Chattanooga's Brainerd neighborhood will get its first new subdivision in 15 years, and it's been named Mapp Estates in honor of longtime Chattanooga civil rights advocate, James R. Mapp, who died last year at age 87.
Bobby Joe Adamson, the founder of Adamson Developers, is building the 25-home subdivision on vacant land on the south side of Midland Pike across from E. Henderson Drive, not far from Woodmore Elementary School.
"I think it's time for us to make a change," said Adamson, a developer of several subdivisions who started out as bricklayer in his youth.
Creating construction jobs is one solution for crime and gang membership, he said at a ground-breaking ceremony Thursday afternoon that attracted dozens of people, including city elected officials and members of James Mapp's family.
The three-bedroom, two full bath, two-car garage homes will sell for between $165,000 and $180,000 and will range in size from 1,300 to 1,600 square feet. They'll have such amenities as granite countertops, stainless steel Energy Star appliances and energy-efficient construction.
Mapp Estates' first two model homes should be built this spring on Midland Pike, Adamson said. The subdivision's homes will be listed, marketed and sold by The Grace Frank Group Real Estate Partners.
"This same house on the other side of the [Missionary Ridge] tunnel would cost $100,000 more," said Grace Frank. She predicted the houses would sell quickly to single professionals, young families starting out and retirees.
Frank said "extensive research" showed it's been 15 years since a new subdivision's been built in Brainerd — a Chattanooga neighborhood that Frank and others are trying to rebrand as midTown.
Mayor Andy Berke called Mapp Estates a "great project."
"Chattanooga has the highest rise in house prices in the mid-South. That's a function of people having not just more jobs, but better jobs," Berke said at the groundbreaking. "We want to make sure that we have homes at every price point."
Chattanooga 5th District City Councilman Russell Gilbert, who represents the area where the subdivision's being built, praised the quality of Adamson's construction elsewhere — in particular, the bricklaying.
The street leading into Mapp Estates will be named Harvey Lane in honor of Harvey Adams, the bricklayer who was Adamson's mentor years ago. Adams spurred on the young Adamson on with reverse psychology — by telling Adamson he'd never make it.
"I became a bricklayer," Adamson told the crowd, adding that a prominent job the two men worked on was the brick work around the landmark Tennessee Aquarium downtown.