Planners greenlight $100 million downtown Chattanooga waterfront project

photo Eugene "Buck" Schimpf smiles Monday after getting approval for his Cameron Harbor development on the riverfront from the Chattanooga Regional Planning Commission.

Planners gave a green light Monday to the first phase of $100 million in proposed housing and commercial space on Chattanooga's downtown waterfront, including townhouses, single-family cottages, apartments and condominiums.

Site construction and pre-sales are to start next month on the first 20 single-family homes and 19 luxury townhomes off Riverfront Parkway between M.L. King Boulevard and the Marriott Spring Hill Suites, according to the developers.

Added phases call for a total of 71 cottage homes, 235 mid-rise apartments and 30 condominiums on the 20-acre site in the largest residential development on Chattanooga's downtown riverfront since Heritage Landing was built in the 1980s.

The effort is a collaboration between Chattanooga developer Eugene "Buck" Schimpf's Cameron Harbor LLC and Nashville-based Evergreen Real Estate, though both companies will remain separate.

Schimpf is developing the townhomes, condominiums and a restaurant site. Evergreen is to put up the single-family homes and the apartments. Schimpf said the entire project will use the Cameron Harbor name he adopted earlier for his proposal. He said the development also will share a common entrance.

The projects' first phase received approval from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission on Monday.

The homes will range from $319,500 to $550,000, depending on size and location, according to the developers. The homeowners will have access to a swimming pool, fitness center and clubhouse.

The townhomes will have price points from $1 million to $1.25 million, the developers said. The four-story, riverfront units will have private elevators, river-facing outdoor living areas and access to planned boat slips.

The rents for the apartments weren't disclosed, but Schimpf said the projects "can satisfy any price point or living style."

Aaron White, an Evergreen principal, said that while the development companies are independent of one another, the two share a common vision for Cameron Harbor.

"To be on the river in downtown Chattanooga is a one-of-a-kind lifestyle," he said in a statement.

Hunter Connelly, another Evergreen principal, said the joint launch of the projects will allow for Cameron Harbor to take shape faster. It gives potential owners a concrete plan showing who their neighbors will be and what amenities are available, he said.

photo Cameron Harbor

Darlene Brown, managing broker for development listing agent Real Estate Partners, said Cameron Harbor brings "both much-needed single family homes and luxury townhouse living opportunities" to downtown's waterfront.

Schimpf said the glut of condominiums which were earlier raised downtown is about over and the market ripe for more units.

"The timing is right," he said.

Schimpf originally proposed the project about four years ago, but the the recession hindered the development and led to just the construction of the hotel.

He said he's working with two or three prospects for a planned restaurant, though a deal isn't finalized yet.

An extension of the Riverwalk also is slated for the site.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.