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Traditionally, it's an area bordered by the Tennessee River, Stringers Ridge, U.S. Highway 27 and the Veterans Bridge.
Downtown Chattanooga apartment rents are climbing amid demand.
Kim Hoge fulfilled a dream and opened her Northshore Boutique last month, and business so far is good.
Even though her shop is in Red Bank -- at least five miles down Dayton Boulevard from Frazier Avenue and north of Ashland Terrace -- the North Shore name still fits, she said.
"It's on the north shore of the Tennessee River," she said Thursday. "We want to build up this north end."
She's not alone. A trio of apartment buildings off Dayton Boulevard have taken on the North Shore's trendy tag. That's even though the units, too, are miles away from the area around Frazier, Manufacturers Road and Cherokee Boulevard that's traditionally perceived as the "North Shore."
Marcus Lyons, a commercial real estate broker who specializes in apartments, said the North Shore is seen as a happening place. and it's a term people know.
"It's a place people want to be," he said. That especially relates to "the younger generation," who aren't necessarily interested in owning a home with a yard but still want the proximity of downtown and its amenities, Lyons said.
Alicia Reedy, assistant manager of the Northshore Village apartment and townhouses on Memorial Drive, said the owners took that name last year because the units have "that North Shore vibe."
"It's modern and newly renovated," she said, adding that its residents still can be on Frazier Avenue in about five minutes.
The complex's website states it's located "in the foothills of eclectic North Chattanooga and North Shore District."
Red Bank Mayor John Roberts said that when the North Shore turned itself around years ago, he knew it was a matter of time before residential and commercial development started creeping north.
"I knew that stuff would be coming through the tunnel," he said about the Cherokee Boulevard artery into Red Bank.
The 282-unit City Green at Northshore apartments, located off Dayton Boulevard though technically in Chattanooga, was finished in December 2011, and a new shopping center is underway nearby.
An existing 100-unit apartment complex further north on Dayton Boulevard was bought in March for $2.7 million by Australian investors, who have changed the name from Silver Creek Apartments to The Cove at Northshore.
Also, Lyons said he just brokered another deal with the same group that will buy the Chalet Apartments on Dayton Boulevard for $3.4 million.
Roberts said a developer told him that better deals are available in Red Bank than in Chattanooga these days, claiming that property can be bought at half the price. Because Red Bank is its own city, he added, it's easier dealing with than the much-larger Chattanooga.
Jane Kemmerer, owner of River City Apparel on Frazier Avenue, said she doesn't believe there are any specific boundaries to the North Shore, but entities off Dayton Boulevard are playing off of the name.
"They figure it will attract more customers," she said, adding that trading on the name doesn't bother her, although she said she wouldn't use "north shore" if she had a store in that area.
Shirley Crownover, who owns the Northshore Boutique building and is Hoge's mother-in-law, said the business is located north of the river.
"It's describing this area," she said. "Some people say you have to be on the river. That's not true."
Contact staff writer Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318.