published Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Chattanooga Bank building sold

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    Developer Trey Moss and real estate partner Robert Johnston have bought the old Chattanooga Bank & Trust Building.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
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A development group has bought the Chattanooga Bank & Trust Building and is looking at whether to refurbish the 11-story structure as a hotel or apartment complex.

"We haven't totally decided on the final use," said Chattanooga developer Trey Moss, who purchased the former bank building at Market and Eighth streets along with real estate partner Robert Johnston.

Earlier this year, Moss had talked about placing 74 apartments in the former bank building that's largely vacant. But, he said, that concept is on the back burner while he tries to find parking for the development.

"We've got a couple of options we're looking at in terms of parking," Moss said. "We're looking at acquiring additional property."

Moss said his group bought the building from Chattanooga attorney Robert Brown, who had owned it since 1989. Moss declined to say how much his group paid for the building that was erected in the mid-1920s.

Kim White, who heads the nonprofit downtown redevelopment group River City Co., termed the purchase "awesome."

She said there's "a pent-up demand" for apartment housing downtown.

Still, Moss said it could be eight to 12 months before any work starts. He said he sees a retail component in the building as well.

A boutique hotel is an option, too, Moss said. Officials at Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group earlier this month mentioned a boutique hotel at Aquarium Way and Walnut Street, though that project isn't finalized.

In 2009, another group had plans to buy the Chattanooga Bank & Trust Building and turn the structure into a 142-room Crowne Plaza hotel along with condominiums. However, that project never materialized. In addition, Chattanooga developer Ken DeFoor has talked about turning the former BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee home office on Pine Street into a hotel.

about Mike Pare...

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 ...

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