Aiming to leverage the proposed Publix supermarket in North Chattanooga, a Chattanooga developer has begun work on a 42-unit apartment complex just a couple of blocks away.
Developer John Wise said the $4 million project at North Market Street and Bell Avenue originally was targeting college students and others in that rent range. But the planned Publix likely will move the complex to a higher tenant use, he said.
Wise said plans are to charge rents of $850 to $1,150 a month for the one- and two-bedroom units.
"That area already is a good area," he said, adding the proposed Publix store fills a big need.
Wise said that "there was one thing lacking," citing the full-service grocery store.
Randall Taylor, president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's North Chattanooga Council, said that if the Publix comes to Manning and North Market, that will woo more people to the area.
"The area around the Publix will get attention," he said.
Taylor, a partner in Neuhoff Taylor Architects, said officials foresee added development not just up North Market but on Cherokee Boulevard as well.
"That's another area that's under-developed," he said.
Wise, who has or is planning to build more than $50 million of apartment projects in or near downtown, said the four-story apartment building on North Market is slated for completion in June.
Earlier this week, the developer won approval from Chattanooga planners for another apartment structure on Chestnut Street across from Finley Stadium.
Last month, a development group led by John Clark started work on Walnut Commons, a 100-unit apartment complex downtown. That $11 million project will hold units renting for between $750 and $1,200 a month at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way. Walnut Commons also is to include the Little Miss Mag Early Learning Center.
Also last month, a planning panel tentatively OK'd the 46,000-square-foot Publix that will have a 230-space parking lot.