks and Bobby Bass, represent PBR Development and built the Adamstown townhomes off Main Street.
Still, more than a year after they began selling the units, six of the seven townhouses in the first phase of Adamstown are still on the market.
That’s not because the area is undesirable, said Denise Leach with Innovative Realty Group. Instead, the neighborhood, once plagued by crime and blight, is experiencing a slowdown with fewer people buying homes now, she said.
“The economic outlook is less than stellar,” Ms. Leach said.
Ms. Leach is co-listing with Tim Kendrick on the Adamstown properties — which start just under $200,000.
Plenty of people have viewed the properties in recent months, but a tightening credit market is making it harder for people to get financing, she said.
“(The slow down in sales) is just a function of the economy,” Ms. Royal said.
Among the properties that hit the Southside real estate market in recent years include Adamstown, a seven-unit townhouse development near the corner of Adams and Main streets; Stanton Row, six townhouses at the corner of 17th and Williams streets; and the Madison Street homes, a collection of eco-friendly homes surrounding a greenspace in the Jefferson Heights neighborhood.
Many of those properties still sit with for-sale signs out front, with some touting price drops and financing incentives to urge buyers to take a second look. Even as residential sales slow down, work continues on projects like Camdelle Court in the former OCI Warehouse on Main Street and Southside Flats, an apartment development at 16th and Williams streets.
That’s because people are drawn to the vibrant arts community in the area, developers said.
The revitalization taking place in the Southside includes a number of residential and retail projects that have gone up in the past two years. Projects such as the Clark Centre at the corner of Main and Market streets and businesses such as Blue Orleans Restaurant, Niedlov’s Breadworks and Ignis Glass Studio have taken shape as part of the area’s comeback.
Ms. Royal, who for now has put the second phase of Adamstown on hold, said the parties involved in revitalizing the area, from nonprofit groups to individuals, are really trying to build a community in the Southside.
“Everybody’s got their arms open,” she said.
Ms. Chamberlain agrees that while it is hard to get buyers qualified these days, the area still has appeal.
“It’s such an eclectic mix of people down there now,” she said, describing residents that include young and old, families and singles of all incomes. “It’s such a great mix of people.”