Earth movers have started reshaping a prime piece of downtown Chattanooga waterfront land, where developers have sold nearly a half dozen new residential units in what will become an expected $100 million project.
"It's a matter of timing. The timing is here," said Chattanooga developer Eugene "Buck" Schimpf, whose Cameron Harbor LLC is developing the tract with Nashville-based Evergreen Real Estate.
New townhouses, single-family cottages, apartments and condominiums are planned for the parcel that sits off Riverfront Parkway between M.L. King Boulevard and the Marriott Spring Hill Suites. Planners have given a green light to the first phase that includes 20 single-family homes and 19 luxury townhomes.
Added phases call for a total of 71 cottage homes, 235 midrise apartments and 30 condominiums on the 20-acre site in the largest residential development on Chattanooga's downtown riverfront since Heritage Landing was built in the 1980s.
"It's a perfect fit," said Hunter Connelly, an Evergreen principal, about the project.
He said buyers have "the best of both worlds" in that they're on the waterfront and within walking distance of downtown's entertainment and tourism district.
Darlene Brown, managing broker of Real Estate Partners, said the strengthening economy is helping fuel sales and the start-up of construction.
She said that it's "a world of difference" compared to about five years ago when Schimpf originally proposed the initial development.
The single-family homes range from $319,000 to $500,000. Luxury townhomes, of which two have been sold, are selling for $1.2 million each.
Schimpf said he plans to put an extension to the Riverwalk in front of the project. In addition, new boat slips are slated to be constructed on the river. The homeowners will have access to a swimming pool, fitness center and clubhouse.
Schimpf is developing the townhomes, condominiums and a restaurant site. Evergreen is to put up the single-family homes and the apartments.
Schimpf said the entire project will use the Cameron Harbor name he adopted earlier for his proposal. He said the development also will share a common entrance.
Aaron White, an Evergreen principal, said that while the development companies are independent of one another, the two share a common vision for Cameron Harbor.
"To be on the river in downtown Chattanooga is a one-of-a-kind lifestyle," he said.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318.