A new suite-style student housing complex is rising in downtown Chattanooga on the site of the old Chad's Records store on Vine Street.
The four-story building, called Vine324, will cater specifically to UTC students and will open by late 2014. Demolition on the old Chad's Records building, which was damaged by fire in February 2013, will start May 5.
The new apartment building will include 31 beds in eight suites, with either three or four private bedrooms per suite. Each furnished suite will also include two full bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and laundry, said developer Adam Green, managing director at Green Real Estate Group.
Everything about the apartments -- from the included 50-inch flatscreen TV to individual leases -- is meant to appeal to college students.
"That's what sets us apart from a typical apartment," Green said. "We're a one-stop shop. Get your toothbrush, books, clothes and come live here. We're fully furnished. And in a traditional apartment you've got to pay your own water, power, cable, high-speed [Internet]. You don't have to do any of that with us. It's all included."
Rents at Vine324 will run between $700 and $740 per person, which Green said is comparable to a school year in UTC's on-campus dorms. The campus has been short on student housing for years and is currently sending overflow students to rooms in the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Green is confident that Vine324 will fill up soon after it starts preleasing in October 2014 for the 2015 spring semester, and plans to manage the project long-term despite UTC's recent plans to build a $59 million dorm two blocks away.
The UTC dorm would house about 600 freshman and could be open by 2017, UTC officials announced Monday. More than 11,000 students attend the school. The new Vine324 building will sit just 296 feet from campus, Green said, and is aimed at sophomores, juniors and seniors, not freshmen.
Kate Gilbert, vice president of business operations at The Strauss Company, the project's general contractor, said the student-oriented approach trickled down even to the bare bones of the building.
"We need to make it durable, long-lasting and maintenance-friendly for these students," she said.
To that end, the apartment building will also include three-levels of security -- a swipe at the door to get in the building, a key to the suite and a separate key for each bedroom.
"It's going to look great when it's all done," Green said.
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