Location: Dayton Boulevard and West Ridgewood Avenue
Size: 2.2 acres
Cost: $1.1 million (first phase)
Developers: Mike and Matt McGauley
Builder: Mike Berry Construction Co.
Source: Fidelity Trust Co.
The biggest new shopping center to open in Red Bank in more than five years is being built to accommodate growth stemming outward from Chattanooga's busy North Shore, according to the developers.
"It's almost like a growing extension to the North Shore," said Matt McGauley, vice president of Fidelity Trust Co.
A Family Dollar store will mark the first phase of the work on the center, which is going up on Dayton Boulevard at West Ridgewood Avenue, said McGauley, who's developing the 2.2-acre parcel with his father, Mike.
The second phase will involve a similar-sized tract, about 1.1 acres, and could hold a restaurant, retail space or offices, the Fidelity vice president said.
The first part of the project is valued at about $1.1 million, McGauley said. The 8,320-square-foot Family Dollar is expected to open in July, he said.
Area merchants are hopeful the investment that's creeping down Dayton Boulevard is ongoing.
"I hope it comes on down the boulevard," said Debra Downey, whose husband is an owner of Downey's Florist & Gift Gallery nearby at 2112 Dayton Blvd.
Downey said the florist has been at the site for 50 years, and Dayton Boulevard had lost businesses over the years.
"I think it will come on through," she said about the new ventures.
A 282-unit apartment complex, City Green at NorthShore, opened off Dayton Boulevard in 2011 about four or five blocks from the new center. Late last year, a South Carolina investment firm paid $31 million for the apartment complex -- likely one of the highest purchase prices for such a property ever in the city.
Nearly across Dayton Boulevard, one of the nation's largest Verizon Wireless retailers put in a regional hub in 2012. Cellular Sales of Knoxville Inc. spent about $333,000 to revamp a former Blockbuster store to hold a showroom and office space.
Also close by, new eateries have opened to offer more restaurant fare in the area.
"We're creating something we think is a real opportunity," McGauley said.
McGauley said they bought the site from John Echols, who had a warehouse at the site. That building was torn down to make way for the center.
Mike McGauley, Fidelity Trust president, added that he thinks the traffic pattern in the area is changing with the closing of the Manning Street exit off of nearby U.S. Highway 27, which is undergoing a massive widening project starting at Signal Mountain Road and going to the Olgiati Bridge.
He said more people are using Cherokee and Dayton boulevards as well as Memorial Drive through North Chattanooga, which intersects Dayton Boulevard.
The last sizable shopping center to go up in Red Bank was the Bi-Lo center at Dayton Boulevard and Morrison Springs Road.