Auto salvage business may bring new jobs to Alton Park area

Auto salvage business may bring new jobs to Alton Park area

February 10th, 2012 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Felix Beasley looks over plans for new development in the Alton Park area during Thursday evening's meeting. City officials held a public meeting at the Bethlehem Community Center on Thursday to discuss the possibility of new development around the Alton Park area.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

Maria Noel with the Enterprise Center, Inc., gets guests to sign in for Thursday evening's meeting. City officials held a public meeting at the Bethlehem Community Center on Thursday to discuss the possibility of new development around the Alton Park area.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

Alton Park residents and others said Thursday they're hopeful about a new company that could land in the area and create about 50 jobs.

"This area needs some jobs," said Alvin Arrhmaan, cq whose mother lives in the Chattanooga neighborhood. "That helps the young people."

Chattanooga officials said they're talking with a company that's weighing the 50-employee operation on an 85-acre site off Workman Road.

City Councilman Manny Rico said the company would put in a high-tech auto salvage business.

"It's not like the ones there now," he said about the Workman Road area that holds several auto yards with an array of rundown vehicles.

Dan Thornton, the city's director of general services, wouldn't identify the business but sounded an optimistic note.

"If this is the winning proposal, there will be jobs in Alton Park," he told about 50 people who turned out for a public hearing.

John Duckett, who owns land near the 85-acre tract, agreed that a venture that creates jobs is welcome.

"Especially this area needs all the help it could get," he said.

Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham said it's good to see property turned into productive sites.

"This neighborhood needs a boost," he said.

Thornton said plans are to open development proposals for the site on Feb. 20.

He said the city is seeking a $550,000 federal grant to clean up the property, part of which is a salvage yard.

A greenway also could be created on the property, officials said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant would be used to assess and clean up the site, which runs from Workman Road to 38th Street, Thornton said.

Thornton said he did not know how much the city would pay for the property, or what the company may invest in the project.