Staff Photo by Patrick Smith Rafael Briceno works on the metal facing of the old Target building in Hixson. Developer Tom Dupre is converting the building into a boutique shopping center.
After sitting vacant for two years, the old Target building near Northgate Mall is getting a new life.
Tom Dupre, principal broker for Cumberland Realty Group, said the multimillion-dollar renovation project, along with other facilities in the area receiving a face-lift, will rejuvenate the Northgate shopping area.
“Everything is coming back to life here,” Mr. Dupre said.
About 15,000 square feet of the 100,000-square-foot facility is occupied by Chuck E. Cheese and a nail salon. The remaining 85,000 square feet is under construction and awaits other tenants.
Studio 360, a women-only fitness center, is expected to be the cornerstone business.
Greg Tibbs, Studio 360’s owner, said the 15,000 square feet he will occupy will be more than just a fitness center for women.
“We’re going for a spa-like environment,’ he said. “I’m trying to create an environment that is not just about fitness but is about overall wellness.”
The facility will have a fireplace library, lounge, a cardio-cinema with a 120-inch projection screen, a child care facility, a sauna and steam room, tanning beds and separate yoga, spinning and aerobic rooms with at least five 50-inch plasma televisions, Mr. Tibbs said.
He claimed the facility will be the first of its kind in Tennessee, but he hopes to eventually open others in the area and perhaps in Knoxville.
Mr. Tibbs said he has invested about $550,000 on the inside of the facility and hopes to have it ready to open in December.
“We have a lot to do in a short period of time,” he said. “For so many people it is all about the business, but this is my passion. I really want a hand in helping to change these women’s lives.”
Mr. Dupre said the outer construction of the facility will cost about $2 million and an additional $750,000 on the interior.
Other than Studio 360, no other tenants are scheduled to move in, but Mr. Dupre said he is pursuing a variety of potential occupants.
“We’re talking with several different players about moving in here,” he said. When you have a big box like this it gives you a lot of options. We are trying to attract both the traditional retailer and an office and mixed-use business.”
Mr. Dupre said he hopes the area, bolstered by renovations to the Northgate Mall and commercial construction along Highway 153, will become an alternative to Hamilton Place.
“Chattanooga has become a two-hub area for shopping,” he said. “This has become its own market north of the river.”