Former Provident, YMCA lakefront property up for auction

Former Provident, YMCA lakefront property up for auction

May 11th, 2017 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

One of the largest undeveloped sites still available for lakefront homes near Chattanooga will go on the auction block next Thursday night.

Cleveland, Tenn., investor Brenda Lawson, who helped start one of the nation's biggest payday lenders (National Cash Advance) and has invested in numerous area businesses, bought the parcel in December 2005 for nearly $4.8 million. But Lawson never developed the lakefront site and, after trying unsuccessfully for the past two years to sell the property as a whole, will put the site up for auction in seven parcels at the SpringHills Suites Marriott downtown on Riverfront Parkway.

"This is a unique opportunity because this site is one of the few [undeveloped] large tracts on Chickamauga Lake," said Henry Glascock, the Chattanooga appraiser and auctioneer who will conduct the auction at 6 p.m. on May 18th. "This is one of the most beautiful sites on the entire lake and includes, in total, more than 3,400 feet of lake shore property."

The 44.5-acre property was originally developed as an employee recreation facility by Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., in 1945. The Tennessee Valley Authority gave lakefront properties to businesses and other organizations to spur recreational use of Chickamauga Lake after the Chickamauga Dam was closed and the lake was created from Tennessee River waters.

Provident built a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball court, boat docks and ramps, a care- taker's residence and other recreational use structures before giving the property to the YMCA, which used the site as a campground and facility for swim lessons.

The property will be offered at next week's auction in seven lots, each ranging from five to seven acres, Glascock said. The auction is not an absolute auction, meaning that the seller reserves the right to reject the bids if they are not high enough. But Glascock said the seller "is very motivated to sell" and he anticipates a number of good offers for the lakefront sites.

Lawson put the property on the market in 2015, but the auction offers a way to sell the site in a single day broken up in a number of parcels.

"Chattanooga's real estate market is showing strong growth and lakefront property is limited, especially this close to Chattanooga," Glascock said.

The site is on Glover Road, which turns off from Hickory Valley Road via Highway 58, on a peninsula near the Eagle Bluff Golf Course.

The property has a single ranch-style structure built in 1959 and a swimming pool and clubhouse, which have not been used in years.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 423-757-6340.