Chattanooga builder outwits recession with apartments

Chattanooga builder outwits recession with apartments

February 12th, 2012 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

John Wise built his construction business developing single-family homes and condominium projects.

But when the housing slump hit, the Chattanooga builder gave up on the condo market and shifted to building apartments. In the past couple of years, Wise has built or is now developing nearly $50 million of apartment complexes and is planning even more. Wise is now building four apartment complexes in Chattanooga and another in Knoxville and is looking at another site in East Brainerd.

"We were doing condos all over town, but the economy shifted on us, and we had to adapt," Wise said. "People would prefer to rent, rather than to buy, right now because things are so unstable. People are moving into Chattanooga, but they aren't buying houses like they used to buy."

Wise said he is building more right now than he ever has.

"You got to go where the market is," he said.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com? .