published Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Chattanooga's Main Street OK’d for 2 retailers

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Main Street is one step closer to getting two new retailers or restaurants.

City planners approved two sites near the intersection of Market and Main streets for commercial development Monday. Now developers just need to find tenants.

Tommy Austin has been looking for a business to go into his spot on the corner of Main and Williams streets since before April. The site was given the OK for development by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission on Monday.

“It’s been slow,” Austin said. “It’s gotten lots of interest, but no one’s pulled the trigger yet.”

Austin plans to continue looking for a restaurateur or retailer to develop his site, but the market seems to be pretty dried up, he said.

Developer Jay Caughman hopes he won’t run into similar hiccups as he looks to fill a retail site two blocks away. Planners also endorsed his plans for development Monday.

The development doesn’t hinge on a retailer. The property’s owner plans to build out the top floor of the two-story building as an apartment for himself.

Caughman plans to build out a generic 2,000-square-foot retail space on the ground level that will be ready to go as soon as he finds a retailer.

The commission’s approval won’t be finalized until the Chattanooga City Council hears the case next month.

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