River City Co. prepares to develop new downtown Chattanooga properties

River City Co. prepares to develop new downtown Chattanooga properties

April 12th, 2012 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

Ponnie Mastin of the Chattanooga Public Works Department walks past a fenced vacant lot in the 700 block of Market Street in downtown Chattanooga on Wednesday.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

The blighted 700 block of Market Street may get another chance at redemption.

Long cited as an inexplicable eyesore in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, the property was the centerpiece of a years-long legal battle that finally ended with the land reverting to its former owner, nonprofit developer River City Co.

River City today issued requests for proposals for the land, which Kim White, president and CEO of River City Co., considers a prime development opportunity.

The 700 Block is currently a gravel lot between Seventh and Eight streets on Market Street that measures about 24,000 square feet. It was also the first project featured in River City Company's Urban Design Challenge.

"Based on interest we have been receiving from the development community, we feel now is the time to focus on finding the highest and best use of these parcels to take our downtown to the next level," said Jim Williamson, vice president of planning and development at River City Co.

Proposals are due by May 28, 2012. River City Co. expects construction to begin by mid-2013.

For more information, pick up a copy of tomorrow's Times Free Press