Resortlike complexes ramp up rentals

Resortlike complexes ramp up rentals

March 25th, 2012 by Ellis Smith in Chattanooganow2012

Amberleigh Ridge at Panorama is a large apartment development at the corner of East Brainerd and Gunbarrel Road. The series of complexes features 315 total units, of which 117 are already complete.

Photo by Ellis Smith /Times Free Press.


34.5: Percent of Hamilton County residents who rent. (46,151 people).

$671: Median monthly rent in 2010 when the last census was compiled.

2.21: Average number of residents in each rental unit in Hamilton County.

9.2: Percent of rentals vacant in April 2010 when the last census was conducted.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Census, 2010

Nearly 1,000 new apartments and duplex units fueled a rental market resurgence in Chattanooga in the past year, as long-planned developments completed construction and opened for business.

CityGreen at Northshore, one such development, finished construction in early 2012 and is already 92 percent occupied, said leasing consultant Ainsley Walls.

"We're getting a lot of the young professionals," Walls said.

The first of CityGreen's 282 units became available in spring 2011 to residents willing to sign a prelease agreement, and the resort-style development has stayed full since that time, she said.

Like many new developments, CityGreen comes with a wide variety of amenities, from a car washing station to a hot tub, that give it a "resort-style" feel.

John Wise, among the most prolific apartment builders in Chattanooga, will complete his 270-unit Hayden Place development this year and plans to build at least three more apartment complexes as a follow-up, he said.

"I think the proximity to the downtown, the restaurants and the school zone is a big draw, and they've got some new eclectic churches in the area," Wise said.

In addition to his two developments on Cherokee Road under construction, work on a third on North Market should be under way soon, he said, with a fourth on the Southside in the planning stages.

Still, he believes the market has a way to go before it hits the saturation point.

"It's starting to slow down a little bit, but the saturation point won't be here until next year," Wise said.

The Gunbarrel Road area also has seen significant growth with the completion of Amberleigh Ridge in late 2011.

The luxury development boasts 315 resort-style units in an area that has seen high demand for rental housing.

In fact, many existing complexes are hopping on board and renovating their units, said Joni Eldredge, president of the Chattanooga Apartment Association.

"A lot of the older units are rehabbing," she said. "They're getting a face-lift so they don't get left behind."