Chattanooga's Southside targeted for grocery store, apartment development

Chattanooga's Southside targeted for grocery store, apartment development

December 5th, 2009 by Amy Williams in Business

This drawing shows how the Mission on Main development, which will include apartments and retail, is expected to look when completed in 2011.

Developers Gavin Thomas and Eric Cummings announced this morning they plan a full-service grocery and an apartment/retail complex as part of two separate projects in the Southside area of downtown Chattanooga.

They are the developers of Enzo's Market at Main and Long streets in the former Hill's Florist building and a mixed-use retail and residential project, the Mission on Main, to be located at Market and Main streets.

"When both of these projects come into place, it is just going to be a different place, which is really exciting," Mr. Thomas said. "In the next couple of years, Main Street is going to be unrecognizable."

The announcement was made during the third annual Mainx24 celebration that includes more than 60 events and is aimed at showcasing the transformation under way in the Main Street area of the Southside. Events are scheduled throughout today and into tomorrow morning.

The grocery store is expected to open in the summer of next year. Mission on Main, featuring 40 rental units, anticipates opening in 2011.

Sam Turner, the man behind Enzo's Market, comes to the grocery business with decades of experience. When he sold his chain of Favorite Market convenience stores three years ago, he was operating 131 of the stores. Today he operates 26 stores in Alabama and Florida.

He plans for the store to be an upscale gourmet urban grocery store, with 11,000 square feet dedicated to the supermarket, about 2,200 square feet for a cafe and deli, and a 1,150-square-foot wine shop.

"It will be something kind of different for the area, but similar to the old urban grocery stores that used to exist before people decided they wanted to go shop in 150,000-square-foot place," Mr. Turner said.

See tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.