Chattanooga region's Black Creek Mountain development under new direction

Chattanooga region's Black Creek Mountain development under new direction

April 16th, 2014 by Alex Green in Business Around the Region

New houses are being constructed in the Black Creek Mountain community.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

Site of Black Creek Mountain Community.

Site of Black Creek Mountain Community.

Illustration by Laura McNutt /Times Free Press.

A Franklin, Tenn., developer has been brought in to oversee the remaining buildout of Black Creek Mountain Community, one of Chattanooga's biggest housing developments taking shape in the shadow of Aetna Mountain near the Hamilton County-Marion County line.

Southern Land Co., headed by former Chattanooga developer Tim Downey, has been named the new master developer for the project.

"As a developer who got his start with a small operation in Chattanooga over 25 years ago, it is very rewarding to have come full circle and return to a city that I admire very much," Downey said in a statement Tuesday.

Southern Land Co. has developed properties in a handful of states, including Texas, Colorado, New York and Pennsylvania.

The announcement of Southern Land Co.'s leadership role came one day after planning commissioners endorsed a 62.5-acre planned unit development (PUD) in the Black Creek Mountain Community adjacent to the already-developed portion of the project.

Currently, there are 396 completed homes at Black Creek Mountain and 20 under construction.

The PUD zoning approved Monday calls for 95 additional single-family homes to be built on 18 acres at the base of Aetna Mountain. A majority of the 62 acres that passed zoning will be community green space, according to the planning staff. That's about 70 percent - or 44 acres.

Brian Sewell, president of Southern Land Company, said the Black Creek Mountain development is like the projects his firm develops around Nashville.

And he said the 95 new homes approved by planning commissioners on Monday are in addition to the 20 currently under construction.

But these won't happen all at once.

Just as the addition of 95 homes is another phase to the umbrella Black Creek Mountain project, this section is broken down into segments as well.

First, 45 of the 95 homes will go up, the dirt work for which could begin as early as this summer.

Beyond that, Sewell said it's hard at this point to talk hard deadlines - even for the portion that since 2001 has been expected to go up at the top of Aetna Mountain once a new road is built.

It's all on the company's radar, said Sewell, but with Southern Land "still early in our property management role," there isn't an immediate plan or timeframe.

According to Tuesday's news release, though, the mountain-top property "will include future residential and commercial development."

In the mean time, the 95 homes to go up sooner are said to start around $250,000 for single-family construction and $400,000 for estate home builds.

Black Creek Builders, Hagaman Construction Company, Hill Haven Holdings, P&C Construction, RDG Properties and Dexter White Homes are all builders at Black Creek Mountain. Black Creek Mountain Realty oversees sales.

"As a company, we have a great deal of respect for striking a balance between new developments and preserving the integrity of the property," Downey said. "That will be a big consideration for us as we begin work at Black Creek."

Contact staff writer Alex Green at or 423-757-6480.